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The Middle-Earth Guide to Campaign 2012—Updated

Once you’ve identified the major character analogs, the rest of the script just writes itself. The Witch King is either Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, depending on which one you think has more testosterone (probably the latter). Grima Wormtongue -- Saruman’s oily, duplicitous adviser — is David Axelrod (if only he’d shave his mustache like Brad Douif did his eyebrows).

It’s tempting to associate Hillary Clinton with Gollum, since both want to possess what they consider their “Precious” -- but in her three years as secretary of State she’s almost earned the right not to be mocked so cruelly. But only almost.

Orcs are public sector unions, ACORN, anyone who writes for Huffington Post, and every other evil, statist minion ever identified by Glenn Beck. Speaking of Beck, his closest equivalent is Denethor, Steward of Gondor — well-spoken and intelligent but more-than-slightly crazed.

So with a Mormon Denethor, we must posit the other Mormon candidates -- Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman — as the brothers Boromir and Faramir.  Boromir has more passion in his shield than does Romney in his entire body, but both die early on (Boromir in battle, Mitt in early primaries).

Huntsman resembles Faramir in his moderation, soft-spoken demeanor, and unerring ability to be overshadowed by any other character or inanimate object in the room. You just know Faramir would support civil unions, if such didn’t carry the death penalty in Gondor.

Legolas was tough, but his real world stand-in would have to be Rick Santorum, because while both appear at first to be brave leading men, each soon gets relegated to side-kick status -- Legolas as a set-up man for Aragorn, Santorum probably as SecState in another Republican’s future administration.

Who plays Gimli, the plain-spoken, brave, and humorous Dwarf?  At the risk of being assaulted on Facebook, it would have to be Ron Paul. It’s not hard to imagine Paul muttering about “the consistency of Federal Reserve bankers’ droppings,” belching loudly, or being offered, by Santorum, a box to stand on during a GOP debate.