Beyond logrolling

Aesop’s fable The Frogs Who Desired a King, from somewhere around the sixth century BC, as retold by NoOneOfAnyImport:

There were once some frogs who lived in liberty, but they wanted a king. They asked Jupiter to give them a king. They asked in one voice — no dissent, so it was all democratic and everything. Now, Jupiter knew these frogs weren’t the smartest bunch. So to placate them, he sent a piece of wood which splashed loudly in the pond.

This commotion scared the frogs at first. They approached their king cautiously, to make obeisance to him. When they realized their new ruler was just an ineffective lump of wood, they weren’t happy. They went back to Jupiter and asked for a better king. Jupiter was like, fine. And he sent a Heron to be their king.

The Heron flew down and began to eat the frogs, one after another. The frogs began to cry, and they begged Jupiter to deliver them from the throat of this tyrant. Jupiter replied, tough. The king which you demanded shall be your master.

Obviously said frogs didn’t know when they were well off: why, even their wooden ruler was good, or at least better than bad. And you have to figure that towards the end of the story, certain of the frogs were trying to arrange to be eaten last.

Then again, this does not look like a winning strategy for Mitt Romney, however wooden he may be: the last serious autoanimatronic Presidential candidate (as distinguished from a mere puppet) was defeated in 2000.


  1. Linda »

    2 April 2012 · 1:13 pm

    LOL I didn’t even think about who in our current political landscape would be best represented by that log. But you are spot-on.

    And now that song is gonna be stuck in my head:

    It’s log! It’s log! It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s wood!

    It’s log! It’s log! It’s better than bad, it’s good!

    Everyone wants a log.


  2. fillyjonk »

    2 April 2012 · 2:51 pm

    I know of another people who demanded kings, “just like all the nations around us had.”

    Didn’t work out so hot for them, either.

    (As my old Sunday school teacher used to say: “Good king, bad king, exile. Lather, rinse, repeat…”)

  3. McGehee »

    2 April 2012 · 7:05 pm

    They asked Jupiter to give them a king. They asked in one voice — no dissent, so it was all democratic and everything.

    There’s nothing democratic about a decision made with absolutely no dissent. One might as well conclude Saddam Hussein’s 99+% election totals were the epitome of democracy.

    You know damn well there were frogs in that pond who wanted no part of having a king.

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