In every election we have to consider the oh-so-important undecided and swing state voters, like this election's 5% of people who still don't know which candidiate they're going to vote for but can ultimately decide the election. On Friday night's "Real Time," Bill Maher kicked those undecideds right off their high pedestal and asked why the media gives low-information voters so much attention.
With less than two months until the election, Maher advises those who still don't know who they're voting for to "stay home" on Nov. 6, because they probably won't be able to find their polling places. He doesn't understand why undecideds such as "Octomom" Nadya Suleman are being celebrated or painted as more discerning than the rest of us when Barack Obama and Mitt Romney couldn't be more different.
"And that, in a nutshell, is America's celebrated, undecided voter: put on a pedestal by the media as if they were Hamlet in a think-tank, searching out every last bit of information, high-minded arbiters pouring over policy positions and matching them against their own philosophies. Please, they mostly fall into a category political scientists call 'low information voters,' otherwise known as 'dipsh*ts.'"
Watch the segment above to hear Maher's full analysis (starting around the 2:15 mark) as well as why Donald Trump offering voting advice to "Liberal Republican" Kim Kardashian (also undecided) is a microcosm of the 2012 election.
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Helen Lovejoy/Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann may want to use Helen Lovejoy's shrieking catchphrase, "Won't somebody think of the <i>children!</i>" as her campaign slogan. After all, Bachmann certainly has thought of them enough -- she claims to have <a href="http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/politics-raising-children/2011/jun/15/michele-bachmann-uses-gopdebates-elevate-case-fost/" target="_hplink">raised 23 foster kids</a> as well as five of her own. Plus, despite her small-government credentials, she's so intent on imposing sexual morality that we could easily see her getting up in arms about Springfield's burlesque house.
Charles Montgomery Burns/Donald Trump
C. Montgomery Burns may not share Trump's signature comb-over, but there's not much else the two corporate overlords don't have in common. Aside from their ostentatious wealth (Forbes magazine ranked both <a href="http://www.forbes.com/lists/fictional15/2011/profile/c-montgomery-burns.html" target="_hplink">Burns</a>' and <a href="http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/10/billionaires-2010_Donald-Trump_U5WX.html" target="_hplink">Trump's</a> net worth in the billions) the two power brokers boast a history of corporate ventures that have left hordes trembling at their feet. Though we have to admit -- Burns' trademark "Excellent" beats Trump's "You're fired" any day.
Lurleen Lumpkin/Sarah Palin
Lurleen Lumpkin has made appearances on "The Simpsons" as a pretty, ambitious aspiring celebrity who knows how to work a crowd and bag TV appearances. She also has a certain good old American charm that feels awfully familiar. We wouldn't be surprised if Palin embarks on a country singing tour when her fake political career runs out of steam.
Rich Texan/Rick Perry
Texas Governor Rick Perry might actually out-Rich Texan the version from "The Simpsons," the unnamed Rich Texan. For starters, Perry once shot a coyote while walking his dog. On the other hand, Perry doesn't block his beautiful crop of hair with a ten-gallon hat like Springfield's version.
Ned Flanders/Rick Santorum
Undoubtedly, we'd prefer Ned Flanders as a next door neighbor over Rick Santorum. Because even though Flanders and Santorum share a dogmatic interpretation of the Bible, Ned doesn't impose his beliefs on his others. Santorum, on the other hand, has long voiced the opinion that non-Christians and gay people are hardly "okily dokily."
Mayor Joe Quimby/Rudy Giuliani
Two-term NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani may not have the devilish track record of his Simpson's counterpart Joe Quimby. The longtime mayor of Springfield has unabashedly admitted to fraud, taking extended European vacations, and hunting down his enemies on the taxpayers' dime. But Giuliani is decidedly Quimby-esque in his love of the spotlight.
Bleeding Gums Murphy/Jimmy McMillan
Jimmy "The Rent is Too Damn High" McMillan parlayed his New York gubernatorial bid into a musical career. If he releases an album with a title half as inspired as "Sax on the Beach" like Lisa Simpson's jazz hero Bleeding Gums Murphy, the likeness is impeccable.
Chief Wiggum/Newt Gingrich
As longtime head of the Springfield Police Department, Chief Wiggum has years of crime-fighting (and even more so, ineptitude) under his belt. But you can't blame the guy for trying. Wiggum's repeated slip-ups haven't prevented the earnest officer from charging on, a quality Jon Stewart <a href="http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-18-2011/fast-dive" target="_hplink">recently identified</a> in Newt Gingrich. If only Newt had a son half as funny as Ralph Wiggum, we'd want to keep him around.
Milhouse Van Houten/Tim Pawlenty
Milhouse' soft-spoken nature has made him an easy target for schoolyard bullies as well as his best friend Bart, earning him the title of "little wiener" from Homer. But that seems like a generous insult considering the names being thrown at the mild-mannered Tim Pawlenty. A recent article in <em><a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/06/so-what-if-tim-pawlenty-is-boring/240462/" target="_hplink">The Atlantic</a></em> argued "the case for electing a bland, uncharismatic president in 2012," and in response to the hints Pawlenty posted on his members-only Facebook page before announcing his candidacy, the folks over at <a href="http://wonkette.com/440978/tim-pawlenty-about-to-officially-announce-hes-boring" target="_hplink">Wonkette</a> wrote "Here's something that's not a secret: Tim Pawlenty is still calling himself 'T-Paw' to pretend he's a real human being with a real personality who people care enough about to give a nickname."
Troy McClure/Mitt Romney
"Hi, I'm Mitt Romney. You may remember me from such GOP primaries as the ones I won in 2008 and the ones I didn't win in 2008." Romney appears to currently be the frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination, but one gaffe could result in hosting filmstrips and after-school specials for the rest of his life like his kindred spirit Troy McClure. But as long as Romney avoids a fish fetish (like McClure), we think he'll be fine.
Blue Haired Lawyer/Paul Ryan
The Blue Haired Lawyer has shown up many times on "The Simpsons" over the years, usually as an attorney for Mr. Burns. Cold, calculating and fierce in the courtroom, the Blue Haired Lawyer would make a great chairman of the House Budget Committee. And with Rep. Ryan's eyes being the same color as the lawyer's hair, it's a match made in bureaucratic heaven.
Luigi Risotto/Herman Cain
By now, many know Herman Cain's unusual backstory; before throwing his hat into the election ring, the GOP frontrunner worked for Coca-Cola, Pillsbury, and other food companies before becoming CEO of Godfather's Pizza. It seems "The Simpsons" predicted such a tale: Springfield's resident pizza man Luigi Risotto was revealed to serve on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association when he's not making pies.
Superintendent Chalmers/Chris Christie
It's not difficult to imagine how Springfield's dogmatic school Superintendent Gary Chalmers would react to the news that a public servant--New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for example--had arrived to his son's baseball game <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/02/chris-christie-helicopter_n_870325.html" target="_hplink">via helicopter</a>. But for all his strict enforcement of school rules, the militant Chalmers has been known to make some pretty bad decisions himself, like replacing Principal Skinner with Ned Flanders. It still remains to be seen, however, whether Christie's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/11/chris-christie-schools_n_875262.html" target="_hplink">controversial plans</a> for education reform will transform New Jersey public schools into--as Chalmers puts it--"a hell of a toboggan ride!"