Meredith C. Carroll: Meredith Pro Tem
June 27, 2011
Is 16 months before the next presidential election too soon to be over it? Because if so, then, oops. Raise your hand if you’re over it already, too.
It’s hard to believe that election time is nearly upon us again because many are still recovering from the agita of the last one. Raise your hand again if you never quite got behind the Obama hype. To be sure, well-adjusted kids and a wife’s toned biceps are lovely, and “Yes We Can!” is clever as a high school pep rally cry for a candidate promising a hot tub in the cafeteria, but for the leader of our country? Eh. Where’s the beef. Show me the money. Etcetera. Etcetera.
Being a great orator does not necessarily a great president make. Just because Bill Clinton could speak seductively and lead effectively doesn’t mean that everyone who comes after him can necessarily do one or both, too, particularly if all they’re really adding to the mix is some obligatory promise for “change.” At this point why should we blindly believe that an new(ish) guy’s change is any better or more concrete than the last guy’s?
To be fair, it’s not like John McCain was a better offering in 2008. Longevity isn’t much to get all jazzed up about when it’s coming from a candidate who keeps getting elected in a state renown for retirement. Plus, if a man isn’t collected enough to thoroughly vet his running mate, shouldn’t we just stop right there and thank him for his efforts but call it a day before someone gets hurt?
Speaking of Sarah Palin, can we all agree to stop the useless speculation today? The “will she or won’t she run” in 2012 buzz is a silly distraction, because, who really cares? Does anyone actually think she’ll do it, and if she does, that she can actually win? I mean, really? Americans may be dumb – look at the cast (and ratings) of the “Jersey Shore,” and the Palin family for that matter – but no one is that dumb.
While we’re at it, how about eliminating all the perennial gadfly candidates right now, like Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Donald Trump, and anyone who was told by God that she should be president, and who believes energy-saving light bulbs breach our freedom of choice (yes, Michelle Bachmann, those last two belong to you).
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Enough already, too, with all the candidates and their “I’m better than everyone else because I’m not an insider” schpiel. Who wants an outsider in Washington? Wasn’t Bush Part Deux enough to confirm that there’s something to be said for insiders?
And to those who proclaim, “I’m going to reform the culture in Washington,” let’s be real – like George Clooney’s marital status, the culture in Washington isn’t budging an inch. It’s full of politicians who wheel and deal to get what they want, which is, quite simply, power. You can make it as complicated as you want, but the reality is that it’s just not so complicated. So why not choose the politician who wheels and deals to our advantage?
Where’s the candidate who’s willing to step forward and declare:
“I’ve been in Washington forever. And because I’m clever, sly, two-faced, power-hungry, greedy and generally untrustworthy, I’m the best person for the job. I know exactly what to do to get you just enough of what you want so that I can ultimately remain in a position to be invited on private jets and land the most prestigious, highest-paid private sector no-show job when I finally decide to not run for reelection because I might risk a humiliating defeat by some doe-eyed upstart or am forced by my party to resign because I got caught toe tapping in the bathroom of my church to signal the male escort to whom I tweeted an inappropriate invite even though what I thought I was actually doing was sending a private text – whichever comes first.”
Finally, let’s all concede now that Fox News is biased – Roger Ailes doesn’t like Democrats, young people or those in good health. Also? MSNBC and CNN don’t like anyone to the right of the left or people with the audacity to be of means. Anderson Cooper likes to pretend he’s a hard news journalist and not an “Entertainment Tonight” anchor-in-training. And Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are anti-Obama but vehemently pro-childhood obesity, because choice is a fundamental right so long as it doesn’t involve a woman’s body or marriage (unless the marriage is between a rich, white conservative and his fourth mistress to whom he will allow carte blanche access to shop in touristy Fifth Avenue stores).
In the end, as long as taxes aren’t raised and our nation’s leader doesn’t embarrass us on international diplomacy missions by trying to open a wall instead of a door, what do we care anyway? If we could just eliminate some of the same inevitable rhetoric and stump speech repetition and simply accept there is no such thing as change in Washington, election season might just be a gay, old time (sorry, Republicans, a grand, old time).
More at MeredithCarroll.com.