Remember that episode of the Simpsons when Mr Burns ran for Governor? It was called Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish, and began with toxic waste from the nuclear power plant causing one fish to mutate a third eye. Burns starts up on the campaign trail in order to avoid being prosecuted; because of his unpopularity, however, he hires a team of spin doctors, mud-rakers and media advisors to oust Mary Bailey, his beloved competitor. Eventually (because this is, after all, the Simpsons) Burns’ victory hinges on having a middle-class dinner with Homer et al. Marge, a Bailey supporter, has been forbidden to ask political questions during dinner, but gets her own back by serving Mr Buns the same three-eyed fish his campaign has been calling harmless. At the cruical, televised moment, Burns spits out the meat, losing the election as a direct consequence. Family fun all round.

Eighteen years after the episode first aired, John McCain is running for president. There’s a distinct physical similarity between the current Republican candidate and Monty B, but that’s not what makes the comparison so disturbing. Rather, it’s how he refers to average voters, viz: Johnny Lunchpail, Joe Meatball, Sally Housecoat, Eddie Punchclock and – wait for it – Joe Sixpack.

Huh. Now, where did we hear that recently?

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