01 April 2012

Politics as Usual

Every so often, I force myself to look at the current electoral nonsense, wondering which lesser-of-who-cares we're going to choose between — or among, for those of us not wedded to the two-party system — this November. The Jackass ticket is pretty well set: President Obama will, almost certainly, continue with Vice President Biden as his running mate (absent a health issue or uncoverupable scandal that we don't know about). The Heffalump ticket is more open. Leaving aside that health issue or uncoverupable scandal that it will take to prevent Willard from taking the top slot, who might he choose as a running mate?

Over the last few elections in particular, both parties have placed heavy weight on balancing the appeal at the top of the ticket (for some value of "appeal") with a vice-presidential candidate drawn from a different background and tailored to appear attractive to a different part of the electorate. Sarah Palin's youth, vigor, and gender were supposed to help balance John McCain's age, medical history, and old-white-guyness. (I think they did less well in balancing fitness for office...) The Heffalumps definitely have a gender problem again, with all the reproductive-rights and child-medical-care problems their policies have created for their candidates. Further, this time they need a candidate with demonstrated ability to step into the job.

And that leads to an anonymous tip I got this morning: That, not having learned all of the lessons from the 2008 fiasco, some Heffalump insiders — particularly those who owe their loyalties to Grover Norquist and the so-mysterious-I-can't-find-it-on-the-net Casterly Rock PAC — are pushing for another heavily made-up white female Washington outsider. Although they're very careful not to name too many names (I once heard something about "Littlefinger'll hear" in the background), it has become all too apparent that they have a certain somewhat motherly bleached blonde in mind.

Our Next Vice President?The key point for many party faithful is how little control of Willard they seem to have. Ms Lannister-Baratheon's extensive experience managing affairs for her underaged son when he became (at least in name) chief executive will no doubt prove valuable. Left unsaid in deep-background conversations — but, no doubt, equally important — her unshakeable loyalty to power is equally attractive to not just the Casterly Rock PAC, but almost the entire vast right-wing conspiracy. And after Bubba's missteps in the White House, her own marital infidelities will be much less of a problem for the more-evangelical portion of the base than it might seem — remember, to many of those evangelicals Willard isn't even a member of the same faith, and the less said about EyeofNewt the better. At least none of her children have themselves had children out of wedlock!

In any event, the ardency with which Ms Lannister-Baratheon is being supported requires at least some attention. Not just for the source of funds, either: The backing for Casterly Rock PAC is hardly much of a secret. I look forward to seeing "Romney-Lannister" bumper stickers this fall, if only because the confusion over her brothers' potential roles in a Heffalump administration will be almost as entertaining as the campaign. It's rumored that HBO will be running some test campaign spots starting at 9pm (8pm Central) tonight.

In other news from Washington, the looming budget impasse has led some federal agencies to take a more proactive stance, even to privatizing the Supreme Court cafeteria. One anonymous employee in the Clerk's office (after one too many shakes) recalled the controversy when then-Chief Justice Rehnquist added stripes to the sleeves of his robe, clearly showing his personal preference for adidas on the Court's official Nike apparel. "Most of the time, the swooshes appear to the public only in Justice Scalia's opinions. But they're there. Oh, they're there."