Quayle 2K
The method to Dan's madness
Published September 17, 1999 in Dirt

After his strikingly poor showing in the Iowa straw poll last month, many political observers wonder how Dan Quayle can stay in the Republican presidential race. His blandness, his supply-side economics, his obvious inanity, all seem so 1991, so out-of-step with the hard-nosed policy debate that has come to define the 2000 election.

But GettingIt has learned there is a method to the madness of Quayle 2000: even if it is a quixotic, idiotic method that confuses fiction and reality. As his journal entries prove, when a man believes in himself, there's no telling how far he might go.

Dear Diary, 
I haven't been keeping up with my journal each day like I should, but I'm going to force myself to write every night before bed, so that history will have a daily record of the daily events of Quayle 2000.
I'm actually feeling a little tired right now, so I'm going to rest for a second and finish up this entry a litle la--

Dear Diary, 
It looks like I missed a few days again. This time I swear that I'm going to finish an entry before I fall asl--

Dear Dairy, 

Dear Diary,
I talked it over with Marilyn and she thought I might have better luck with my diary if I wrote first thing in the morning rather than late at night when I'm too tired. That way, if I think of a bright idea, we can have my campaign manager Kyle incorporate it into my daily campaign speech later in the day. Neat!

1) I'm hungry. 
2) Odd tingling sensation in left foot. 

Dear Diary, 
I've been thinking a lot about Columbine lately and how those innocent kids got mowed down with TEC-9s and homemade bombs and had a sudden thought: Could prayer have made a difference? Just wondering.

Dear Diary, 
My campaign manager Kyle's been telling me that Quayle 2000 is lagging a little bit in the polls. George W. Bush has about 31 percent of Republican voters, Forbes has 18 percent, and I'm just a bit behind with about 0.8 percent. I said that I was upset and that I wanted results, but Kyle said not to worry and that once my message gets across, people would respond. That made me feel a lot better.

Mental note: Find out what my message is.

Dear Diary,
I've talked it over with Marilyn and Kyle, and I now remember that I stand for increased defense spending, a flatter tax structure, and less environmental regulation. Unfortunately, it looks like the other Republicans stand for exactly the same things, so distinguishing my message from that of my opponents may be a little difficult. I suggested to my campaign manager Kyle that we offer free chocolate milk to my supporters, but he didn't look super impressed.

Dear Diary,
We've hired a media consultant named Chuck Lessing to help us kickstart the campaign and maybe break us into single digits before the upcoming Iowa straw poll. Chuck said we're fighting the way the liberal media has depicted me as "slow" just because I pulled a C average in college and made a few some numerous misstatements during the '88 campaign.

Dear Diary,
It's the eve of the big Iowa straw poll, and boy am I excited! With all of my hard campaigning around Iowa, the broad appeal of my message, and the killer media push, I'm hoping for a huge bounce in the polls tomorrow.

Dear Diary,
Fuck this shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! I hate G.W. Bush and his whole fucking family. I never wanted to be a politician! I'm happiest when I'm in the kitchen! But my goddamn old man and his big ide-

Hello, this is Marilyn Quayle writing. Dan is a little upset right now because he had hoped to place higher in the Republican straw poll yesterday. However, those of us who love him think he just needs to calm down right now and that the American people will respond once his message gets out there.

Dear Diary,
It's been two weeks since I've written, but it feels like much longer. In many ways, a lifetime has passed since the straw poll. There have been changes afoot for me. I am no longer the whipping boy, the buffoon, the national schmuck, the global village idiot. Q2K just took it to a whole new level.

Dear Diary,
I'm not proud to admit that I let myself get pretty depressed after the straw poll thing. I basically stopped campaigning and spent my time sitting around in my underwear eating Jello salad and watching Days.

A few days ago Marilyn finally got fed up with me and said I had to go out during the day and do something. So I figured, fuck it, I'll stop watching a little screen and go out to the Cineplex and watch a big screen.

I had first heard about The Matrix from Al Gore, of all people, who said that the violence wasn't objectionable because it made sense within the context of the story.

Imagine my initial shock and disgust. Particularly after the scene in which a pair of youths with multiple submachine guns (clearly not purchased for recreational use) enter a building and begin killing security guards and various other members of the law enforcement community.

But as I sat there alone in the darkened theater, the whole thing suddenly began to seem real. I realized that the "police officers" in The Matrix are just computerized illusions created by the machines that have enslaved the human race and are slowly sucking us dry of our energy. And I thought to myself 'Good God man, what if that's what's happened to our society? Have vicious androids taken over the human race and created a seamless but completely false cultural façade?

What if they're only trying to placate us while they ruthlessly root out and destroy the last free-thinking independent individuals such as myself? Maybe that's why people like Letterman and Dan Rather and Eleanor Clift and those black people that I tried to talk to in Watts after the L.A. riots were so mean to me, they're trying to stall me and crush my spirit while the invulnerable Agents come to shoot me down!'

When I walked outside, I was feeling dazed, but for the first time in my life, my eyes were wide open.

I drove straight to the mall and slept in my car so that I'd be there right when the gun store opened the next morning. And ever since I've been working tirelessly to develop my kung-fu and computer programming skills.

Dear Diary,
I'm back. Enthused. Running eight miles each morning. Eating five meals a day. Have obtained an entire rack of form-fitting active wear.

This entry will be short. I'm late for an afternoon abs class. But first, I offer a message in the hope that other human eyes might one day read these words. All the other candidates, like Bill Bradley, Al Gore, G.W. Bush, and particularly Steve Forbes, are death, the synthetic avatars of the evil masters who yearn only to bathe the streets in our blood. If you choose to be destroyed, you have a multitude of options. But, if you seek the truth, there is only one choice.

If you seek the One, the true visionary who'll overthrow the repressive established order, lift the veil from the eyes of humanity, and usher in a new world of sorrow and unrelenting war against the forces that enslave us, vote for me. If you have the courage to believe, then maybe I'll see you in the Matrix.

See also...
... in the Dirt section
... from September 17, 1999


By Andrew Rosenblum
Andrew writes about music for
Mother Jones, has served as an assistant producer for NPR's "Jazz From Lincoln Center," and is a first-year graduate student at UCLA.