“I was drunk the day my Mama got out of prison
And I went out to pick her up in the rain,
But before I could get to the station in the pick-up truck
She got runned over by a damned ol’ train.”
Steve Goodman wrote the lyrics for “You Never Even Call Me By My Name” and boasted that it was “the perfect country and western song.” Outlaw country music man David Allan Coe demurred, noting that the song said nothing about “mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting drunk.” After Goodman added the above stanza, Coe recorded “the [now-]perfect country and western song,” garnering his first Top Ten hit.
The song Ann Callis is singing in her campaign to replace Republican Rodney Davis as U.S. Representative for the 13th Congressional District is just as kitschy, but it’s more like “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
Her appeal to populist sentiment is undermined by her real-life status as a prominent attorney’s daughter who just happened to acquire a judgeship at the ripe young age of 30.
“Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo,” the Granite City belle hopes to bamboozle her would-be constituents into thinking she’s one of them.
“Callis may have wealth, friends, and seemingly every advantage in life,” notes chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich in a recent issue of New York Times Magazine. “But, according to an elemental rule of modern politics, she has one big disadvantage: She is narrative-challenged. Her privileged background does not make for the onerous, up-from-nothing story that every politician today craves, especially one who is continually reminding everyone that ‘people are hurting’ and vowing to ‘do what’s right for the middle class.’”
Come election day, people who are hurting should do what’s right for Ann Callis and let her know what it feels like to be rejected by people who are sick and tired of being pandered to by would-be superiors.