With apologies to the wonderful wives of America, I must begin by chuckling at this old joke.
Ominous knocking brings Mister Jones to the front door. There stand two policemen with guns holstered but faces drawn. “Sir, may we see a photograph of your wife, please?”
After they look it over, they nod to each other and then turn to bring Mister Jones some dread tidings. “Sir, it looks like your wife has been run over by a truck!”
“Oh, I know that,” Mister Jones replies with a laugh. “But she makes up for it with a great sense of humor!”
One thing you have to give credit to this bunch in the White House for is they are always good for a laugh. There is not much governin’ goin’ on out there, but they sure are entertainin’. Bills pass more in Buffalo than in Washington, yet the D.C. squad excels at the punt and the fumble. They wanted to create money for a Jobs Bill by making a tax to bill Jobs, then Jobs and the Bill both died. All terribly amusing.
The paradox is that this cluelessness makes President Obama more likely to be reelected. The perception that he no longer makes much of a real difference other than as a symbol could work in his favor. Since the Republicans do not have a dynamo to field against him, their main chance to win comes when people are very scared of the mischief Obama can do when manning the helm.
As long as the electorate fears new Obamacare monsters lumbering through downtown, and new Cairo Speeches boosting Iran and sinking Israel, it will bequeath his job to whoever the GOP offers in his place. Once he seems to be a declawed tabby, and they begin to chortle at his latest monkeyshine, the urge to replace him will not be strong enough to carry the day.
It is a fact of national politics, no less than school politics, that one cannot demonize a dolt. If a politician is a bomb, he can be defused; if he is a dud he just might be ignored. Allowing him to flounder around in palpable irrelevancy, speaking in forked tongues at revival meetings of the faithful, could produce the perverse effect of his flying back into the Oval Office below the radar.
Those who believe he needs a good whuppin’ have to first make him smart. What a genius the man is! He has such command of the issues! And he issues such commands! And what drive he has, what clubs, what approaches… and that is just his golf game!
Republican candidates have gone easy on Obama in the debates. They have taken the high road because they are afraid of the fast lane. They do not want to put the President down because they think the public won’t put up with them if they do. Fine, I say: build him up! Make him Mephistopheles instead of Miss Malaprop. Make him Doctor Faust instead of Foster Brooks. Make him Machiavelli instead of Mickey Mouse.
If he looks like a pencil-necked geek, he might get to stay on Pennsylvania Avenue. But if he is big enough and bad enough and wolfish enough, if he looks like he is huffing and puffing to blow the House down, maybe his fairy tale success story will finally have a happy ending.
My only comfort is that other classic joke about the husband who summons his wife to his deathbed and asks her to sell his coin collection after he dies.
“I know you will want to remarry,” he says. “And I hate to think of some creep getting his hands on my prize pieces.”
“There is no chance of my marrying a creep,” she replies. “I never make the same mistake twice.”