Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Write in Mickey Mouse for President if you don't like your candidate

Mickeyforpresident.com is a new online campaign, backed by conservatives, that offers a way for Republicans to vent their anger at John McCain: write in "Mickey Mouse" for president. In most states, write-in candidates that reach a certain threshold are reported as percentages just like the normal candidates are. The group's plan is for Mickey Mouse to reach that point, as a way for voters to visibly and effectively demonstrate their disgust. The site is very careful to point out that "'Mickey Mouse'" is a registered trademark of Disney Enterprises, Inc. Fair Use applies."

Disney does tend to be very touchy about the use of its characters. One of my students this past semester once worked at Baskin & Robbins. He explained that one day Disney representatives appeared like Men in Black to determine whether the ice cream shop was making any cakes with unauthorized Disney characters on them.

The use of Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate to express dissatisfaction with the candidates on the ballot is, however, a time-honored practice. One writer claims Mickey received 400 votes in Florida in 2000, a point I don't believe was mentioned in Bush v. Gore.

And no doubt Jimmy Cauty's (one half of the KLF) extensive use of Mickey Mouse in his current artwork is a
big fat raspberry directed Disney's way.

Finally, as much as I hate to admit it, I remember Pat Paulsen's campaign for the presidency in 1968.

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