Robert Kirby: Running for — or away from — office

Robert Kirby

With so much stupidity to occupy the media’s attention, you no doubt have missed the news that Sonny and I are running for the same congressional seat.

Sonny is running for the newly formed Garbage Party. Meanwhile, I am a candidate for the long-venerated (six weeks) Trash Party.

Political pundits insist that there isn’t much difference between our stands on the issues. We both support the Second Amendment, we advocate for public health care, and generally agree that Japan is a country somewhere on the other side of the earth.

As if that doesn’t make the choice between us difficult enough, our only debate ended in a qualified tie after we both became fed up and beat the moderator unconscious on live TV.

Note: The video on YouTube has received over 8 billion views since it was posted last week.

Because the race is so close, both campaigns have begun running what are commonly known as “attack ads.”

Even if you haven’t heard about attack ads before, it’s likely that you’ve watched one on TV. Rather than using the airtime to promote our own qualifications, our campaign backers instead use the time and money to run the other candidate down.

For example, the committee backing my candidacy recently accused Sonny of running a turtle fighting ring in Utah County. The matches sometimes lasted for a month and caused the turtles no end of indifference.

And now Sonny’s backers are saying that I am against religious freedom in America when all I said was that church meetings should be limited to 45 minutes.

We — meaning our campaign managers — have accused both of us of animal cruelty simply because there was a video going around of us investigating the ballistic qualities of dead mice.

Sonny’s campaign ran an ad that said I was against free health care for a certain class of Americans. The ad said, “Congressman Kirby wants you to get sick.”

The ad was true — to a point — specifically that I am against free health care for Congress.

My campaign — and I’ve already called Sonny and apologized — paid for an ad purporting him to be a known drug dealer.

The truth was he brought me back some THC cream from Mesquite when I asked for it because my shoulders are killing me.

A couple of hundred years ago, attack ads were exactly what they said they were — attacks. Political opponents sometimes fought actual duels.

One candidate — almost always a man because women refused to stoop to both politics and violence — would take objection to some imagined slight.

“You, sir, made reference to my sainted mother having the appearance of a leprous mule. I demand satisfaction. My second will contact your second for the details of your pending demise.”

Sounds horrible, I know, but these attack ads were effective. It’s difficult to sponsor bills with a yard of steel through your heart.

Sonny and I have stopped our ads. I called him and we went to lunch. In less than three minutes, we agreed that running for public office was the stupidest idea we’ve ever had.

We are, however, still accepting campaign contributions until after the election.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.