Matt Miller - The Archives
I'll take Tea Party Madness for $400, Alex. . .
The Washington Post, November 4, 2010

"Hello and welcome to post-midterm Political Jeopardy. I'm Alex Trebek. Let's jump right in with contestants Susan, Sam and Vivian. The categories are: Little-Known Facts; Phony Baloney; Tea Party Madness; and American Renewal. Susan, we'll start with you."

Susan: "I'll take Little-Known Facts for $400, Alex."

AT: "And the answer is: 15.6 trillion."

Susan: "What is the national debt of the United States thanks to Barack Obama's socialistic anti-colonial spending spree?"

AT: "No, Susan—though we may get there in a few short years! Sam?"

Sam: "What is Mike Bloomberg ready to spend on an independent presidential run to save the country from partisan gridlock?"

AT: "Afraid not, Sam Bloomberg will spend that on gauzy 'let me introduce myself' ads in the first three months alone. Vivian?"

Viv: "Sorry, Alex, I . . . I just don't know."

AT: "Well, folks—15.6 trillion is the cumulative number of brain cells the average American lost watching Christine O'Donnell ads play in an endless loop on cable TV."

Viv: "Nuts! I was going to say that, Alex, but it seemed low. . ."

AT: "Sam, you're up."

AT: "And the answer is: This new governor helped cause the housing crisis by pushing mortgages on low-income buyers who couldn't afford them, a fact that the media never mentioned during his campaign."

Sam: "Who is former HUD secretary-turned-New York governor Andrew Cuomo?"

AT: "That's right!"

Sam: "Let's try Phony Baloney for $400."

AT: "And the answer is: sometime between the year 2050 and 2060."

Sam: "Hmmm. . . . What is the date we'll finally withdraw troops from Afghanistan?"

AT: "No. That'll be around 2030. Susan?"

Susan: "When will China's per capita income match that of Europe and the United States?"

AT: "No. That'll be around 2040. Vivian?"

Viv: "When will new House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan's 'Roadmap for America' actually balance the federal budget?"

AT: "That's right, Vivian! And to think—a few years ago, a 50-year plan to balance the books wouldn't make a man his party's leading 'thinker' and 'fiscal conservative'!

Viv: "I'll take Little-Known Facts for $1,200."

AT: "And the answer is: Al Checchi."

Viv: "Who was the last California zillionaire, who in 1998 thought governor was the ideal entry-level government job, and ended up proving that in politics money isn't everything?"

AT: "Very good, Vivian. Though its worth pointing out that Meg Whitman spent $140 million of her own money to lose, while Checchi dropped just $40 million, so even after adjusting for inflation the price of arrogance is plainly soaring."

Viv: "I'll take Tea Party Madness for $400."

AT: "And the answer is: student loans."

Viv: "Hmmm. . .What did several Tea Party candidates default on repaying?"

AT: "No, Vivian. Some Tea Partyers did have personal financial troubles, but not this. Susan?"

Susan: "What will Tea Partyers realize they have to slash if they really want to eliminate the Department of Education?"

AT: "That's right, Susan! And good luck with that!"

Susan: "I'll take Phony Baloney for $800."

AT: "And the answer is: Golf, and small. . ."

Susan: "What kind of ball does John Boehner love and Barack Obama hate but now has to play?"

AT: "Right again, Susan! You're on a roll."

Susan: "Let's do Phony Baloney for $1,200, Alex."

AT: "And the answer is: crime and punishment. . ."

Susan: "What is the new House majority's view of federal spending and progressive taxation?"

AT: "Right again!"

Susan: "Tea Party Madness for $800, Alex."

AT: "And the answer is: We are the world, we are the children."

Susan: "I . . .I . . ."

AT: "Sam?"

Sam: "What pop classic should Saturday Night Live use to parody Rand Paul's weird election night claim that 'there are no rich, no middle class and no poor—we're all interconnected'?"

AT: "That's right, Sam!"

Sam: "I'll take American Renewal for $1,200." [sirens sound]

AT: "That's the Daily Double! What will you wager?"

Sam: "Everything."

AT: "Here we go. And the answer is. . .nothing."

Sam: "Nothing, nothing. . .hmmm. . .what did that singer in 'A Chorus Line' feel for her drama teacher?"

AT: "True enough, Sam—but not the political answer we're looking for. Susan?"

Susan: "What will Washington actually do in the next two years to bolster American competitiveness in a global age when middle-class living standards are at risk?"

AT: "That's it exactly, Susan! Nothing! Nothing at all! Congratulations—Don Pardo, tell them what they've won!"

Sam: "Alex, I'll take Little-Known Facts for $800."