Monday, February 25, 2008

The Theory of Ex-Girlfriends and My Dumb Political Views

I don’t like writing about politics, because – quite honestly – I don’t want to be one of those people who write about politics. I don’t have great insight or knowledge, and my political ideas are a little wonky. (Case in point, my take on the whole gay marriage issue is to proclaim that government should not have any say on the subject marriage whatsoever – if it is a government-recognized common-property partnership used to determine taxable income rates, it should be called a civil union instead of marriage. Ta daa! Problem solved.)

But I have this great theory about how presidents are determined that I call The Theory of Ex-Girlfriends, and I want to write about it. So if that means writing about politics, I will have to write about politics. Do not worry, this will not become a habit.

The Theory of Ex-Girlfriends is this – your next relationship is determined by the most annoying thing about your most previous relationship. If you were in a relationship with someone who had fidelity issues, suddenly faithfulness will be the number one thing you look for in a next relationship. Who cares if she is crazy and bipolar, if she will stick with you no matter what, you are in love. Of course, if you break up with the crazy person, suddenly mental stability is the most important thing ever. Who cares if the new significant other is about as exciting as a patch of moss, that person is mentally stable and you are in love with that stability.

I love this theory and I use it for all sorts of things from restaurants I don’t like to employer evaluations. For example, during job interviews that begin with the questions like, “Why are you looking for a job?” you can respond with a blues song that begins, “That no good HR rep done me wrong (duh duh dah daaaaah duh). That benefits package was at sub-market levels (duh duh dah daaaaah duh). And I just wanna company that shoots straight with me on their dental plan! (crazy explosion of music) I need a new job, baby. I need a new job. I need a new job... right now.”

Anyway, I think Presidents are determined by the Theory of Ex-Girlfriends. In 2000, Bush’s basic campaign was, “Hey! I’m not Clinton. I may be a lot of things, but I won’t cheat on my wife with an intern and then try to weasel my way out of it by saying oral sex isn’t real sex.”

And, to that extent, he was exactly right. Throughout the entire Bush presidency, he has not cheated on his wife and subsequently landed himself in a sex scandal. Hooray for Bush on that single count! But that isn't enough for me to rewrite the constitution and stick with him one more term. We are breaking up and Bush is now the Ex.

Now that we are breaking up as president and constituent, I am using all of the bad things I don’t like about Bush to determine who I am going to vote for in the next election. So… what has been the most annoying thing about the Bush Presidency?

I have a co-worker who often points out that the Bush Presidency is not the Reagan II Presidency as much as it is Nixon II Presidency. Both Cheney and Rumsfield were old Nixon staffers and run the office like they're about to break into the Watergate hotel just for old time's sake, and the entire idea of “executive privilege” is much more in line with Nixon’s handling of the office than Reagan’s. Heck, even the wiretapping law in the news now is a holdover from the Nixon presidency.

A lot more parallels can be made between the two presidencies (for example, look at the way independent investigatory committees are treated by the two administrations), but what interests me more is how the nation reacted to Nixon when he became their ex-girlfriend. (And, for the sake of good metaphor, I pretending Ford is that one-off fling that never really happened. Ah, denial.)

How did the nation react to Nixon as an Ex?

They elected Jimmy Carter.

After feeling lied to and fleeced by the Commander in Chief, the American people turned to someone who was charismatic, decent, and above all, honest. He didn’t have all that much inside-the-beltway experience, but who cared. He wasn’t shifty. He was open and good. He inspired hope.

And the office of the presidency chewed up and spit him out.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

As much as I think Obama is a wonderful, charismatic speaker, as much as he makes me feel hope and makes me realize America could be a great place again, he could very well be the next Jimmy Carter. I like Carter and I think he is a great person who has succeeded at pretty much everything he has done, except, of course, being President.

I freely admit that this is a terrible attitude – essentially I am going into a new relationship thinking about what the break up will be like. But I am talking about politicians here. They have term limits, which means that we are going to break up eventually. Which is one of the reasons some people get upset when Bill Clinton shows up, because, didn't we already break up with you? Aren't you over us yet? Why are you stalking us like this?

Anyway, I guess what I'm getting to this this - one of those Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is "Begin with the end in mind." Becoming President in 2008 is not the end. It is just the beginning. So let's start thinking of it as the beginning of another presidency, not the end of the old one.


Gyuss Baaltar said...

When I was evaluating the candidates, I had two priorities:

1) The candidate had to have been wise enough to see that the invasion of Iraq was silly and based on fiction.

2) Health care. Tell me you're going to find a way go provide affordable healthcare to every American.

M. Robert Turnage said...

I'm cagey about letting people which side of the political fence my vote goes, just because I have very dear friends on both sides of the aisle.

AND it is good to hear from you, Gyuss. Your blog is now on my reading list.

heather said...

the nugget of truth in this post is a damn large one. if this is the type of insight i can expect to find here mixed in with a healthy dose of nonsense you have a new regular.

blame g and cyber.

M. Robert Turnage said...

My main problem with having regulars is that I don't post regularly, and often get lazy and just post videos instead of writing anything real.

But now that I might have more regulars, I might post more regularly. Oooo... a Catch-22 of productivity!

Courtney said...

I have felt the same way. I admire Obama a lot. He's a better person than anyone else in the race. He has grace and integrity. But can he cut through the massive accumulation of eight years of Bushit and really make the massive changes that need making? I don't know. And that worries me. But then again, pretty much anything will be better than what we have.

So I'm curious--who did you vote for in the primary?

M. Robert Turnage said...

Ha! Tried to trick me into revealing my vote! NEVER! I will NEVER TELL!

Besides, the Texas Primary isn't until March 4th. Normally, I early vote, but haven't done so yet.

The truth is that I tend to go for the third party wackos, because I fear that my vote will be the kiss of death to a real candidate. So Ron Paul is lookin' real good to me right now.

I will say that I took one of those website test things who tell you what your ideal candidate is. Let me just say that my ideal candidate dropped out of the race very early on.

Cyber D said...

I like this very much. I'm going to take this for my own.

Courtney said...

FOILED! I forgot some folks haven't voted yet--I haven't paid as much attention since I voted. Well, you better vote correctly. Whatever that is.

heather said...

no worries, i won't post anything for weeks at a time and then i'll put up four posts in a single day. it all depends on what else is going on.