06 August, 2011

What if Obama ran for...

Vice-President? If Joe Biden (or Hillary Clinton, or Al Gore) is the Democrats preference for the top slot, could that be done? If Obama sits out the next four or eight years, he can watch someone else do the job and try again. How about Ralph Nader or Joe Lieberman? Both of them were credible candidates for the top two slots once upon a time. Nader would provide a long track record of unabashed liberalism to finally prove to the American people that progressive policies work when the right people do them, people unattached to corporate influences or profit-motives of any kind. Lieberman still votes with Democrats on pretty much everything and he was more qualified for Vice-President than Sarah Palin (not that that’s any major accomplishment, right? She’s an ignorant twat.) He also showed up at the Republican Party convention and said ‘don’t vote for my party, vote for the other party’s candidate’ so it’s unqualified bi-partisanship from a long-time committed Democrat.

I’ve never heard of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi mentioned or President ever, but if you’re looking for senior level Democrats who could sensibly take the top slot, win an election *and* let Obama learn in office for four years, they’d be on anybody’s top ten list. Hillary’s a long shot, just because she looks like she’s ready to claw her eyeballs out if that will release her from the insane hell she’s caged in. I can’t stand the woman and will applaud the way she’s performed under unbelievable pressures for these three years. You can’t govern as Secretary of State, and it’s the closest thing Obama has to a positive role model right now. If she’s up for another go around, she and Bill have earned the chance to try again.

Al Gore seems much happier as a private citizen so I doubt he’s interested. John Kerry’s still fairly young. He spent 30 years as the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, he might have earned another. This way Obama hasn’t wasted the only time he’ll ever get to be President again and prevented the Democrats from winning a popular majority in ’12.

It would keep Obama’s mojo alive and spare the Party from an embarrassing Nader-esque candidacy. Because at this point, as far as the voters are concerned, why not have Matt Damon run for office? He could call himself a Democrat or run as a third-party candidate, either way he’d probably pick up at least 5% of the vote on general principles, By picking Obama for the bottom slot, Democrats would keep his voting base, and conspicuously reprimand someone for failing to meet basic standards that yes, even Republicans consistently meet. GWB kept an AAA rating and the Senate got bills passed under his tenure. These are good things and Democrats only set themselves up for failure by denying it, who’s going to be the first to say it?

The sooner Democrats realize this, the sooner they can salvage something from Obama’s four years in office and go into November ’12 with a candidate people will want to vote for without having to run against Obama specifically. The alternative is surrendering the Oval Office to Republicans who will have a much more pliant Congress in regardless of how the public votes.

I’d be worried about a third-party candidate, a serious Ross Perot-level wacky person with his own money to throw around. [Jack Nicholson instead of Matt Damon, for instance. Or Rob Reiner. Or Carl Reiner. Now I’m just being funny.]

So, in the interest of Democratic Party victory, what odds would there be in moving Obama to the back because of merit? The Presidency is not a learn-on-the-job sort of thing. Ok, now he’s going to take some time to grow, as a person, and the powder is still dry. In a bloody re-election campaign, someone might snap from the pressure and release his college grades. If he doesn’t run as Veep or get installed as a czar by the next Democratic President, he takes a step down, maybe runs for Senator of Illinois again. Does a reality show with MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, I dunno.

Or maybe the President goes into private business. He builds a big temple to himself, signs contracts committing to a four-year demonstration of ability, and then sells whatever he’s got to sell. A model private citizen, someone who fervently believes in the government’s right to do as he demonstrated in office will now show how the government does it right.

He says he doesn’t need the income he makes from his books, now he can look at Sasha and Mahlia every day and determine how much they are not entitled to from the government. They’ll need new clothes. They’ll still need food. Obama’s half-brother lives on, what, one American dollar a day? Fidel Castro found a use for his brother, the most powerful man on Earth hasn’t given this guy a job yet? Ok, let him create a job, his own (President of the Company) and his half-brother’s (selling what the former President of the United States produces for the world’s benefit). He will abide by all government restrictions no matter how unfair and he will pay any taxes no matter how socially-unjust they are towards the rich. He will support his fine upstanding wife and raise their daughters to be proud Americans and four or eight years later, he will try again to be President.

In this next election, the Republicans will be unstoppable. The US just lost its AAA++ grade from mucky-mucks in the measuring economics department. As the superpower, our economics grades start at the highest level and number two is measured from there. China and India and Japan and Russia and others are measured according to the standards America sets. All the teachers can look at Obama and tell him how brilliant he is for another four years, maybe that’ll be enough votes to win, but it’ll just give everyone else four years without having to be distracted by events or decisions that turn out completely wrong. Even David Lee Roth gets off-stage once in a while. Surely the President would like to take a long nap.

A victory here for Obama might mean this decade in history is remembered like Ulysses S. Grant was in charge. Great general, drank a lot. Lousy President. Oversaw the end of Reconstruction. Stick with the pre-Presidential track record. ‘As God is my witness, the South shall vote Democratic again!’ as it were.

Life is getting in the way, but inshallah I am tidying up the final ends on having an actual book as soon as my check clears. I do have a timeline and hope the resulting books are sturdy enough to travel. A notion to splurge on myself and see Sammy Hagar play in a far-off city got dashed quickly and easily. Now I'm casting about for another creative project although I haven't yet finished this one.

Music is tempting again. I have a job where I can sing again and I can relate to that kind of 'performance'. I'm actually a bit nostalgic for when I sat down and recorded stuff and some of my vocal takes impress me more than I remembered. Even some of the stuff that flat-out sucks has a fun quirkiness to it, but some of it doesn't suck. I mean, I can't play an instrument to save my life, there's an attitude that compensates. As performance art there's some pretty good snapshots there.

The problem with performance art is that there's no record for virtually any of it. It also leaves no time to practice. I made music for years and showed hardly an improvement as a technical player. Dancing, acting, magic tricks, stand-up comedy, live theater, these are all fields that are primarily performance art, where it's all about what happens in the moment. Singing is generally in that area, but with recorded music in the last century, it becomes more of a production matter. You can make Paul McCartney sing "Let It Be" 100 times in a row at any decibel level by programming the CD player, just like you can watch Mark Hamill blow up the Death Star on a big-screen tv. Books are ideas translated into words and about as far from performance art as you can get.

Tired now. Need sleep. Here's Weird Al's not-quite-Steinman but otherwise a great song. Send it to everyone you know.

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