Yeah, no kidding. It is the night before the election, and NOW I am writing a blog entry. Better late than never.
I’m a closet election whore. I follow the races, but I also believe that there is a lot of misinformation and psyops at work in every campaign. As I explained to my nephew over the weekend, the presidential race is usually a case of making two guys with a lot in common sound like they are polar opposites. He is a typical 14 year old, just realizing that politics could possibly effect his young life at all, and he has fallen into the “pro gun” one issue voter trap. I say trap because being a one issue voter can, IMO, be dangerous. I’m pro gun, but I would also like to be able to *afford* a gun! I’m watching the economy tank, and thinking that with all of the warrantless wiretapping, habeas corpus revocation, indefinite detentions, extreme secrecy in the executive branch, signing statements, and this incredible stretch of last minute assaults on consumer and environmental protections, I’ll take my chances. We also had a little rap about how the power to make gun laws resides in Congress, and that if the president really had that kind of control then Bush would have revoked Roe-v-Wade during the six years he had Republican majorities in both houses.
So with that I’ll make my case for the workplace metaphor as it applies to the current major candidates for the office of President of the United States: If you think about it, you either currently work, or used to work, with a dead ringer for one of these people.
Take Ol’ Hate Talk Express John. McCain is the guy who really hasn’t done anything in recent memory, but keeps ramming his “experience” and tenure down everybody’s throat. Question anything and you get the spiel about how long he has been at the company/organization and how you have a long way to go if you want to be heard. inveterate pontificators like this are less common as the number of employees with long tenure falls off, but they are out there. I’ve worked with a few of these guys, and I am in no way interested in four years of it. Like McCain, they are bad enough as middle managers. Make them president and they become unbearable. These guys are bitter over being passed over for so long, and if they get the big chair they will be reminding everyone who made their shit list.
I’ll stick with the “we are not anything like George W. Bush, at all, ever” party, and go on to Sarah Palin. This is wayyyy too easy, and too common. Some ditz in a skirt who gets elevated to a major position while many many many more qualified women are passed over. You could probably name a dozen more qualified Republican women if you had 15 minutes and a piece of paper. The horror that was Gale Norton was a disaster in a cabinet post, and her resume makes Palin look like a stenographer. These people engender massive resentment among the rank and file, if not on day one, then by the end of week two. Once someone with real credentials is heard saying “slept her way into the job” it is all over. I have worked with, and continue to, some amazing women. They have the whole package of tools in their profession, work hard, and usually work harder than their male counterparts. They have to. I’m not sure what, other than shameless self promotion and religious zealotry, sets Palin apart. But she is the kind of person who has about 30 seconds left on that 15 minutes. Those clips of her “answering” questions by randomly joining nouns and verbs until the red light comes on will haunt her forever. Also, she won’t stop making them.
I’ll leave the presumptive next president for last. I’ll go all metaphorical on Joe Biden first. He has a good story, a good haircut, a tragic tale, a massive track record of public discourse in a very exposed position (Senate), and he kind of blathers on. (Sidebar: He’s the Senator from freakin’ DELAWARE! What is that about? I’m from Connecticut and Delaware doesn’t even register on my radar screen.) This would be the “windbag with skills” guy. Sure, you don’t want to be trapped in an elevator with him, but the guy is a vault of useful information. You jut have to pick it out of the noise. He will whip out the experience card if threatened, but otherwise he would rather tell you about his weekend. Lemme get this straight: He’s been in the Senate since 19 and 7 freakin’ 2, he’s a cath-a-lic, and the McCain campaign has turned up NADA of dirt on him. This guy is the teflon fog. I’ve worked alongside two people like this and while they may seem out of it sometimes, they can take the lead if they have to. Nobody wants to see the number two take over, but there are many worse choices.
I’m leaving Obama for last because I don’t know if I have worked with anyone of his caliber, but I’ll say up front that I have worked with some big brains before and the main drawback is that they can be either aloof or unpredictable. That doesn’t mean that the decisions are wrong, it is just that they might bypass the “explanation” phase. That can be fixed, and I think that the form will hold out that he will have someone good at explanations (any guesses on chief of staff?) right by his side. He has done an OK job of explaining his positions while on the campaign trail. I hope he keeps it up if he becomes President.
Sure, I’m in the bag for Obama. The alternative is too horrifying to contemplate. It reminds me of the nightmare scenario that people talked of avoiding back in those relative halcyon days between January 2001 and September 2001. Cheney/Bush. That warmonger control freak in the big seat and the brain dead cheerleader as veep. Remember that? That’s what McCain/Palin reminds me of. The reciprocal of Bush/Cheney. After 9/11 it was more fashionable to worry about Darth Cheney in the big chair, but it wasn’t always that way.
So there it is. Bob Barr? OK… he is the smartest guy to not make the majors. You want a maverick? Check the box score on Barr. He’s like the former Fortune 500 CEO that you run into on the street and he is running a taco truck. Sorry Libertarians. I love ya, but it is tough love.
I’m going to start a small series of posts as the election plays out. Have a good Nov. 4, and be sure to vote.