Starbaracks
I'd like a tall latte with whipped cream, please, double-stan...
From time to time I get told that I am a cynic. My stock response to this is to shrug and say "well, I always was a dog person," a referential pun that nobody but me seems to get, which is somewhat depressing. Anyway, a friend of mine has occasionally mockingly said, when I tell him I'm not a cynic after all, "oh, right, let me guess--you're just a realist?"

But when I suggest that perhaps the Democrats could've, you know, actually tried to stop the war in Iraq (this was the promise that got them elected) rather than making one half-assed attempt they didn't really care about before going back to talking out both sides of their mouths while giving the president a Monica, he insists "what else could they do?" This he describes as being "realistic," without--I suppose--a trace of irony.

Anyway, I'm not terrifically surprised by the DNC's actions because actually standing up for something would require some modicum of integrity, and until they start getting kickbacks from an integrity PAC I imagine most of us are resigned to a political establishment that has not yet reached the Cambrian. Increasingly most of us appear to also understand that the difference between the two parties boils down to "Republicans claim to be more religious, but are certainly much more pushy about it" and "oh, and they have their conventions at different times."

On to Barack, who has lost poster-child status by being... well, by being a Chicagoan politico. Surprise surprise. I think I've been saying that for awhile now. The latest (well, the one I focus most on) is that apparently Obama "never" said that the Iraq "surge" strategy wouldn't work. Problematically this is of course, uh, exactly what he said. Fortunately for those of us keeping score, we can now add yet another Democratic politician who claims to be against the war but if given the power to do so will do exactly jack to actually stop it, with a little bit of shit added in for good measure.

My suggestion now is to just give up on presidents, who really don't seem to do much anyway. I think what we should do is gather up a couple dozen suitably-aged male and female citizens, set them before a team to include Simon Cowell, call it "so you want to be president?" or "oval office challenge" or something, and eliminate one potential candidate per week until we get to our president. Done. Not only is this cheaper than the current system, but it also gets people into the political process again and increases the likelihood that a reasonably qualified man or woman of the people--as opposed to a blue-blooded aristocrat.

You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. The only reason not to go with such a system is that it would undermine our careful process for only putting blue-blooded aristocrats into the office. If you combine a Cowell-lead judging team with phone-in voters, you get a nice balance between the mob and the educated, producing (ideally) a president who is both popularly-elected, representative of the country, and at least marginally competent.

Oh. I suppose there are those who would say that such a system would remove the last shred of dignity from the political process. Let's be honest, though, the New Yorker seems to have that front pretty well covered.

-Alex
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