Friday, April 10, 2009

Bobcast: The Phantom Red 17

Latest Bobcast is up. Listen here or read below.

The 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate contains an amusing scene involving a U.S. senator clearly modeled on real-life red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

In the movie, a fictional senator, John Iselin, is having a hard time remembering the precise number of commies who have infiltrated the U.S. government. He begs his wife/adviser for "one, real, simple number that'd be easy for me to remember."

As the senator picks up a bottle of Heinz 57 Tomato Ketchup, Mrs. Iselin has an idea.

Cue the senator addressing his colleagues from the floor of the Senate, "There are exactly 57 card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the Department of Defense at this time!"

No such easily understand reason is yet known for why Alabama congressman Spencer Bachus told a Trussville group Thursday that he knew of 17 socialists in Congress.

The Birmingham News quotes the congressman as saying, "Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists."

He named only one such colleague, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who identifies himself as a socialist.

It will be a shame if Bachus doesn’t follow up with names, or if the phantom 17 don’t all rise up on May Day. The only "17" we can think of carries painful memories for fans of Alabama football; it’s the amount of points the Crimson Tide scored in its 2009 31-17 bowl game loss to Utah.