Or, why almost all politicians are as crooked as a dogs hind leg ... and why President Obama is different.
I subscribe to something I like to call, "The Gravel Pit Theory". The basic conclusion is that anybody who has been elected to an office more significant than, say, town mayor, more than two or three times is as crooked as a dog's hind leg. Why? Because the process itself guarantees it.
Here's how it works:
In order to be elected to a significant, statewide or national office, you have to have money. Lots of it. To get money, you have to do things that would make Jezebel blush. So, while it's possible for someone to be elected maybe a couple of times with honest public service in mind, those people inevitably lose to someone who only cares about being elected and does not care about anything else. Those people tend to win and win again and again ... because of the money!!
I call it "The Gravel Pit Theory" because it's like a pile of rocks in a gravel pit.
You see a pile of gravel. You can only see the rocks on the surface but you can be reasonably assured that every rock in the pile is close to the same size. Why? Because they have all gone through a screen. Rocks that were bigger than that were bounced off. Only rocks that will pass through the screen are in the pile, whether you can see or measure them or not.
Elections are like a screen. But they screen for liars and egomaniacs. In addition to being handicapped by being unwilling to lie and cheat, few honest people will put up with what you have to go through to be elected.
The other thing I like about this theory is that it also accounts for the few (very few) honest, public spirited people in office. The screen in a gravel pit might have a hole in it. A rock might bounce over from somewhere else. It's possible that a few (very few) rocks that are a bit bigger might be in the pile. But each of them are accidents.
The thing I like about Obama is that he is an accidental President.
Every hear of Jeri Ryan? Ever hear of "Seven of Nine" on the Star Trek Voyager TV show. Yummy, YUMMY! I used to watch just to see Jeri Ryan strut around in that gold, skin tight thing they made her wear. Jeri Ryan actually elected Obama all by herself.
When Obama ran for the Senate in Illinois in 2004, he was a sacrifice candidate. Jack Ryan had the money, the political connections, the smarmy good looks ... everything. The Democrats had to run somebody. Obama did it as a favor to the party. Nobody, but nobody, expected him to win.
Then the divorce papers between Jeri and Jack were unsealed by a court order. It seems Jack wanted Jeri to go to live sex shows in Paris with him and she objected. When that hit the papers, it was all over for Jack. With just 86 days to go before the election, the Republicans imported this freak show named Alan Keyes who had never even lived in the state. Reagan's co-star, Bongo, could have beat him.
And the rest, as they say, is history. The Republicans might have beat Obama in 2008, but who knew that McCain was just nutty enough to pick a half-watt like Palin. Lucky again. It's (almost) enough to make me believe in divine providence. Like I say, accidental.
But, in my book, that's a very, very good thing. It means that, just by accident, we have a President now who has not been corrupted by the process. Obama never had to sign his soul away. He has never had to forget what the truth sounds like. He is that most rare of specimens: an honest politician.
It's been a mixed bag. Because he's not your average political hack, it's been a rough go in getting stuff done. Johnson, by contrast, was as corrupt as mayonaise that had been out in the sun for a week. But he got things done. Obama only has his intelligence and work ethic going for him ... and that only goes so far in Washington.
Still ... he appears to be a fast learner and a hard worker. If we can get him some support in Congress, I still have confidence that the vision we had when we elected him might still come true.