Satan and Mike Huckabee Are Brothers

This post’s title comes courtesy of my brother-in-law, who wrote this article about Mitt Romney for the San Francisco Chronicle and called tonight to commiserate over Romney’s crushing defeat. 

And, make no mistake, this is a crushing defeat. After spending millions more dollars than his rivals, Romney ekes out a distant second-place finish to an underfunded, unRepublican, anti-Mormon rube. He goes into next Tuesday’s battle in New Hampshire as a damaged candidate, facing a surging John McCain who has taken a decisive lead in the polls in a state where Romney was practically the sitting governor. 
Romney, I believe, is finished. 
He’ll probably stay in the race for a little while longer, and he can actually stay in as long as he likes, given his inexhaustible financial resources. But there’s no way he captures the national attention or regains any momentum. McCain now owns New Hampshire, and Huckabee will probably win South Carolina, and McCain will win everything else until Super Duper Tuesday, when Huckabee fades from view and McCain becomes the anti-Giuliani and coasts to the nomination. 
And then, come November, say hello to President Obama. Which is less of a stomach-turning prospect than President McCain. 
The thing that makes me ill is that this was due almost exclusively to Romney’s religion. Which means that those who make decisions about my political party loathe me solely on the basis of my faith. Nothing I can do about it – there’s no use in playing the victim, and, politically, I’ve got nowhere else to go. (What, like I’m going to be a Democrat?) But it probably means that I take a few steps back. If Republicans go down to defeat in 2008, they deserve it. They deserved it in 2006, too. I can’t get behind McCain. And I would campaign for Hillary before I would vote for Mike Huckabee. 
The good news tonight is that Cornelius’ masterwork Fox Man II: Worm Man Returns won the district-wide Reflections Literature Award and now goes on to compete at Regionals. So take that, Huck. Enjoy your short-lived victory. It may not have cost you a lot of money, but I’m pretty sure it cost you a piece of your soul. 

Inside the Romney Campaign in Iowa

With less than three hours before the caucus begins, I just got off the phone with a Romney campaign guy on the ground in Iowa.

The lay of the land:

The Romney campaign stopped doing their overnight tracking poll during the Christmas season and did their first poll in a couple of weeks last night. The result – which, apparently, Mitt has not seen – has Huckabee ahead, but just barely – 27 to 25, and the undecided vote is huge. The interesting thing about it is that in one of the Iowa media markets, a local talk show blowhard has been railing on the Mormons for the past three to four months, calling them a cult with ambitions to take over the world. In every other media market, Mitt is ahead by 10 points. In Mr. Blowhard’s market, which is the largest in Iowa, Mitt is down by 10 points.

If Huckabee wins tonight, it’s because the Mormon bashing was effective.

The Romney guy sounded optimistic, because Mitt’s organization is without parallel. They refer to the Bush 2000 organization as the “gold standard” of Iowa get-out-the-vote operations. Mitt’s organization, in comparison, is the “platinum standard.” They have identified 51,000 committed Romney supporters – by name. If Romney can get about 30,000 of them out to caucus tonight, he wins handily. Romney has the means and the organization to make that happen. Huckabee has to rely on good luck and Evangelical passion, although, sadly, that may be enough.

Another interesting wrinkle is the fact that all of the independents will be caucusing with the Democrats to vote for Obama. That may be bad news for Romney, although it may also mean that there are fewer independents up for grabs, and Romney’s superior organization makes all the difference.

I’m cautiously optimistic myself, although I also admit to some wishful thinking. If Romney loses Iowa, it’s going to be almost impossible to beat McCain five days later in New Hampshire. And if McCain wins New Hampshire, he’s the nominee – which is even worse than a Giuliani win.

I vote for Barack over McCain. That says something for Barack, but it says a whole lot more about the disaster McCain would be for the future of the Republican Party.

Stallion Cornell’s Greatest Hits

Click here for The Ammon Song. Right-click it to download, or just click it an Quicktime or another media player should play it right in your browser.

Elsewhere in this post where you see a link highlighting a song title, do the same and take a listen and/or download. Do not try to sell these, though, as all these songs are protected by copyright.

Regular readers of this blog will find this post redundant, but my brother-in-law is enamored with the Ammon song I just recorded, and he’s asked me to write a post that links to the song sooner, along with an explanation and additional song links.

So here it is.

Ammon is a song I wrote for a Book of Mormon mini read-a-thon in my ward. It’s a bit bloody, but since it’s a song and not a movie, it doesn’t get an R-rating.

“Javelin Man” is my most famous Book of Mormon song, written for a road show back in 1990. Over the past two decades, it has been performed every year at Aspen Grove Family Camp by me and all of my pre-pubescent relatives. Last year, our ward filmed a version of the Teancum story and the song for a Stake Film Festival. I put it on YouTube and it’s gotten over 9,000 views. Jenny Jordan Frogley, famed LDS singer, is on vocals – that’s not her lipsynching in the video, though – and the Rockamatics provided the instrumentation.

The film is embedded here for your convenience.

I also wrote a Song About Mustard. (Here’s a link to an explanation thereof.)

I wrote a musical about Peter Pan – link to explanation here – that includes the song Dead, which is, clearly, about dead things. I’m not on vocals, but it’s a funny song.

That musical also has two serious songs in it – A Princess Bride and Neverland. The vocals on Neverland are hooty at first, but wait until the harmony kicks in – it’s worth it.

The fourth recording from that musical is Hook of the Jolly Roger, sung by famed local (SLC) actor Scott Morgan, who passed away recently. I only knew him tangentially, but he was a good guy and a great talent, and he will be sorely missed.

The very first song I ever wrote was titled I Am A Cow, which I wrote in the bathroom of the Barnsdall Park Gallery Theatre in about two and a half minutes when I was 11 years old. For some reason, I thought “How Now, Green Cow” was really, really funny. (Because, you know, it’s supposed to be “How Now, Brown Cow.”)

The other song I have online is The Ballad of Stallion Cornell, which sounds somewhat like the Ammon song. Warning to parents: it also includes the word “slut,” so watch out.

I’ve recorded other songs that I have yet to put up online, mainly because they’re not very good. “The Laundry Song” lacks a cohesive third verse and the recording is terrible; “The Dog/Birdie War” has been revised but not yet rerecorded. I’m not sure if the world is ready for “Dig” or “The Pterodactyl Song” or “Cheese On Toast.” But just for fun, I’ll put up my own recording of Javelin Man, which has me on vocals and instruments instead of talented people. Enjoy.

The Ammon Song

Completed late this New Year’s Day.

A few changes from the previously published lyrics…

1) Turns out that the whole Ammon story takes place by the Waters of Sebus, not Sidon. Except nothing good rhymes with Sebus, and “Ammon was ridin’ by the Waters of Sidon” is such a fun, faux-Western lyric. So I changed it to “Ammon went ridin’ past the Waters of Sidon on his way to go work for the Lamanite King,” as if Ammon were passing Sidon on the way to the story actually beginning. Which could have happened, couldn’t it?

I toyed with “Ammon at Sebus did his best to serve Jebus,” but that’s an obscure Simpsons reference that many might find disrespectful, including me. But now it’s stuck in your head, too.

2) Instead of “Cause the King was intrigued with his brave servant’s charms/But the dude was freaked out when he saw all those arms,” I shifted the second line to “His Majesty freaked when he saw all those arms,” because there was some trouble with clarity as to whether “the dude” was Ammon or the King, and, besides, “freaked” has an internal rhyme with “intrigued.”

It’s an MP3 file – if you right click the last word of this post, you should be able to download it, or click it and Quicktime will play it in your browser.