Post-electile Dysfunction

Newscasters of the world rejoice! The election is over. Obama has won and the months of relentless news coverage can now FINALLY stop.

Yes, after nearly two years of endless ramblings by political pundits, the Great American Election Spectacular has closed. And what a saga it has been…

It all began with the Hilary and Obama show. This entertaining little diversion was fun in the beginning, but started getting very repetitive towards the end. Hilary should have taken a cue from Jerry Seinfeld who knew to quit before things got stale.

Then McCain joined the cast as Obama’s nemesis. Unfortunately, the grumbling grandpa was simply not dynamic enough and his trademark moves, such as the double-handed thumbs-up and the deathmask smile, were not the ratings booster that the Republicans wanted. So they brought in Sarah Palin for a wacky cameo role as Tina Fey.

But even this piece of stunt casting failed to stop the meteoric rise of Barack Obama. With his palpable charisma, superb oratory and dazzling smile, the young senator from Illinois seemed destined for great things – and this has indeed come to pass.

When you look at it, the fact that Obama won the race is not surprising. Like Ronald Reagan, Obama is a Great Communicator and nothing wins American elections like a good, snappy speech. I also think that voters didn’t want to find themselves on the wrong side of history. And there was also the convenient truth that the outgoing Bush regime is one of the most unpopular governments in American history. All in all, as one analyst has said, the Democrats could have picked a name out of a phone book and still won the election.

But this shouldn’t take anything away from Obama. He fought an excellent and consistent campaign. Ok, he spent nearly $700 million dollars on ads, posters, travel and staff, and that’s a ton of cash. But I guess the end justifies the financial means and he was definitely the right man for the job, winning nearly twice as many electoral college votes as McCain.

So, the most powerful country in the world now has a black president. Very impressive. But it’s time to move beyond the racial issue – after all, we’ve had black presidents since 1994, so what’s the big deal? I’m much more interested in results.

More specifically, what’s Obama going to do about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?  How is the new administration going to pull the country (and the world) out of the financial mess it’s caused? What are CNN and Sky News going to do with all the computers they bought to create those glossy graphics? And, perhaps most importantly, what’s going to happen to John McCain, Sarah Palin and good old George W. Bush?

Well, I think that they should all quit politics to star in their own sitcom. I mean, it’s not like any of them have much of a political legacy to fall back on. And think about it. It would be a smash hit.

McCain would star a crusty family patriarch who always walks around with his thumbs up and addresses everyone as ‘my friends’. Palin would be his moose-hunting daughter who is a shopping addict and a fervent supporter of teenage pregnancy. And Bush would have a regular role as crazy Uncle Georgie who keeps coming up with plans to take over North Korea. Now that’s entertainment. IMHO.

[Originally posted 06/11/2008]

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