Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The results are in: you're all insane.

President Obama, according to CNN.com, is considering delaying a Hawaiian family vacation in an attempt to work out a deal with congressional Republicans on the Bush tax cuts that expire December 31.

This must be a tough pill for the other three Obamas to swallow, but hopefully they're used to this by now. He's the President and he's got to make some tough calls at the expense of his family. He desperately wants to fulfill as many of his campaign goals as he possibly can before Congress squeals to the right faster than Starsky and Hutch in their '75 Gran Torino.

The bigger question, in my opinion, is: Why? Why has he and so many thousands of other elected officials volunteered for this lifestyle? These people are subjected to unrelenting abuse, especially from biased media pundits. Whether liberal or conservative, entire networks exist to undermine their adversaries' platforms, as well as their friendships, associations, family ties, neck ties and haircuts.

I understand the idealistic reasons for which one considers a run at elected office. Many began with a quest to unite and lead, as I did when I had children. Many of us haven't made it too far on that quest.

Some entered the political arena to tirelessly serve others, which, apparently, I've decided to do by having children.

And many who hold public office had fully armored themselves for the unrelenting second-guessing, the personality attacks and the scathing criticism. That's where we differ, since I hadn't really thought about that when I decided to have children.

After reflecting on my first exposure to elected office, I've decided that no one should be surprised about this fiery atmosphere by the time they achieve adulthood, since all the factors are already at play. A kid running for fifth grade student body president campaigns the same way a seasoned politician does. One may promise universal health care, while the other pledges chicken chimichangas every other Thursday, but supporters jump on the bandwagon with equal gusto.

Each criticizes the prior administration. In one case, for igniting an unnecessary war based on false pretenses, and in the other, for not keeping the tether balls fully inflated as promised, leading to unnecessary shoulder blade welts among the constituency.

Once elected, the honeymoon ends quickly. Each is soundly rebuked for pandering to special interests; in one case, the insurance companies or energy industry. In the other, the chess club, which is allowed to stay in a comfortable classroom while the rest of the school crams into the play shed for rainy day recess.

Before long, each is constantly on the defensive, so there's no choice but to tout unnoticed accomplishments, whether it's affordable health care for thirty million Americans or the elimination of tuna fish pizza forever.

So let's not judge our President too harshly for entering the nation's highest office with virtually no executive experience, until we find out one crucial fact:

Was Barack Obama student body president at his elementary school?

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