Understatement of the Week: John Fugelsang

By ANTHONY HALL, United Press International

How many people voted on Election Day and at what cost?

The Bipartisan Policy Center -- check your bias at the door, please -- said the national election cost a clean $6 billion to get a president, senators and representatives elected, but did not have the draw of the 2008 election when 62.3 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.


This year, despite an additional 8 million potential voters, turnout dropped to 57.2 percent with 126 million votes cast, a bit fewer than 2008, when 131 million people voted.

And that just brings us to one of the grand quotes about U.S. politics from the late syndicated columnist Bill Vaughan, who observed that "A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election."

One man who would cross the street to vote, apparently, was the late, great comedian W.C. Fields. "Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against," the curmudgeon said proudly.

Emma Goldman, a first-half of the 20th century political anarchist who could coin a churlish phrase with the best of them, remarked in a point well taken, "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."


That brings us to longtime comedienne Lily Tomlin. "No matter how cynical you are, it's never enough," she said about life in general.

Perhaps attempting to honor that concept, Scottish comedian and actor Bill Connolly was rather succinct. "Don't vote, it only encourages them," he said.

What the heck -- they only break their promises, anyway. Isn't that so?

Here's one promise that was rhetorical, but cute: "I offer my opponents a bargain: If they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them," said Sen. Adlai Stevenson in a 1952 run for the White House.

With all this cynicism within easy reach, 2012 became an odd, racially tinged drama, according to some news pundits.

How else do you get Matt Dowd of ABC News commenting, "This may be the last time we see two white men run against each other in a presidential election."

Yes, he was referring to 2012.

Perhaps with that in mind, George Will, also from ABC, commented that he didn't want to "pile on white men," on election night, explaining that the poor, sad, landed Caucasians of European descent with money in the bank were "going to get abused enough tonight."


The Understatement of the Week, is a touch of absurdity -- something science fiction script writer Rod Serling might have said to John Chambers, the makeup artist celebrated in the hit film "Argo."

The quote refers to House Speaker John Boehner -- a Republican from Ohio, of all places -- and his ability to keep perpetually tan.

With the votes counted and the speaker retaining his seat in Congress, Current TV anchor John Fugelsang announced it was, "A stirring victory for orange Americans across the land."

Knock, knock. Who's there? Orange you glad you voted this year?

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