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This is a profile of the Politiformers in the first decade of the new millennium. Know them well! It was a Reagan-era act of deregulation (98 FCC 2d 1076 [1984], to be exact [PDF]) that set these powerful automatons off and running rampant, the Republicons and the Demobots. I know, I know what you're thinking, life imitates art imitates life, first as comedy, second as farce. But we press on... starting with the tail end of the credits: "The characters and events in this motion picture are fictional and have no relation to any real persons, living or dead." Pshaw. My ass, Hasbro. Heck, back when they made the show in the 1980s, they even set the movie in 2005! Well, I guess the lawyers did leave open "characters and events yet to come." Here, see for yourself:

Decepticans, whatever—you don't even really have to change the name.
Evil, or incompetent? Haha, trick question! Gotta say, this whole thing kind of breaks down from the get-go when you consider that the make-believe cartoon characters actually fight in their own wars. But hey, you go to metaphor with the robot army you have, not the robot army you might want. Careful, or you might start to question why some of the Politiformers' transformations aren't really much of a disguise. Anyways... Republicons, ATTACK!


Colin Powell/Soundwave
Loyal, versatile, and highly proficient, he always follows orders to a T, especially when it comes to misinformation and cover-ups. Heck, he's a tape recorder, and one who learned from Nixon's mistakes. He commands major respect from some Demobots despite the kind of robots he chooses to take orders from. What the hey; when he transforms, conservation of mass seems not to apply to him either.


Karl Rove/Shockwave
With laser gun focus, he perpetually mans the controls and tries to keep the empire running. "The fools I have to work with," he grumbles, as he stares with that beady eye. Just don't watch his attempt at rap; you'll forever be scarred by his stiff-jointed performance, no joke. (Why did you watch that? I warned you!) When he's not turning puny worker robots into slag, apparently he collects stamps, or something.


ewt Gingrich/Starscream
Always trying to stage some kind of coup, he flails about, makes a lot of noise, never lets his obvious faults get in the way of calling others out on them, and has no compunction about going after Politiformers on his own team. When he does manage to take over, the whole thing goes to hell in a hurry. Amazingly, enough Republicons continue to pay him sufficient heed that he can keep coming back for more.


Thundercracker/Condoleezza Rice
Everything is always like the Cold War with the planet Russia; it's what she knows best. Reserved unless provoked, she works behind the scenes. Pity the robot on the receiving end of her stare of death.


John Ashcroft/Thrust
Cone-headed and ugly, but complicated, he did his best work while out of commission in the heavy maintenance hangar. (By the way, why am I getting the idea that these guys were all made from the same mold?) All that aside, you should hear him sing the glories of flight!


Donald Rumsfeld/Kickback
"We must feed (must feed) the empire (the empire)! People are suffering as a consequence, you say? This whole thing might be worse than for naught, you contend? How do you know that? Besides, too bad, stuff happens (stuff happens)." Fancies himself some kind of philosophical intellectual, but really he's just got bugs for brains.


Tom Delay/Bombshell
His favorite trick is to implant a "brain bug" remote-control device into other robots: "You must hire Republicons, you must hire Republicons..." One kind of gets the feeling that, had he more self-awareness about being a beetle, it would wipe that grin off his face and actually bring about overwhelming self-loathing, although I can't quite put my rolled-up newspaper on why.


Long-range planners, they keep trying to form ShockastatAwe and blatantly crush another unfortunate civilization, but they haven't quite gotten the band back together since 2003.


George W. Bush/Rumble
Pipsqueak punk just likes to break stuff. Yeah, sure, he'll tell you that he's bringing about a "peeance, freeance secure planet Iraq." Gee, that's deep.


Sarah Palin/Laserbeak
"Squaaaaawk! I can hear planet Russia from my tape deck!" That's great. Now cut it out with the buzzing around and gratuitously firing lasers at hapless critters. And don't look now, but a bird of a feather brings ill portent for your political future.


Scott McClellan/Scourge
Trepidatious and cowardly, he only acts forcefully after he's sure he's safe. C'mon, Scourgie, give it up already, we all know your heart's not really in it! To be sure, that aspect does lend him a certain entertaining air, which makes him our favorite among the otherwise interchangeable Republicon Press Sweepretaries.


John McCain/Astrotrain
Ah yes, a triple-changer: "I'm an mavericky moderate! I'm a rabid, reckless right-winger!" (Don't watch that video either.) "But wait, I'm also a corporate hack! Whatever, you morons, I have it all, get out of the way and put me in charge!" I mean, really, a steam locomotive? Talk about obsolete thinking.


Mitt Romney/Cyclonus
Perpetually sleek, cynical, and insincere, nobody likes him. And yet, he could be powerful someday, out of sheer wealth and persistence.


Dick Cheney/Megatron
His ruthlessness and cunning, combined with his insatiable thirst for energy resources and the eagerness with which he employs destructive force, put him atop the Republicon dogpile. When you're all gun and no heart... Actually, scratch that, even transplanting a live, beating heart didn't help. He is so powerful and feared that, when he personally blasted a fellow Republicon in the face, the associate apologized to him. Let's just hope he doesn't get reincarnated as Galvadick. [shudder]

:: ::

Don't reverse the name mashup, or you might get ideas.
Descended from peaceful worker robots, their main weakness is that they can't fly. But then every once in a while some of them do anyway. Something about "keeping our powder dry?" Never mind that... Demobots, ROLL OUT!

Alpha Clinton

Bill Clinton/Alpha Trion
The prototypical New Demobot: the rest of 'em are just also-rans. Hell, he's merged consciousness with Washingtron's core.


Al Gore/Skyfire
He is powerful warrior of potentially great stature, though he disengages from messy combat too readily and at some point kind of checked out. I guess he was a bit of a New Demobot back in the day anyways. He seems to be of a more advanced technology, though as he is made of metal, he's a little stiff. (That's a cheap shot—they're all made of metal!) You know, were he in charge, he never woulda attacked the planet Iraq, and he was damn right about that high-mileage maintenance lockbox.

Howard Rod

Howard Dean/Hot Rod
He's fiery, and he seems impulsive, but what the hell, the Demobots shoulda given him the Matrix of Leadership in 2004. Maybe he could've used it to light our darkest hour, or something. At least we pie-throwers helped get him the Command Chair of the Demobotic spaceship, over the New Demobot-types' best efforts.


Joe Lieberman/Leader-1 (GoBots)
A GoToWarBot? You're no Demobot. You suck!


Barbara Lee/Beachcomber
Lady was right. The hippies are always right.


John Kerry/Perceptor
A solid technocrat, he cleans up other Demobots' interplanetary messes, and he thoroughly—and I mean microscopically—inspects both sides of everything before acting. Heck, he overthought himself right out of winning leadership of the whole shebang. You'd expect he'd have a little more consistency as a peacemonger, given his background. Still, he's got staying power.


Dennis Kucinich/Cosmos
He may seem kinda spacey, but that's so superficial. He's seen a lot, and he tries, man, he tries. (Sorry, Dennis, you deserve a better-looking robot than that, but... the tie matches!)


Ted Kennedy/Ironhide
Battle-scarred and dependable, he's a team player who gruffly reminds everyone to do what's practical and to get cracking. Minivans are quite practical, are they not?


John Conyers/Jazz
He was righteously valiant back when he was trying to bring down the tyrannical Republicon leader (is there any other kind?) in the 1970s, but nowadays that disco just sounds like a lot of noise.


Robert Wexler/Powerglide
Excitable and daring, he engages in combat at the drop of a hat. Kind of a bit player, to be sure, though he's a bigger deal 'round these parts.


Nancy Pelosi/Ratchet
A Demobotic stalwart and a pioneering leader, she is impressively resourceful at keeping the machinery in good running condition. A careful one, she never takes drastic action, even when it's called for.


Paul Wellstone/Bumblebee
Independently-minded, kind, humble, and morally centered, he's humans' best friend. Why doesn't everyone listen to him more often?


Hillary Clinton/Wheeljack
Pragmatic and versatile, and never one to shy from a fight, she earned her racing stripes trying to build a universal tune-up and repair network back in the Alpha Clinton administration. Damn that Republicon sabotage! She's always burning the midnight oil at her machine shop, working on some powerful new device. A little too powerful of a device...


Harry Reid/Gears
Oh, so tough, Gearry! Why do you keep getting everyone into so much trouble? Perhaps it's because you're crusty and you don't like change.


Joe Biden/Tracks
Smooth and urbane, he... Aw, what the hell, it doesn't really fit, but who cares, look at those flames on the hood! Why the red face, though? Must be from his latest gaffe.

Ultruss Magnold

Russ Feingold/Ultra Magnus
He can't quite seem to get a grip on power, but (or, rather, because?) he has impeccable principles and solid mechanics. Even out of power, he's going to self-sacrificingly champion the Demobotic cause. Occasionally he takes too high of a road and overestimates the legitimacy of other robots' actions. Regardless, can't help but compare him to the other car carriers out there on the road, and they don't measure up.

Baracktimus Prime

Barack Obama/Optimus Prime
A monumental example to the rest of the Demobots, he exudes thoughtful assuredness and authority. His political rise was like the truck rolling down the highway that he is. (By the way, where does that semi-trailer full of support gear go when he's not in campaign trail mode?) Still, he so often fights on the Demobots' own turf, pulls their punches, knowingly walks them into traps, and does things that leave you wondering what's really going on, you begin to think that the major plot points follow a script written on behalf of owners of large corporations, who are trying to get you to become true-believer fans so that you'll buy their stuff and fork over even more of your money. Nah... That couldn't be it, could it?

:: ::

Everyone Else


International Corporations/Quintessons
Multi-faced, soulless, ageless, and inherently evil, they just can't help themselves from pulling strings behind the scenes. Amoral, or immoral? Haha, trick question again!


They serve the Corporassons' every whim. Relentlessly persistent, they seem to have some kind of hive mind. Sorta fickle, though.


Washington, D.C./Cybertron
Demobots and Republicons fight back and forth for control of this city-planet, the fate of which has great impact on Earth. Neither side can ever seem to vanquish the other for good. (Can't quite put your finger on it, but does something in there seem a tad inconsistent with other parts of the premise? Too bad, welcome to the Politiformers!)


In either its mercenary pillage-happy Viking mode or its only-slightly-more-subtle globular industrial contractor form, it feeds on natural resources and the destruction of civilizations in order to further expand its reach and concentrate its power. Though Megadick proclaims independence from Uniburton, it and he are inextricably intertwined, both in terms of influence and cashola. Uniburton's only weakness is one wee little thing: the One True Ring that can only be destroyed... Wait, no, wrong story. It's the Fifth Element, not earth, fire, wind, or... Damnit, no! It's the good side of the Force... Aw, heck. Well, anyways: it's what the Demobots are supposed to stand for but all too often don't.


Humans (a.k.a. flesh creatures)
Uh, I guess that would be us hapless souls. Also known as "flesh creatures," if you ask Megadick. (But please don't; the less he thinks about us, the better). Good luck keeping the planet in livable condition!

:: ::

Obtain the author's permission before reproducing this article. All Transformers comparisons in this post refer to (and in turn parody!) the "Generation 1" cartoon and movie (1984-1987). Mouse over the images to see the pre-mashup names. Any crossover from that newfangled Michael Bay stuff is purely coincidental, I assure you. Imagery sourcing is fair use due to parody/commentary purpose, small size, and new composition. The Seibertron, ToyBin, and Transformers Wiki sites were useful for "research" for the post, and it's amazing what you can find on YouTube these days.

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