Man. Just one political blog in, and I’m sure the blog-reviewing pundits are already hailing me the most effective commentator of all time. I’m speaking of course about last month’s article, in which I said that Mitt Romney was going to cinch the Republican’s nomination. This was a totally controversial view that obviously no one else in the entire news industry thought of, but my editor took a chance and printed it. I’m proud to have brought it up before the rest of the world, especially now that Rick Santorum has stepped down, thus practically guaranteeing the accuracy of my initial statement.

Yup. If you, like me, only get your news from me, you might have missed Tuesday’s big announcement that Santorum withdrew his campaign. It obviously was a painful decision for Santorum, who appeared in Gettysburg looking incredibly like Chevy Chase’s vintage Saturday Night Live impersonation of Gerald Ford, albeit with worse hair and slightly-less comedic potential. The photo in question headlines a slideshow on The New York Times website, which expresses Santorum’s sadness through dimly-lit images from the whole campaign. These include the former senator in a bowling alley, in front of claw machines, and holding an Etch-A-Sketch. Seriously, whoever’s been following Santorum on this campaign is practically an honorary member of the Instagram hipster community.

That claw machine must symbolize something, because it shows up not once, but twice. The possibility of Rick Santorum’s presidency is like that one Pepe the King Prawn doll you really wanted: though Pepe stares at you from beneath a pile of ugly bears, he constantly eludes your metal grip, no matter how many quarters you pump in. Claw machines: painful realizations for fans of Muppets from Space and social conservatives alike.

Yes, this decision must have been painful for all twelve of Santorum’s supporters, who are now going to have to hope that Mitt Romney ups his misogyny and racism from moderate to high. I kid, I kid! It’s certainly true that Santorum, by being less moderate than Romney, was able to rally some conservatives who aren’t going to be as excited about one of the kings of pandering. But seriously, you want to talk about unpopular candidates? Your candidate’s so unpopular, only four of his seven kids bothered to show up to his resignation!

Luckily, Santorum’s epic failure was in part alleviated by this week’s really big failer: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea to its friends.

(And yes, “failer” is a word. It means “one who fails,” and seems to have fallen out of use in the late 19th century. I’m bringing it back.)

North Korea, ever eager to appear legitimate among all those other countries that are capable of feeding at least half of their population, spent about one billion dollars making a rocket, under full realization that success with this venture would stop the United States from giving them further humanitarian aid. They knew it would make China and the UN angry, but they didn’t care. They called in reporters from around the world, despite a usual policy of isolation. They said the rocket was supposed to launch a satellite. Some speculated it was supposed to be part of a weapons program. I posit that it was the initiation of the world’s largest game of Gradius. But regardless of your bent for conspiracies, the rocket exploded in the costliest one billion dollar mess since Peter Jackson’s King Kong. And on the country’s founder Kim Il-sung’s birthday, too. Awkward.

So, as he moves out of the race and off to an inevitable future of lackluster political commentary, Kim Jong-un and I are here to remind Rick Santorum that things could’ve been much worse. Rick, your campaign budget may have been dwindling, and it all might have been for naught, but at least you can still eat at night. I might be relentlessly making fun of you one week after the fact, but at least it’s just some geeky writer and not the entire South Korean government. And of course, the reporters you invited to watch you fall aren’t going to expose your long history of incompetence. They just took photos of you with claw machines.


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