Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Red Smoke, Black Smoke

When a pope is being elected, the ballots are counted and burned. They are fried dry, producing white smoke if a winner is found; with a little water to make black smoke for "nobody at this time." As some reporter at the Vatican, during such a time, observed during a long, and perhaps contentious, election: "There is no such thing as gray smoke."

But why not Red or Blue smoke from the White House? Tim Russert made up the color-party connection while he was covering the 2000 presidential election and it stuck. So let’s cut out all the speculation, the intense speculative programming wipe-out stuff the networks feed us in favor of the ages-old Papal practice.

The White House will announce the victors in the manner that the Vatican indicates we have a new Pope: Colored smoke from a special chimney.

Blue smoke = Democrat. Red smoke = Republican. Gray smoke = Third party. Simple as that; we can watch our regular programs on election night and, after all the country has had a chance to vote (with early hours for Hawaii and California), the networks switch to The Chimney Which Smokes.

Breathlessly, the commentators watch as the floodlights show whether or not Barack Obama wins a second term, his competition will be President, or whoever leads in the third party race gets elected. Of course, the ACLU will object, but we’re not establishing a church; just copying an idea that’s worked for a long time.