Special US dispatch: Republican Party Pancake Breakfast, Brunswick, Ohio
294 Pearl Road
In which The London Review of Breakfasts officially endorses a candidate for the next President of the United States of America
by T.N. Toost
The weather that day was sunny and pleasant and warm. My breakfast companion, Rose, came over and we got on the motorway, and 45 minutes later we were climbing up a hill into blackness.
"Do you see that?" she asked. Around us was bright sun, but straight ahead of us looked like Mordor, and under the storm clouds you could see the atmospheric disturbance that indicated rain.
"This is such an omen," she said.
Sure enough, the center of the very real storm was the Brunswick field in which we were to have breakfast with Mitt Romney in the first and only of the London Review of Breakfasts' 'Breakfast with the Candidates'. We parked and, trying to stay dry, walked arm-in-arm under an umbrella to the entrance, where your correspondent was given a cursory pat-down by the Secret Service and waved in with a smile. "Thank you, Mr. Toost," the greeter said, and, to see what it was to be normal Americans, we then sat down amongst the masses at long, wet folding tables.
The talk around us was, of course, about politics. "Socialist" was tossed around like a baseball, as was "Un-American," "Kenya," "Fascist," and, most commonly, "scary."
Rose couldn't help herself: "What the fuck are they talking about? Do they honestly believe this shit?" It provided me the perfect opportunity to kiss her in the name of our personal safety, a strategy I commend to all men.
The announcement came over the loudspeaker: please form lines for pancakes. People moved like automatons into position, snaking around the perimeter. We joined. We waited. Blonde children played in puddles while their parents talked with friends. Smiling youths waited behind stainless steel serving trays, each holding stainless steel tongs, and deposited two pancakes on each of our plates. Then we were directed to other tables, with weak coffee, reconstituted orange juice, butter, sugar syrup and nothing else.
That was the kind of breakfast the Republican party provided for your correspondent. Not even a sad rasher of bacon.
The pancakes themselves were abysmal - so dry, mealy and flavorless that the syrup was sucked in like droplets of water in the Saharan sands and the butter sat cloyingly on top, not even having the decency to melt. The coffee and the orange juice were little more than flavored water, just at different temperatures. Around us, people seemed annoyed, but focused - they weren't there to eat so much as to be angry together.
The speakers were not eloquent. They were not engaging. They were bitterly angry, and unashamedly racist, and they gave voice to the masses, who answered their rallying cries with guttural, simian moans. Joshua Mandel, a particularly malodorous career politician now running for the Senate, was representative of their ilk - a stump speech wherein he claimed simultaneously to be an independent political outsider, yet fiercely and consistently loyal to the Republican Party; to be a Washington outsider going for one of the plushest Washington jobs next to Supreme Court justice; to be a political neophyte running on his experience. Unsurprisingly, his blatant hypocrisy was missed by the crowd. Just days earlier, he had adopted a false Southern accent in his speeches in order to sound more country and not like the product of a wealthy suburban family, and it was on full display here.
Apocalyptic gusts of rain and wind washed over the crowd, Romney was late, and even the politicians had run out of things to say. Children cowered under the tables while their parents, deprived of a central figure on stage, ceased their baying and waited anxiously. An emcee urged the crowd to be patient, as the campaign bus was almost with us, and then the microphones fell silent. Grumbling spread, but not against the candidate - against the weather, against the Democrats, and against comrade Obama for causing it to rain as part of his master plan to destroy the country.
Finally, Rose could not take it anymore. We left. On the way out, one of the secret service guards looked at us with what I thought was a touch of envy. He, performing his duty, was stuck to his post whereas we were free to escape for something better. He had to stay and listen to the drivel, the lies and the false promises and trickery of the Grand Old Party, whereas we could escape. The most he could hope for would be cold, dry pancakes, whereas we were free to find better fare elsewhere.
And, my dear friends, if you are able to vote in the American election next week, we urge you to do better than breakfast with, or vote for, the Republican party.
Since at least 2008, Americans have relied on the London Review of Breakfasts to make important political decisions for them based on which party would best preserve and provide breakfast in their great nation. It is for this reason that we have decided to endorse President Barack Obama for a second term. As we have seen firsthand, the Republican idea of breakfast does not comport with the grandness of the American dream and vision. We were promised a hearty breakfast and were instead given nothing but lukewarm batter and watered-down beverages. Their idea of breakfast has no room for meats, for eggs, for fresh juice or decent coffee, much less a nice cup of tea. Their idea of breakfast is hard tack, and they expect that you will enjoy it and appreciate it. They talk a nice talk, but the reality of their breakfast policies stands in stark contrast to their rhetoric.
This is not enough for these United States. Reagan famously said that it was morning in America, and here at the London Review of Breakfasts, when it is morning anywhere in the world we demand breakfast - and not just breakfast but a better breakfast. Obama, while nowhere near perfect, inherited a floundering economy and an unstable geopolitical atmosphere wherein many people were unable to provide even cereal for their families. While his record is inconsistent, he has at least shown that he can get a better breakfast on more tables than his opposition. For that he deserves a second term.