Commentary

The GOP is now the Grand Old Potato Head Party

April 30, 2021 12:44 pm

Photo by Steven Miller | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In the wake of the recent uproar by GOP leaders over Hasbro’s decision to  add a gender-neutral Potato Head to its traditional Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toy collection, Mr. Head has apparently found a new vocation moonlighting as a high-dollar consultant for Republican politicos.

Arizona Mirror Columnist, playwright and occasional satirist James E. Garcia caught up with Mr. and Mrs. Head this week outside of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, where volunteers for the Republican Party were conducting a controversial audit of Maricopa County 2020 election ballots. 

Sources familiar with the thinking of Republican National Committee, but asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media, readily acknowledged that Head was hired by the GOP in large part because of his celebrity status, though they quickly added party leaders have been pleasantly surprised with Head’s innate and deep-rooted political savvy, and how good he tastes in beef stew.

The following is a transcript of Garcia’s exclusive interview with Head. 

GARCIA: Mr. Head —

HEAD: Please, call me Potato. Or Potty. My mom called me Potty.

GARCIA: I just stick with Mr. Head. 

HEAD; Have it your way.

GARCIA: Well, where to begin. I’m just going to dive right in.

HEAD: Be my guest.

GARCIA: Let’s start with how you went from celebrity tuber status, if you will, to joining the Republican brain trust.

HEAD: What can I say? When the cancel culture crowd tried to make diced tater tots out of me, the party had my back. Let’s just say I’m returning a favor. 

GARCIA: I assume your presence in Arizona this week shows how much confidence the GOP has in your advice?

HEAD: Bingo! Think of me as the James Carville of the GOP, but with more hair and more eyes.

GARCIA: I get that. Mr. Head, I understand you supported the Capitol insurrectionists.

HEAD: I call the term patriots. 

GARCIA: I guess I’m asking if you’re thinking of resorting to violence here if you don’t get your way?

HEAD: I like to keep the media guessing, but let’s just say I’ve been known to mash a few heads together now and then.

GARCIA: About the ongoing audit of Maricopa County’s ballots. Is it true you personally recruited Cyber Ninjas?

HEAD: I had a hand in the decision.

GARCIA: Which raises a question: I notice your hands and arms are white, but your head’s brown. What’s that about?

HEAD: I’m glad you asked. As a lifelong Republican, I hate when folks claim the GOP is lily white.

GARCIA: Not true?

HEAD: Hell, no. We’re as diverse as America and apple pie. Look at who’s a Republican these days. We’ve got Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, and, and what’s his name who ran Trump’s Housing Department — 

GARCIA: Ben Carson.

HEAD: Right. And there’s Kanye, although we don’t actually claim him anymore since he’s gone a little wacko. And Jared, Trump’s son-in-law, is a Jew. And what about that Latino guy who owns the Anaheim Angels.

GARCIA: Arte Moreno. 

HEAD: He’s one bad hombre. And, of course, there’s that bald guy Trump called My African American.

GARCIA: I understand he quit the Republian Party, and might have voted for Biden.

HEAD: Good riddance! Who needs him anyway when the party has me?

GARCIA: How do you mean? 

HEAD: If you haven’t noticed, I’m a walking, talking miracle of diversity: brown skin, white arms, pink ears, and if you squint really hard, my mustache makes me look Mexican. Go ahead, check me out on Ancestry.com. My ancestors were a regular kaleidoscope of starchy carbs: russet, red, white, yellow, blue, purple.

GARCIA: I had no idea. 

HEAD: That my heritage was so diverse?

GARCIA: No, that potatoes came in so many colors.

HEAD: That’s the problem. It’s time the media got woke!

GARCIA: Let’s switch gears. What’s your advice to the GOP on Congressman Matt Gaetz.

HEAD: Dump him! The man’s head’s gotten too big for britches!

GARCIA: Bigger than yours?

HEAD: You got me there.

GARCIA: He does have the ear of the former president.

HEAD: Keep him!

GARCIA: What about the allegations of sexual misconduct?

HEAD: Dump him!

GARCIA: But he hasn’t been formally charged.

HEAD: Keep him! . . . Just don’t let him near Mrs. Head. 

GARCIA: Back to the audit. Has Cyber Ninjas uncovered any evidence of voter fraud in Arizona?

HEAD: Does a potato have eyes?

GARCIA: Not sure what that— 

HEAD: Let me spell it out for you, my chubby Latinx compadre

GARCIA: Could you please not— 

HEAD: Why do you think we hired Cyber Ninjas in the first place? 

GARCIA: Because the Ninja Turtles were booked? 

HEAD: No! They weren’t booked, but they are all Democrats. And I’m pretty sure half of them are Chinese. You know how Trump feels about the Chinese. But think about it: Cyber Ninjas have no experience counting ballots, know nothing about Arizona state election laws, and as far as they’re concerned, QAnon created heaven and earth, Adam and Eve, Ted Nugent and the Republican Party all in one fell swoop. Then, on the seventh day, Ted Cruz flew them to Cancun!

GARCIA: Shouldn’t all of that disqualify them?

HEAD: Are you loco?!

GARCIA: Again with the faux Spanish. 

HEAD: What I’m telling you is there’s been so much damned fraud here that even the yahoos from Cyber Ninjas will find it.

GARCIA: Not sure I get the logic. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs— 

HEAD: Who’s a Democrat.

GARCIA: Yes, she is a Democrat. She says the claims by your party and the Cyber Ninjas about widespread voter fraud, without a shred of evidence, are undermining voter confidence here and across the country.

HEAD: She said that? 

GARCIA: Yes. 

HEAD: Well, all I can say is she must have something against my community.

GARCIA: Older white Republicans?

HEAD: No, brown vegetables. I hate to pull the tuber card, but isn’t it obvious? The woman hates potato skins. But I’ll have Ms. Hobbs and every other pinko lib from here to the Golden Gate Bridge know that my ancestors survived the Great Potato Famine, and we’re still standing. I take personal offense to any insinuation that Mrs. Head and I don’t have the same rights to cast a ballot as anyone else.

GARCIA: I understand. Mr. Head, I hate to have to ask you this but are you and Mrs. Head citizens?

HEAD: That’s it! This interview is over!

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

James E. Garcia
James E. Garcia

James E. Garcia is a Phoenix-based journalist, playwright and communications consultant. He is the editor and publisher of Vanguardia Arizona, which covers Latino news statewide, and the weekly newsletter Vanguardia America. As a journalist, he has worked as a reporter, columnist, editor and foreign correspondent. He was the first Latino Affairs correspondent for KJZZ, and the first Latino editor of major progressive news weekly in the U.S., The San Antonio Current. James has taught writing, ethnic studies, theater and Latino politics at ASU. He is the producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co. and the author of more than 30 plays.

MORE FROM AUTHOR