Erik Larson

Dec 13, 2009

Why politics can suck (was, why I am so great)

We have this Hotty who visits our office; she’s the original Neocon. She’s married to a military guy, loves her country, listens to country music, and probably has a stars and stripes bikini (wish I had an image to upload).

So Hotty comes into our office one day, the random pop-your-head in suddenly we’re talking politics day. I’m a Ron Paul-type libertarian with shades of standard conservatism (think William F. Buckley, not George W. Bush, though I kind of liked Bush, actually), which means that Hotty and me, our Venn diagram of agreement is working out pretty well on this day.

Then, it happens. The first hint of why politics sucks (was: first hint of my greatness). I mention Palin’s a know-nothing (a bit overstated, but most people can see my point), and suddenly she’s nodding in that I’m-not-really-agreeing-but-don’t-know-what-to-say manner. It occurs to me later that this is just one more case of how politics is like rooting for sports teams. It’s so devoid of thought. But we LIKE Palin! What’s your problem? She you-betcha’s those Ivory Tower snobs! Right, sorry. I should have said: she ain’t no know-nuthin’ (and if she is, “know-nuthin’” is good!).

Consider:

Hotty’s core argument about Obama was that “he gives really good speeches, he electrifies crowds, he’s good at campaining, but he isn’t really President material”; he’s not really suited for the rigors of the Presidency. “Where’s the beef?” is the objection from Hotty, in other words.

But, isn’t this exactly the obvious charge against Palin for President? She’s great at giving speeches and campaigning, but she can’t tell Katie Couric what she reads, or why the proximity of Alaska to Russia confers foreign policy experience on her. Somehow the God-fearin’, military supportin’, country music listenin’ crowd thinks Palin got screwed out of the White House (by the media, I guess, or by them liberals ), while they simultaneously think that the guy who currently inhabits the White House is just some good speech giving, fast talking campaigner, who lacks the gravitas that it takes to be President. Huh?

This is why, when thinking about politics, fair minded people realize that it can suck. When we squeeze it, you see, more logic should come out. But we just get a kind of red or blue ooze. Mmmmmm. Ooooooze.