Professional hilarious comedian and comedy writer Richard Cohen has written one of his signature high-concept columns about the New York Senate race. He starts off real funny-like: “Let me introduce myself. I am Harold Gillibrand or maybe I’m Kirsten Ford, a blending of the Democrats who want to be the next elected senator from New York.” “Harold Gillibrand”! Yo, who ordered wordplay with a side of regular words? It’s as if, by way of explaining Harold Ford’s pro-life stance, Cohen were to insist that Ford is actually pro-Life, like Life magazine, which he of course does just a few paragraphs later.
Here is Richard Cohen, pretending to be the hybrid “Harold Gillibrand,” half-human, half-laughter:
I was pro-life when I was a congressman from Tennessee, but I am now pro-choice. This is not because I moved from Tennessee to New York, but because the moral, ethical and practical issues have changed in such fundamental ways in the past couple of weeks that it takes someone who thinks outside the box to fully understand them. When I said I was pro-life, I was referring to the old Time Inc. picture magazine. Some people are pro-People and some people are pro-Sports Illustrated and I am pro-Life. I think the American people are with me on this.
Of course this horrendously executed metaphor is only tenable for one, two sentences tops and the entire column degenerates into Cohen culling clauses of totally oscillating degrees of relevancy from alternating Wikipedia pages—which is to say, like any other Richard Cohen column.
I am 43, but I used to be younger. I am 39, but promise to get older. I am woman (hear me roar) and I am man. That’s just the way things turned out. I am black. I am white. If you want me to be the other way around, I’ll gladly appoint a study commission. I am my own person. No one controls me. I vote my conscience. Also my district. Luckily, my conscience tells me to vote my district.
I know what you’re thinking: I have no mind of my own. I change with the wind. But how about you? You always tell the boss when he’s an idiot? You always tell the customer he’s wrong? You always tell your spouse the truth and always speak up in staff meetings even if you know what you’re going to say is unpopular? I thought not. Vote for one of us, either Harold Gillibrand or Kirsten Ford. We’re the same person. In fact, we’re you.
You are Richard Cohen, Senator from New York, is the takeaway of this professional journalist’s column for the Washington Post.