Katrina & The Waves – Walkin’ On Sunshine

This 1985 tune earns about $1 million per year in royalties for the band. You’ve heard it in movies like High Fidelity, American Psycho and Daddy Day Care. And on TV shows like The Gilmore Girls and The Drew Carey Show. If a program needs to emphasize some good feelings, this song is the go-to choice.

You can appreciate politicians would try to latch on to this poppy infectiousness.

Republican Michele Bachmann represented Minnesota from 2007-2015, in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is known as a Tea Party supporter. When campaigning for President in 2012, the politician played this song.

Katrina and her Waves objected! Did Michele even ask?

The band had other catchy tunes, but fall into the one-hit wonder category. Too, Bachmann dropped out of the presidential race, but has the distinction of being Minnesota’s first female federal Congresswoman, at least for her party.

Still, Tom Petty was not a fan of Bachmann, either: American Girl.

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Nas And Jay-Z – Black Republicans

Do rappers that make it big lose touch with the hood? Well, Jay-Z, a former narcotics trafficker, did some fund raising for President Barack Obama for the 2012 election. In this sense, perhaps wealth and fame does not necessarily make one a Republican.  You can take the boy out of the hood, but not the hood out of the boy, the saying goes.

But the tune is really by Nas, from 2006. It is more about two renowned rappers trading rhymes.

Nonetheless, the controversial title plays on the stereotype of the Republican Party being mostly composed of rich, white men that are not sensitive to the concerns of others at lower income levels and of a different race. It is certainly the case that the Republicans historically win the “white vote,” and further, that their inadequate support from non-Hispanics, in 2012, was one (of many factors) for Mitt Romney’s defeat. Given the declining white population in the US, the party will have to figure out how to better reach out to ethnic groups. It needs more Black Republicans (and Latino and Asian and so on).  It already makes many efforts with the best of intentions, but the pay off has not come to pass significantly enough to matter.

Ludacris – Politics (Obama Is Here)

“The world is ready for change, ‘cuz Obama is here,” raps Ludacris, looking forward to the first black president of the United States. This, back in the 2008 election year, captured some of the excitement among many Americans at this time. Mind you, the tune was also criticized for taking that jubilant mood too far.

Ludacris claims he is Obama’s favourite rapper, and “disses” the Democrat’s opponents quite harshly (hoping Republican contender John McCain would become paralyzed, that George W. Bush is mentally handicapped and even that Obama’s rival for his party’s top job, Hillary Clinton, is a “b**ch”). The rhymes about painting the White House black and that nooses won’t deter us, imply racism from whites that were not supporting Obama.

For all of this, Obama’s campaign denounced the song publicly. The Internet and blogosphere at the time debated whether the song would in fact help the Republicans, and also called to question the rap abilities of Ludacris.

Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever

Ted Nugent had a visit from the Secret Service in April 2012, after making comments about President Obama.

“We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” said the hard rocking guitar player, referring to Democrats, at a National Rifle Association event. Nugent also said that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, he would be “dead or in jail by this time next year.” Taken literally, the comments sound like a threat of violence, but the singer has since stated he was speaking figuratively.

Well, Cat Scratch Fever is a 1977 song from Ted Nugent, about a man that can’t control his sexual appetite. To many, with his Obama political rhetoric, the conservative activist and singer needs help controlling his mouth, too?

Another quote from the Republican party supporter, who has also considered running for Governor of Michigan: “”Obama’s a piece of s**t, and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” (source: Rolling Stone Magazine, 2007)

Perhaps you lament the divisive, polarized operation of American party politics. Do you long for a return to some mythical era of civil political discourse? It was probably never like you imagine (ummm, American Revolution and civil war…).

Besides, what a fool’s errand to look for leadership to Ted Nugent, a man that sings here about losing his virginity at age 10. Surely, dignity and decorum would be nice to see from politicians more often. But fans of the guitar hero don’t want him sipping chamomile tea and eating delicate little cucumber sandwiches.