So, we all know by now that the President wasn’t at the top of his game at last night’s debate. He looked a tad preoccupied, almost as if he has been distracted from his campaign by running the United States of America ... Point is, there was a lot of slick talking and numbers slinging throughout the evening. Luckily, the debate was not for naught, because one candidate’s message was able to break through the fray of political double talk and one-liners, and this newly revealed platform has set the social media world aflame.
Mitt Romney, the voters have now learned, would kill Big Bird. That’s right, the Wall-Street-hardened business man has vowed to fire Big Bird in order to balance the budget.
“I’m sorry Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” Romney said, addressing the moderator, Jim Lehrer of PBS. “I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually [I] like you, too. But I'm not going to—I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That’s number one.”
Other conservatives quickly lined up behind their candidate, calling for the bird’s immediate financial independence.
“Big Bird needs to ask Dora the Explorer how she manages 2live without taxpayer money,” Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary, wrote on Twitter.
Some of those pesky post-debate fact-checkers (who make their meager living by leeching off the Governor’s words) have raised the concern that disposing of Big Bird will only save a tiny fraction of the budget, perhaps not enough to justify firing one of America’s most beloved oversized yellow fowl.
“Butting PBS support (0.012% of the budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500 Gig hard drive,”wrote astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. In fact, Big Bird’s financial footprint is even smaller. Last year, the Center for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS, used about 0.00014 percent of the federal budget.
Meanwhile, a groundswell of grassroots pro-Big Bird support has begun to sweep the internet. By the middle of the debate, there were about 17,000 Big Bird-related tweets per minute. Here’s a round-up of the best Big Bird propaganda. Whether it will be enough to save the fowl remains to be seen.
1. “Obama Got Bin Laden. I’ll Get Big Bird.”
Sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words.
2. Big Bird is part of “Romney’s 47 percent.”
Many proudly commented that Big Bird is part of the 47 percent, referring to Romney’s comment that 47 percent of the country that doesn’t pay federal income taxes and is such a dependent, immoral leech that will vote for Obama no matter what. The percentage has become a catalyzing identity for many of the nation’s economically disenfranchised in a way that is reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street’s 99 percent meme.
3. “I like Big Bird and I cannot lie.”
Big Bird’s got at least one high-powered supporter: God. Twitter user @theTweetOfGod, who commands 157,755 (religious) followers, wrote that He likes Big Bird and He cannot lie. His holy words are an allusion to the classic 90s Sir Mix-A-Lot song, “I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie,” which isn’t really all that holy of a song when you think about it.
4. "Herman Cain / Big Bird 2016"
A number of people pretending to be Big Bird weighed in, at one point announcing the fowl’s own presidential bid on twitter. His running mate: Romney’s ill-fated primary challenger: Herman Cain, whose numerous campaign scandals may make Cain the exact opposite creature of Big Bird himself. How’s that for a bipartisan ticket?
Other Big Bird supporters created the Big Bird for President Facebook page,
which already has nearly $7,000 likes and has, as of yet, spent no money on the campaign.
5. "Mitt Romney will end Burt and Ernie’s civil union"
It’s not all about Big Bird, after all. Romney was threatening to fire the whole cast, which could be a death blow to Burt and Ernie’s own economic stability. And, as if that’s not enough, Romney has also recently come out in opposition to Burt and Ernie’s idyll same-sex partnership.
"When these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender and I don't favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name," Romney said in an interview with KDVR-TV in Denver.
6. "Romney will fire Big Bird and Cookie Monster and replace them with the replacement refs"
Millions of children across the world have grown up watching Sesame Street because the muppet characters (along with the show’s expert writers) are professional educators. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not replaceable with any old Joe Schmoe in Romney’s mind. The country recently saw the disastrous effects of devaluing a professional labor group when the NFL locked out the referees’ union and attempted to replace the refs with non-professionals, leading to the ire of millions of football fans across the country. But perhaps these brave replacement refs would be better at teaching America’s future leaders the alphabet? There’s only one way to find out...
7. “My bed time is usually 7:45, but I was really tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7! Did I miss anything last night?”
As for the real Big Bird, he missed the entire fiasco last night. This morning, Sesame Street tweeted out that the bird fell asleep last night 45 minutes before his 7:45 bedtime and missed the entire debate. Just like during his time at Bain Capital, Romney likely won’t have the courage to tell the bird in person about his proposed lay offs. That’s what subordinates are for, after all.