Editors note: Today’s column is purely an imaginative work of political satire, mixing actual headline events of the day with invented consequences.
In what’s not just another case of reporting the flipping obvious, a battery of stunned scientists has found chimpanzees smarter than Washington, D.C., politicians of both major parties.
I always suspected as much.
Finally, hitherto-top secret documents reveal this unique study comparing the abilities of arguably human legislators, both Dumb-O-Craps and Repug-Nicans, to chimpanzees and orangutans. The biggest shock: 2-year-old hand-fed, homeschooled, potty-trained simians actually possess reasoning skills and social learning abilities far superior to the pols.
Buyers remorse, anyone?
In one such series of test challenges, politicians and apes were shown how to pop open a plastic tube to get food or a toy. Apes observed and imitated the solution, while politicians seemed mesmerized by a miniature battlefield with self-destructing toy soldiers. Momentarily, politicians attempted to smash open the tube or yank out the contents with their teeth, giving pause to their stunned inquisitors.. Clearly, researchers said, this presents a dramatic parallel to the disastrous, tragically destructive war in Iraq.
Scientists administered a battery of cognitive tests lasting three to five hours separately to 105 politicians from both major American political parties, 106 chimpanzees and 32 orangutans during two week-periods.
“Using these multiple assessments allows us to pinpoint similarities and differences between the species,” declared grinning researcher Dr. Hans Dratch.
Researchers believe their findings provide insight into the evolution of the political process as well as the perils of smug human cognition in an untenable situation.
Supposedly, people’s brains are three times larger than those of the closest primate relatives, but politicians bring this finding into sharp dispute. “It’s not how big it is, but what you do with what you have,” Dr. Dratch snorted.
“This is the first time anything like this has ever been done. Admittedly, we are a bit terrified at the outcome,” said researcher Tanyamarie Mercatorio.
“These apes are actually surprisingly geeky,” she explained, “But in a good way.”
Researchers found apes far more advanced than politicians in understanding nonverbal communications, copying another person’s solution to a problem and comprehending the intentions of others. “In short,” said a scientist who requested he remain nameless, “your basic garden-variety Mideast war.”
He continued: “Frankly, we are at a loss to explain how these folks even got elected to begin with, unless you factor in their strong and enduring friendship with the Diebold voting machine company.”
Politicians were furthest away from apes in performance for some other tests measuring skills of comparative quantities and causality – which would apply to matters of governance like futile troop surges, torture of the presumed “enemy,” skyrocketing soldier suicides, etc.
“Even the younger apes, locomoting and ululating for barely two years, but still several years away from simian literacy and formal language acquisition, performed at basically an equivalent or even superior level to politicians on tasks of physical cognition, far outstripping politicians on tasks of social cognition,” researchers noted in the online science journal Guess What?
Scientists speculated perhaps politicians once perhaps did possess basic governing skills including figuring out the intentions of others, but these abilities seem to have been lost in the paper shuffle of the Bush-Wah administration. Researchers compared politicians to cotton-top tamarinds, rhesus macaques and chimpanzees and proved conclusively, in the human sector, at least, IQ has become far eclipsed by body weight, perhaps due to the intrusion of television upon family life.
“And let’s not get into debating Nature vs. Nurture, Evolution vs. Creationism and the like,” an exasperated scientist sighed. “We save those kinds of discussion for our apes, who have become very gifted in mimicking stump speeches for the microphones. Apparently, their basic vocabulary of 148 grunts will grow rapidly when exposed to live audiences, studio and otherwise.”
When asked for comment on the spectacular research findings in this historic battle of Chimps vs. Chumps, one obviously impaired member of Congress replied, “Rhesus, please leave us alone. We’ve got a war to get on, a country to run into the ground, and a major corrupt campaign donor to replace. Wouldn’t YOU be overtaxed?”
Meanwhile, scientists remained cautiously optimistic about widespread implications of the study, which in fact may rock civilization to its core. “We may thus think of young apes’ cognitive development in the physical domain as still basically far surpassing that of the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees some 6 million years ago … but their social cognition as already well down the species-specific path to intellectual greatness. Um, has anyone ever considered running one of these furry suckers for public office?”
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