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May The Best Showman Win

by The Cranky Media Guy

Like most Americans, I've given up the idea that any politician, Democrat or Republican, is actually going to do anything to make my life better.  I've come to terms with the fact that it's all a big show which, unlike professional wrestling, we're required by law to pay for.  As Frank Zappa once said, "politics is the entertainment division of big business."

Since it's all just monkeys jumping through hoops, I have a theory that most people who bother to vote anymore do so for the guy who gives them the best show.  How else do you explain the fact that Bill Clinton won twice?  By the '96 election, every sentient being knew that the guy was a World Class BS Artist, but so what?  At a party, who would you rather spend your time hanging around, the guy who's in the middle of the room, charming everyone with wild stories or the guy sitting sullenly in the corner, drinking beer?  You know the storyteller is full of crap, but it beats the hell out of listening to a mumbler who's revving up for the Technicolor Yawn any minute now.

The other day, George W. Bush made some statement about how his pick for the V.P. spot would be "exciting".  For a moment, my mind was awhirl with the possibilities.  Jackie Chan?  Madonna?  The Black Panther guy kicked out of the Big Brother house?  Hillary Clinton?  (now, that would have been funny!)  OK, admittedly those people were kind of long-shots, but when he used the word "exciting", I had the brief fantasy that, for once, it might not be one of the usual suspects, a male caucasian, right-leaning, career office holder-type.

A few days passed, then Dubya made his Big Announcement.  His running mate would be--drum roll please--Dick Cheney.  Man, talk about taking the oxygen out of the room.  If Bush thinks that Dick Cheney is exciting, he must have an orgasm every time he eats macaroni and cheese. 

Republicans are fond of saying that their party is a "big tent".  That may be, but underneath that big tent is some kind of P.T. Barnum-era Aryan circus where George Hamilton would be on display as an "exotic" from the African continent.   Dick Cheney, oil millionaire and friend of your father's, huh?  Way to think inside the box, George!

Cheney's had three heart attacks.  Someone's going to have to ask the people at the Republican convention not to pop the balloons that fall from the ceiling; his heart can't take it.  I wonder how many of the three were caused by finding out that his daughter is a lesbian.  If nothing else, that answers the burning question, Who Will Howard Stern Vote For?

OK, so Bush is a total flop on the Entertain-O-Meter.  There's still hope for Al Gore, who hasn't announced a running mate yet, either.  Hey, Al, remember what I said earlier about it all coming down to who's the most entertaining? Since you're the only guy in America dull enough to make George W. look like Jim Carrey on crystal meth, I suggest you give some thought to making your selection for V.P. unconventional. 

Hey, I just got an idea, Al.  NBC is kind of behind the curve on this "reality" programming thing.  Work out a deal with them for a show where people from all over the country can call in for a shot at appearing on the air and possibly winning the Grand Prize of living at the Naval Observatory grounds in northwest DC for four years.  Call it Veepstakes 2000.  Go ahead, look me in the eye and tell me that wouldn't work.  Dignity, schmignity.  It would be a ratings monster and win you the White House, Al.  Remember, it's all about entertainment.  It's all just monkeys jumping through hoops.





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