it’s a good thing i’m not president
I’ve never wanted to be in charge of anything. I’ve certainly never wanted to have political power, and I don’t envy those who have it. I’m content to change the world five hundred words at a time with my little comedy pieces.
Besides which, I’m probably not very electable, and it’s not my stands on the issues as much as what some would call ‘voter negatives’—namely, that I’m a bisexual, pot-smoking socialist. I don’t doubt that there exists an vast army of horny, stoned leftists out there as a potential base, but it strikes me that this would be a difficult group to galvanize, what with them already busy getting laid and getting high.
I may not want to be president, but I do have a big enough ego to imagine myself as president. And in looking at what President Obama was handed for his first term, I think if I were in his place, my first official act would have been to flip out.
Seriously, what a crappy gig this is. Two (three? I can’t keep track) unwinnable and unpopular wars, collapsed banks, outsourced companies, nobody has credit, nobody has a job, nobody wants to buy cars because they don’t have credit (and don’t have jobs to drive to), and, for nostalgia’s sake, let’s throw in travel advisories for the country right next to us, a country that is apparently governed predominately by drug lords. Oh–almost forgot–most of the world isn’t really sure they trust us. Here’s the paperwork on all that, Mr. President. Any ideas?
As we approach the next election cycle, pundits are already assigning letter grades to the President–and they’ve been doing it since his ‘first hundred days.’ First hundred days’ is such bullshit. Do the math, people. A little over three months, and we’re seriously judging performance? It takes most people more than three months to get the hang of a new job in the mail room. Hell, it took me four months at my last office job before I figured out where they kept the extra paper clips.
When I look at my last hundred days, I see a mixed record. In no particular order of importance, my accomplishments include:
- filed income tax returns
- signed up with two temp agencies
- responded to 137 Craigslist job leads
- wrote over several allegedly funny essays
- organized the music on my computer into folders
- bought two pairs of jeans
In my defense, I didn’t have a staff of advisors, so I was pretty much flying solo on most of this.
I don’t think my personality is suited to the demands of the presidency, anyway. First, I’m not a morning person, and I understand the president has ‘morning briefings’. Now, everyone I worked with at the old office job knew that until 11 o’clock, it probably wasn’t a good idea to talk to me, let alone hand me a bunch of paperwork.
Secondly, and I’m not proud of this–I’m a ditherer. If I absolutely have to make a decision, it takes me for-freakin-ever. I once spent three and a half hours in a book store trying to decide what to get for a girlfriend’s birthday. “Hmmm…I could get this, but she might have that already, maybe this is too serious, she might hate this, screw it I’ll get a gift card. ”
So imagining I were president, let’s look at just one decision from Obama’s first year. The Somali pirate thing. Here’s how I would have handled it.
After making several dumb pirate jokes, I would call my advisors in, and then I would have to sort through the options. And then I would freeze up.
“Hmmm…I could send in the Navy, but maybe that’s too aggressive, and what if the pirates shoot the captain, well then we have to shoot the pirates first, but they’re teenagers, and what if we miss, then they shoot the captain anyway, but if I don’t do something right away I look weak, but wait I’m the President so who cares what they think”–and by the time I called my advisors back in, the pirates would have actually seized our Navy ship. Maybe our entire Navy. And the pirates would have been in their mid-thirties.
I think it’s pretty clear that I shouldn’t be president. What’s also clear to me is that it’s a thankless job for anybody, and maybe we should hold off with the evaluations and grades. In fact, I have an idea–maybe, instead of the first hundred days, we should judge him on his first 1460 days in office. Then we can…vote on it or something.