There are those who make it to the Republican National Convention in traditional ways: as a delegate or staffer or guest. Then there are those like Loren Spivack, who choose to make their own way.
Outside the convention hall Monday, braving tropical storm wind and rain and pushing throngs of convention-goers, Spivack, of Springfield, Mass., hawked copies of “The Cat and the Mitt,” a children’s book-style rhyming parody written by his alias, “Dr. Truth.”
Though Spivack shared space with a street vendor hawking hats and T-shirts, he comes with his own unique conservative pedigree. Spivack made news in 2009 when a North Carolina mall ended his lease of a sales kiosk for including anti-Obama slogans among the conservative messages on his merchandise. Though he lost his place at the mall, conservatives outraged at his treatment gave his business a bump following the incident.
As another element of his self-made company, Free Market Warrior, Spivack travels around the country teaching students the principles of free-market economics, from Friedrich Hayek to Milton Friedman. He estimates he has spoken to 150 groups in 15 cities so far.
“I’m the last of the great individualists,” he chuckled.
Spivack got the inspiration for his book a year and a half ago, he said, and since then has been writing and revising in an attempt to encompass the events of the past four years in a poem.
“It‚??s got cap and trade and Solyndra and healthcare and the death panels and guns running to Mexico‚??everything you remember from the four years of Obama, all done like ‚??The Cat and the Hat, in rhyme,‚?? ” he said. “It ends on election day 2012.”
In Spivack’s version, the wily cat is President Barack Obama, while the fish who tries to set things right again is Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) make appearances as Thing One and Thing Two.
A sample rhyme from the self-published book pokes fun at liberal political name-calling as a distraction from key issues:
“If the right-wing extremists try some radical scheme like balancing the budget, we‚??ll just call it extreme. They may say that taxes and spending need trimming, but we‚??ll just say that they‚??re racist, fighting a war against women.”
The book may just evoke a few chuckles from its readers, but that‚??s exactly what Spivack‚??s hoping for. ‚??The Left tends to dominate humor. And that‚??s not good, because it‚??s a powerful weapon,‚?Ě he said. ‚??The reality is that conservatives have a better sense of humor, but liberals are funnier. So we ought to be dominating humor.‚?Ě
Funny television shows like The Daily Show or Saturday Night Live are clever, Spivack said, but carry with them a liberal undercurrent that subtly influences their viewers.
‚??They do their thing, I don‚??t have a problem with that, but I think there ought to be more conservative humor. It‚??s a powerful tool,‚?Ě he said.
So far, Spivack said, the book has been well received. He is already planning a sequel.
Spivack has made appearances at state Republican conventions and the Conservative Political Action Conference, but he‚??s not done yet. Next week he travels to Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention.
He sells his book in person and on his website, Obamaparody.com.