U.S. presidential election jokes blanket Internet world


WASHINGTON, AFP

So, did you hear the one about the Supreme Court and the pregnant chads? To the candidates, the U.S. presidential election dispute is no laughing matter, but the Internet world can’t stop laughing. Humor Web site TheOnion.com topped its site Sunday with a “news brief” announcing that Democrat Al Gore had requested a recount of Saturday’s U.S. Supreme Court vote, which brought the recount of disputed Florida ballots to a screeching halt pending arguments from Republicans and Democrats Monday. “It is … in the best interest of our democracy for the U.S. Supreme Court to suspend judgment in this case until we can be absolutely certain that this court did, in fact, intend to rule in (George W.) Bush’s favor,” the faux Gore told the Web site. Jokes like this are running rampant on the Internet, which in recent weeks has been blanketed with jokes, cartoons and e-mail messages poking fun at Gore and his Republican opponent Bush, and chuckling over the 33 days of uncertainty that have followed the November 7 U.S. presidential election. How can the United States find out who its real president is? What will become of the Palm Beach County voters who cast their ballots for the “wrong” candidate? What are Bush and Gore really thinking? For these and other great election mysteries, Internet users, or netizens, are turning to their imaginations — and their computer mice — for answers. Kelly Wood-Mancha recommended on National Public Radio’s Web site that chads should be the final arbiter of the embattled election result. “I say we put (the candidates) in one of the Florida counting rooms, give them 60 seconds and, in the end, the man with the most ‘chads’ (the small pieces of paper that are supposed to separate from the punchcard ballot when votes are cast) wins.” “Contact Kofi Annan,” another netizen quipped, prescribing intervention from the secretary general of the United Nations as the cure for the ailing election. Meanwhile, humor Web site Fadetoblack.com turned to children to test just how confusing the Palm Beach County, Florida, ballot was, and it tracked their progress with photos. “It seems all of the children, with the exception of the three-year-old Colton, had absolutely no problems correctly finding and casting their vote,” the site proclaimed. Bush appears to be a favorite target of jokesters, who often like to paint him as a bumbling buffoon. Another netizen, in a make-believe statement by the Texas governor, wrote that he had just read something rather disturbing in the encyclopedia. “I was just over at Grolier’s site, reading up on being president,” the bogus Bush said, “and I saw in the last paragraph where it says ‘no president can be elected more than twice.’ Dang. I’ve already been elected twice in the past month, so I guess this’ll be my last term.” Another site asks Internet users to reply to a rather regal want ad: “The Bush-Cheney transition team is now accepting applications for jobs in the Bush administration.” Among the positions up for grabs: “president” and a corps of emergency physicians to attend to vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, who suffered a slight heart attack two weeks ago — his fourth. “How many Bushes does it take to win an election?” another netizen asks. “Three: one to run (junior), one to vote (senior) and one to certify the election (Jeb).” “Why end it?” another wired wit queried. “It’s considerably better for the country than one of the two likely possible outcomes.”