Comic Palimpsests: The Return (aka “Retribution”) of Spiro Agnew

“I’ll get even with all those people who chanted, “Spiro, Spiro, you’re such a zero.”

Whatever vinyl comedy record had that satirical barb of the then vice-president, Spiro Agnew, long ago found its way to some used record store. I certainly don’t remember which comedian might have mincingly uttered that line. There were several comedians whose political material was released on albums in the early 1970s, and perhaps I could track down my epigraph if I had the time and money. I have located a starting point in an on-line article about recorded political comedy during Nixon’s Reign of Error:

The Five: Five Albums That Tried to Destroy Richard Nixon

In looking back at the past eight years, I’m surprised at how little commentary has focused on the parallels between another current presidential candidate who has promised “retribution” and the political demagoguery of Spiro Agnew. While Roy Cohen was an early mentor of Donald Trump, Cohen was not a social climber whose goal was being publicly fawned over by an adoring public. Trump on the other hand, could not have as a young man not noticed how effective taunting language is in gaining an audience that is waiting for the right person to elect as dictator.

Agnew had the additional disadvantage of looking like a “pol.” He had even less sense of sartorial style than Richard Nixon. Now I’m not claiming that Trump was already thinking of running for political office when he was in his mid-20s. How could he not have compared himself to someone like Agnew and quickly concluded that if someone as bland as Agnew could get serious mileage out of “nattering nabobs of negativity,” how much more could he attain, given that young Donald saw himself as full of the “rip” of wealth and looks?

It’s a grim situation. What kind of choice is it when one is asked for vote for either for the father of Hunter Biden or the father of Erik Trump?

Is this the only choice this nation has in voting for a first family? I’ve never written the word before in my blog, but “dispirited” is the only thing that comes to mind.

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