The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Are you a solidly GOP kinda citizen, and can't stand the thought of dipping your french freedom fries in that Democratically-tinged Heinz? Now you have a choice of conservative ketchups: Bush Country Ketchup and W Ketchup.

They're not cheap, though: Comparably-sized bottles of both sell for about 5 times the price of regular ol' Heinz, and that's not counting the shipping and handling charge from ordering them online (pretty much the only way to get them). But I guess if you're Republican, you've got money to blow on premium condiments. Besides, a taste test among the three brands reveals that Bush Country is best experienced by the more refined palate.

I'm most amused by the in-party acrimony between the two ketchups:
Competitive capitalism is in the Republican spirit, of course. But the ketchup contest is turning into a food fight as the two companies snipe at each other over which is truly conservative.

Bush Country ketchup was founded by Patrick Spero and Christopher Cylke, a pair of Republican political activists in Washington.

Cylke is a staffer on the House Judiciary Committee, Spero a volunteer press secretary for congressional candidate Mike Jones of Massachusetts.

They formed their company in February and launched Bush Country on April 25. W ketchup launched June 11. Spero says, "They blatantly copied our idea."

But what really riles him, he says, is that W ketchup's founders "are shamelessly capitalizing on George Bush's middle initial while at the same time they refuse to offer any expression of support for the president on their Web page or product." Bush Country, he points out, is proudly dedicated to keeping Bush in the White House.

The "W" in W ketchup, Spero says, doesn't even stand for Dubya. It stands for Washington - and it's not clear whether that's George Washington or Washington, D.C.

"These guys should get out of the ketchup business and start making syrup," Spero says. "It will go perfectly with all the waffling they do."
As Election Day nears, it's been funny to read about all the references to John Kerry being the "Ketchup Candidate" and having his campaign fueled by his wife's "ketchup money". As though Bush's political machine isn't being greased (pun intended) by plenty of his family's oil money, among other interests.

You know what? I have absolutely no problem having a President in the White House who was helped there by "ketchup money". I'm fairly sure that a ketchup-backed candidate won't turn around and invade some country on false pretexts, with the true intention of securing its vast tomato crop resources.