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Monday Maul: Catfish Noodling Goes Horribly Wrong for Paul Ryan

Vin Paneccasio

ALONG THE RED RIVER, ON THE OKLAHOMA-TEXAS BORDER, IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE — A campaign event designed to showcase Paul Ryan’s relatability went horribly wrong today when the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee unknowingly picked a fight he couldn’t possibly win.

With time running out on the Republican Party’s hopes to wrest the keys to the Oval Office from President Obama’s sturdy grip, the Romney campaign appealed once more to the conservative base, as if convinced that the louder the cries of the mouth-breathing class the more of them would show up at the polls on November 6.

“For a Republican ticket that is ostensibly running on spread-sheet savvy to have no understanding whatsoever that they cannot possibly win without the support of independent voters is truly unbelievable,” Lawrence O’Donnell, the host of MSNBC’s The Last Word, said recently. “It is absolutely stunning how completely math illiterate the Romney-Ryan campaign is when it comes to the American electorate.”

For the Romney-Ryan ticket, the road to the Republican National Convention in Tampa was seemingly paved with banana peels. Their almost inconceivable inability to talk individually about anything substantive without sounding like Helen Keller at a spelling bee was lost on campaign advisers who might as well have been running a puppet show for methamphetamine addicts. Even Ryan’s mother, Betty Douglas, could see that her son and Romney had made total jackasses of themselves.

According to a Romney-Ryan campaign intern who spoke on condition of anonymity, “Ryan’s mom told us to show the world ‘who Paul really is.'”

It was at that point that boneheaded Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom sent Ryan to the vice presidential candidate’s ranch on the Oklahoma-Texas border for a photo-op the campaign hoped would prove to gullible, knuckle-dragging voters that Ryan was every bit the everyman they’d been waiting for.

“Our internal polling shows us that everyone in America despises Mitt Romney,” Fehrnstrom told Ryan, according to the above-mentioned intern. “And your numbers are headed in the same direction. Between the two of you, we’ve ceded every demographic to the Obama reelection campaign with the exception of the drooling class.”

With Romney looking like a bobblehead doll with Tourette’s syndrome every time he opened his mouth, the campaign brain trust in Boston decided it was time to listen to Ryan’s mother and stir the emotions of America’s bottom-feeders. And what better way to do that, Fehrnstrom and company believed, than to have Ryan do a little catfish noodling for the cameras. Ryan, after all, had been quoted by the Houston Chronicle as saying he’d fight for “a man’s right to catch a catfish with his own bare hands.”

After several days of “somewhat supporting” and “not necessarily supporting” Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) after the Republican Senate hopeful explained his views on women’s reproductive rights by way of his vast expertise in cases of “legitimate rape,” Romney was sent by his handlers to an undisclosed location in the south of France to masturbate to images of recently auctioned dressage horses.

With Romney temporarily out of the public eye, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters that “neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden understands anything about catfish noodling. Paul Ryan is serious about catfish noodling. He’s a true American Neanderthal and he’s going to prove it right now.”

Priebus told reporters to “watch and learn,” because Ryan would not be providing any “specific details” about how he learned to noodle or how he goes about noodling.

Priebus would not comment on reports that Americans for Prosperity had stocked America’s red-state rivers with massive, steroid-fed flathead catfish to capitalize on Ryan’s catfish noodling demonstration by luring new, dim-witted voters to the water’s edge.

But Ryan was in way over his head. No sooner had the window-licking vice presidential candidate plunged into the Red River with a syphilitic smile on his face than a totally ripped and bulked-up catfish shoved a fin down Ryan’s throat and asked, rhetorically, “How’s that P90X working for you now, tough guy?”

Priebus immediately smashed a photographer’s camera with a Ronald Reagan statuette and shredded a reporter’s notebook with his teeth. But the damage had been done.

While the Red River’s catfish population swam in synchronicity to the cathartic music of Rage Against the Machine, Fehrnstrom circled the wagons back in Boston and prepared to announce that George Zimmerman would replace Ryan as the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate.

Monday Maul cartoons are created for The Daily Maul by New York-based artist Vin Paneccasio. Providing a fix for your schadenfreude jones, while spiritually rewarding, can be physically and emotionally exhausting. You can keep us alert and fairly lucid by keeping us caffeinated. And you can support our work by visiting the Shopping Maul and getting yourself some schadenfreude-fantasy you can wear.


  1. Don wrote:

    I like the medieval era etchings showing people (probably sinners being punished for their wrong doings) being swallowed whole by giant catfish so I am sort of imagining the scene you painted so beautifully as a woodcut hanging on my wall.

    Friday, September 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  2. David Brensilver wrote:


    We are documenting history as we’d love to see it unfold. Perhaps I should commission a like-minded sculptor to re-imagine Mount Rushmore.


    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

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