TPM’s The Duke Of Dukes: The Final Four

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December 21, 2020 6:01 p.m.
TPM Illustration/Getty Images

And so we come to our Final Four. And we’ve got a question for you, readers. Why is Dinesh D’Souza here? What is going on?

Epic troll though he may be, is he really more of a Duke than Anthony Weiner, the man whose horrible need for attention resulted in a Coen Brothers-like series of unfortunate events ultimately ending, as some have argued, as we argue, with Trump??

And did he deserve to defeat Rob Ford??? The man who arguably defines what a Golden Duke is all about even better than the original “Duke”???? (The Golden Ford just doesn’t have that same ring.)

We don’t really think either of those characters deserved to fall to D’Souza, but, apparently, readers, you do. So here he is, in the Final Four, up against the original: Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, for whom these awards are named. Let’s hope the Duke can put an end to the rogue Dinesh’s romp.

TPM Illustration/Getty Images

The Match-Ups!

 

(1) Duke Cunningham vs. (4) Dinesh D’Souza

Dinesh started off ranked fourth in his region, trailed only by the now-long-gone Michele Bachmann, RIP. But he fought his way here, felling Golden Duke favorites including Ford, Weiner, and Chris Christie. Now he faces Duke Cunningham himself, the Golden Dukes’ namesake and a former congressman with many glorious abuses of the public trust under his belt.

This match-up prompts an epistemological question: can you out-Duke the Duke? Even if the answer is theoretically yes, is D’Souza the man for the job? We’ve already expressed our thoughts on that situation. We’ll see who makes it to the finals. (And if you vote for Dinesh, please, email us. We don’t get it, but sincerely want to know your reasoning.)

(1) Rudy Giuliani vs. (4) Dick Cheney

When the idea for the Duke of Dukes leapt from the brain of our colleague Derick Dirmaier, we have to imagine that this is the kind of thing he had in mind. A real premium match-up between a Duke of old, Dick Cheney, and the weirdest man of 2020, Rudy Giuliani.

Weirdest of 2020 is quite an accomplishment — it’s been a weird year — but Cheney will always be near and dear to our hearts. Yes, both contenders in this match-up have an expansive view of executive power that will land them in the history books, but what they’re competing over here is a bit different. Rudy is nominated not for undermining democracy, but doing so from a series of forgotten exurban parking lots while dripping wet. Yet Cheney shot his friend in the face, and made said friend apologize. Can anyone top that? If anyone can, perhaps it’s The Damp Mayor. [Cue The Clash.]

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