“Old Man Fibber”: GOP Healthcare

Political parody is a dicey proposition; often it’s not funny and falls flat on its face. But this parody of “Old Man River” by satirist Roy Zimmerman, which makes fun of Mitch McConnell and TrumpCare, is pretty damn good:

h/t: Lesley


  1. rebeccarosenlum
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Superb!! Where did this come from? It’s pure genius.

    On Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 12:30 PM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Political parody is a dicey proposition; often > it’s not funny and falls flat on its face. But this parody of “Old Man > River”, making fun of Mitch McConnell and TrumpCare, is pretty damn good: > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLvw4Wo_QZM h/t: Lesley” >

    • Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I forgot to give the satirist’s name; I’ve added it and a link to the original post.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Good one. Over the past couple years, my feelings about Sen. McConnell have moved steadily from general disdain to outright contempt. He plays the political game mean & dirty. A statesman, he is not.

    As someone from Ohio originally, I perhaps harbor certain negative stereotypes about Kentuckians. But back in college, when you were dating a girl from the Bluegrass state, and it came time to cross the river to meet her ‘rents, Mitch McConnell is the type of pinched, closed-minded son-of-a-bitch you hoped her dad didn’t turn out to be.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      My feelings towards this despicable human being mimic yours. I can hardly stand looking at him, let alone listening to his nasally southern drawl.

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink


    I really don’t get how healthcare is approached in the US. Years of conditioning has got tens of millions believing that the system there is better than that of every other developed nation.

    In the meantime, in every other developed country we live longer, health costs us less, and everyone is covered. The economic benefits are huge, wages go up because the cost of health insurance isn’t included in negotiations, the work force is more dynamic, and so much more.

    There are so many benefits to single-payer healthcare, and so many are so brainwashed they are incapable of seeing them.

    • Grania Devine
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      I know!!! As a Canadian, I don’t get it either. I really don’t understand what Americans have against single payer, progressive-tax funded health care. For EVERYONE.

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        In a word, Socialism.

        That’s your Communist, cold war Socialism. Americans fought against it in North Korea and they fought against it in Vietnam. It’s why God gets mentioned on the money and in the Pledge.

        Now if only God could save America from the Russian cyber warriors and their minion.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          “Socialism” has a stigma to it in the US going back to the Cold War. It’s the slander the Right has used against every piece of progressive policy to come down the pike, from Social Security and Medicaid to pro-collective-bargaining legislation and the minimum wage. Democrats have run from it since the second Red Scare, when anyone to the left of hot-buttered toast was in danger of being hauled before HUAC or Joe McCarthy’s committee to name names and have their own tacked to a blacklist.

          The “socialist” stigma has been the primary impediment to single-payer health care, and it’s what likely cost Bernie the Democratic nomination last year.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            Yes, but unless stigma means the same thing as stupidity there is a lot more to it than the dirty S word. The democrats could help themselves just a tiny bit if they would speak up and start educating the stupid. It’s a very big job for sure but start by saying it was the democrats that brought you social security and that was way before the cold war. They also brought you Medicare with only protest yet again from the republicans. So tell us today republicans – how about losing both of those things as well – just keep not voting or voting for republicans you you will get there.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Also, USians don’t do much international traveling and aren’t taught much about other countries, so most think America is the BEST in every way. Since we’re not taught civics anymore, and FOX propaganda has been poisoning the airwaves for over two decades, the idea of “we’re all in this together” is a thing of the past. (Obviously other factors are at work re. our stupidity.) We’re a sad country going backward while the rest of the developed and civilized world is quickly moving past us, thank you very much.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        I see the same thing re democracy. The US did this great thing more than 200 years ago, but they’ve barely changed anything since. Most call themselves “the greatest democracy” without realizing that dozens of other countries have not only caught up, but surpassed them with the system they use.

        There is, for example, no other developed country where the government gets shut down and stops paying its staff.

        Gerrymandering doesn’t happen in most other developed countries either, but is a plague in the US.

        • Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          An Australian perspective:

          We could debate the relative merits of the Australian and New Zealand voting systems, but I’m sure we’d both agree they’re both better than the US. And the thing that gets me is that a key feature of the Australian system, single transferable vote, was invented in the United States. But for some reason they don’t use it.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted June 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            We use STV for some things, but not national elections.

            And yeah, I agree – both our systems, though very different, are better than the US. Personally I prefer ours of course! However one of the more significant things is we both have independent electoral commissions whose job includes settings electoral boundaries. If only the US could do that it would make a big difference.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, the Okie-from-Muskogee ethos still runs strong in the American mindscape.

  4. nwalsh
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Right on Heather.

  5. Mark Perew
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Something tells me that Paul Robeson would approve of this adaptation.

    • Mike
      Posted June 26, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Yes he would, the great man believed in Socialism, but he got conned by the Soviets into thinking they were practising Socialism, while in reality it was State Capitalism.

  6. nwalsh
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Excellent video. I always thought Jon Stewart did the best impersonation of Mitch.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Funny and oh so true!

  8. Historian
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely brilliant! I had not heard of Roy Zimmerman before, but I look forward to hearing more of his work.

    McConnell is very low key, but he is smarter and more dangerous than Trump. His years in the Senate have proven how vile he is. As this article in the New Republic puts it:

    ” While the majority leader doesn’t crave attention, he does care deeply about a specific policy agenda: advancing the plutocratic preferences of the Republican party’s donor class. Infinitely more knowledgeable than Trump about how government functions, McConnell subverts norms with a laser-like focus on advancing that agenda. His authoritarianism, in other words, is one of procedure.”


  9. bric
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Mitch McConnell Refused to Meet With Group That Funded His Polio Recovery

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 3:34 am | Permalink

      Is there no end to Republican hypocrisy?

      • rickflick
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 5:21 am | Permalink

        Let’s hope we don’t ever have to find out.

  10. mfdempsey1946
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Well, maybe this parody is funny.

    But I’d rather not hear it.

    Linking the grimly repellent Mitch McConnell to Paul Robeson’s majestic rendition of “Ol’ Man River” in the 1936 film of “Showboat”, even in a piece of sharp, accurate satire, might somehow pollute the song in the way that McConnell and his mob, particularly the Trump creature he pretends to worship for his own corrupt purposes, are polluting the US, very likely irreparably.

    Besides, since my childhood “fibber” has connoted only a child who tells tiny, harmless falsehoods, not the grotesque out-and-out nonstop lies of the McConnell crowd.

    • Mark Perew
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Robseon himself adapated the lyrics of Old Man River to highlight the plight of African Americans.

      Original lyrics to the bridge:
      Tote that barge, lift that bale,
      you get a little drunk
      And you land in jail

      As sung by Robeson in other non-show venues:
      Tote that barge, lift that bale,
      you get a little up
      And you land in jail

      A black person need not get inebriated to run afoul of the law. They merely need not be sufficiently obsequious. A situation which has not changed.

      In light of that use by Robeson, this modern adaptation deserves some praise and support.

  11. toni j.
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Outstanding!! Good, old-fashioned stinging satire.

  12. Randy schenck
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The whole business is not about health care anyway; it is a further distribution of wealth to the wealthy. The system pasted together that is currently in place is somewhat played out because it was poorly done and never properly fixed. As long as the U.S. is going to attempt to prop up the health care insurance business the people will have very expensive, lousy care, if they have any at all. If the party of wealth does get this done, it will allow many to drop the lousy coverage they have now and take nothing. Just use the emergency rooms at the hospital as usual and put it on everyone’s tab. Mich and the boys in DC will still have their first class coverage at minimal cost, that is the important thing.

    It’s kind of ironic in a way – the young folks, you know the ones that vote less than almost all other age groups — they will someday wish they had paid attention when all this went down.

  13. rickflick
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I’ve enjoyed Roy’s great satire for a long time. This is one of his best. He’s very clever. Check out his wonderful history of songs.

  14. KiwiInOz
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, etc, etc, but Mitch looks the epitome of odious.

    Count me in as another person who doesn’t understand why the US plebs don’t rise up against the plutocrats that milk the joint.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 3:40 am | Permalink

      I dunno, to me he always looks more like a kindly old, doting grandfather. Which makes his heartlessness seem all the more insidious.

  15. Dale Franzwa
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Marvelous satire! For those of you who don’t understand US politics, just realize we’re still fighting the Civil War. Slavery, per se, is not the issue anymore but “civil rights” broadly interpreted is: the right to universal healthcare being just one issue.

  16. Bob Barber
    Posted June 26, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    It just keeps giving.

  17. Diane G.
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 3:41 am | Permalink


    “Wealthcare”–a meme in dire need of spreading!

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