Springfield Republican Party (1 of 2)
S06E05 Sideshow Bob Roberts

"Sideshow Bob Roberts" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 9, 1994. Kelsey Grammer returns as Sideshow Bob, who, in this episode, wins the Springfield mayoral election through electoral fraud. These included the film All the President's Men and the first televised debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy during the 1960 United States presidential election.
Much of the episode is based on the Watergate scandal, as well as other real-life political events. The two Republicans who follow Bob around were based on H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, two of Richard Nixon's closest advisors during Watergate. Sideshow Bob's campaign advert was based on the famous Willie Horton and Revolving Door political advertisements used by George H. W. Bush during the 1988 United States presidential election. Birch Barlow's question to Mayor Quimby about whether his stance on crime would differ if it was his family being attacked is a reference to Bernard Shaw's similar question to Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis during the 1988 presidential debates. Quimby's appearance during the debate parodies Richard Nixon's appearance during his first televised debate with John F. Kennedy during the 1960 presidential election. 
Quimby's appearance in his debate was based on Richard Nixon's in a debate with John F. Kennedy before the 1960 presidential election.
Many political films are also referenced. The episode features several references to the film All the President's Men, which chronicled Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's investigation of the Watergate scandal. These include the pull-out of Lisa looking over the voting records, the music, and the clandestine meeting with Smithers in a parking garage. The end court scene, as well as Sideshow Bob's speech, echo the 1992 film A Few Good Men, including Jack Nicholson's speech with the line "You can't handle the truth". Bob's sudden confession that he did rig the election was a vague reference to "every episode of Perry Mason". Sideshow Bob gives his acceptance speech underneath a giant poster with a picture of himself on it; this is a reference to the campaign speech scene in Citizen Kane. The title of the episode and several plot elements, including Bob entering Burns' meeting draped in an American flag, are references to the 1992 film Bob Roberts.
The character Birch Barlow is a take-off of American talk show host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh. Barlow mentions Colonel Oliver North, Officer Stacey Koon and advertising mascot Joe Camel as being "intelligent conservative[s], railroaded by our liberal justice system". Also, the language spoken at Republican Party headquarters is inspired by Enochian, a language associated with occult and Satanic ceremonies.
The Springwood Minimum Security Prison is a parody of Allenwood Minimum Security Prison. When Lisa drives, she is listening to "St. Elmo's Fire" by John Parr, a choice David Mirkin found "very sad". Archie Comics characters Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, Moose Mason and Jughead Jones are shown throwing Homer on the Simpsons' lawn and warning him to "stay out of Riverdale!"[ Some of the deceased voters are Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, who all died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. The epitaph on The Big Bopper's gravestone is "Gooooodbye, Baby!" a reference to the opening line of his song "Chantilly Lace" – "Hellooo Baby!". Finally, the Simpsons' home being demolished to make way for the "Matlock Expressway" is a very slight reference to the opening of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
David L.G. Arnold comments in the book Leaving Springfield that the episode is a satire on "society's lazy, uninformed attitude about the electoral process", as well as "a comment on the role in society of a cadre of elites (the Republican party) who see themselves as naturally suited to lead". The episode also portrays Republicans as willing to break the law in order to achieve this; in this case, Bob commits electoral fraud. "Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king. That's why I did this: to protect you from yourselves."
Matthew Henry writes in the same book that the episode "well illustrates the battle of [political] ideologies and its engagement with the politics of sexuality". He refers to the scene where Smithers intimates that Bob rigged the election; his motivation for whistleblowing is Bob's conservative policies, which disagree with his "choice of lifestyle", namely his homosexuality. Henry concludes the scene shows that conservative politics and homosexuality "cannot coexist" and that the scene marks the point where Smithers' sexuality became "public and overtly political" 1pp2p30eccmcv3443 


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