Saturday, May 16, 2015

Election 2016 Special!

I don't take electoral politics seriously. Most government policy is made by unelected bureaucrats who can create whatever regulations they feel like, the law be damned.

Most people either vote a straight party-line ticket or choose a candidate based on superficial things like height, a good speaking voice, physical fitness, a serious but not grave demeanor, and a lack of facial hair. In addition to these qualities, I also feel that a politician should provide entertainment. (It has been said that politics is show business for ugly people.)

It is very hard for the politician him- or herself to be entertaining, because politicians are carefully trained not to outrage even the most strange and bizarre opinions. It's hard to tell a funny joke that doesn't offend someone somewhere.

This is where Presidential brothers come in. We have a great tradition of goofy Presidential brothers - Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, Neil Bush. I don't remember much about the Carter Administration except for the hostages in Iran, and a drunken Billy Carter having peed on an airport runway in the presence of the news media.

So, I plan on voting for the candidate with the brother most likely to make an ass of himself. Here's a rundown of the potential for brotherly embarrassment for some of the major candidates for 2016.

Hillary Clinton: We have some real potential right off the bat here, with brother Hugh Rodham. He had to give back $400,000 he got from a guy who Bill Clinton pardoned. As a bonus, he is both fat and sloppy, which adds color to any comical missteps. The only trouble with Rodham is that he may have learned to stay out of trouble based on his experience during the Bill Clinton administration.

Elizabeth Warren: She has three older brothers, but they keep a low profile. All I could find was them supporting Warren's discredited claim about being part Indian.

Rand Paul: He has two brothers, but what interests me is his dad, Ron Paul, who was himself a candidate the last time around. Ron Paul was generally regarded as the most conservative Congressman of his time, and now he's retired and doesn't have to stand for office any more. He is both a free and original thinker, as well as a very likely source of gaffes and embarrassing associations.

Jeb Bush: Neil Bush is still the likeliest Bush brother to do something entertaining. George is far too savvy (don't be fooled by that down-home personality.) But like Hugh Rodham, Neil Bush has had time to sharpen his game, so he may be less likely to go off message.

Jim Webb: He has a brother, but I couldn't find anything on him. Webb himself may be the more likely source of entertainment. He likes to say what's on his mind, which is why he couldn't be a senator any more and why I don't see him making it far in the primaries.

Bernie Sanders: Now here is where it gets interesting. Bernie Sanders has a brother, Larry, who moved to England years ago and was recently defeated in an election as a Green Party candidate. Bernie Sanders himself is an actual socialist, so his brother is probably a real flake.

Lincoln Chafee: He doesn't have a brother, and moreover, is from an old-line New England political family. Bor----ing.

We have several strong contenders here. Will Larry Sanders tell a British tabloid that his brother's favorite song is the "Internationale"? Will one of Elizabeth Warren's low-profile brothers be caught on video saying "We Chinese, we play joke, we go pee-pee in your Coke"?  Or will Hugh Rodham show us all that he hasn't learned from his mistakes? Only time will tell.

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