Oy vay! Does the Republican party have a problem? They've got a large and unwieldy field of aspiring presidential nominees, all of whom want to appear in upcoming debates. But space is limited. Who should be left out? Who should get the call? And how can they finally winnow down the field to the best possible candidate? Such a dilemma!
A Modest Proposal
The answer is simple. Have candidates compete on the nation's top reality TV shows. It's a format they should all feel comfortable with. The GOP, after all, has had a long and contentious relationship with reality. And reality shows are to reality what Fox News is to news.
The qualities we are looking for and the challenges... Drum roll please!
No. 10: Lovable Ignorance
Can't distinguish an opinion from a fact? Consider that a plus. In this game, it pays to be a dumbass. Three things: Deficit is really spelled with a "c." There really is no "e" at the end of "potato." Now what was that third thing?
No. 9: Specialized Knowledge
You really have to know something however. What better than a substantial grasp of trivial information and a lack of understanding as to how those isolated facts actually relate to one another, or the larger context in which they exist? Most important of all is your ability to answer a question with a question.
No. 8: Down-Home Persona
Where's Joe the plumber when we really need him? Demonstrate your ability to create the facade of ordinariness. Live in a duck blind. Shoot your partner inadvertently in the head without killing him. Be one of the people, a down-home non-pretentious kind of guy, dislike modern technology, disdain formal education, hate gays, extol your Christian heritage, not reveal your entitled background. Ignore charges by those who claim to have known you "before you were a virgin."
No. 7: A Trim and Sleek Image
How fast can you discard embarrassing baggage without causing a stir? It begins with your ability to maintain a trim physical image despite suffering through a series of greasy spoon specials, fried chicken dinners and pancake breakfasts.* That's only one aspect of this grueling challenge, however. You also have to avoid discussing matters of substance. There's no place for weighty issues if you hope to wage a successful campaign. Discard them as fast as you did the pounds.
*Note: Tummy tucks not allowed.
#6: Financial Acumen
Every viable candidate has to fully understand the world of commerce -- how money works and how to work with it. Create a cockamamie product, pass it off as something viable; and proceed to convince a group of high bank-rollers to invest in it. Your product is actually a piece of crap, but that shouldn't really matter. It's only a pretext for getting their support. The only thing that matters is you. That it is what they are really buying into, and it is your job is to convince them that that it is in their best interests to do so, e.g., you really understand that things do go better with Koch.
No. 5: Guts and Grit
Test your ability to improvise on the run, negotiate foreign landscapes and confront unforeseen challenges. Traversing several continents, you will participate in: a scavenger hunt in Benghazi, leap into a corporate polluted river, bungee jump across an oil spill, sit for a home-made video, clad in an orange jumpsuit in the middle of a desert, and host a social luncheon of spare ribs and beer with Sunnis and Shiites at a Ramadi Inn.
No. 4: Thrift and Parsimony
Show the voters in no uncertain terms how little the average person really needs in order to have a healthy and fulfilling life. Working from a random selection of food scavenged from a dumpster, concoct a nutritious five course meal,* representing all major food groups, to be served to others.
*Note: Ketchup does not count as a vegetable.
No. 3: Obliviousness
Demonstrate how easily a person can shut out the real world and ignore real world conditions. Live for a week in a boarded up house in the middle of Detroit, as part of a collective with residents of the area, work in a fast-food joint and bear responsibility for several underage children. Your ability to adjust to these conditions and be at home with them will be judged by the residents who will vote members off as they cease to adapt.
No. 2a: Flexibility and Openness to Change
How easily can you accept erasure of your past and the creation of a new public image? A professional Spin Doctor will work his miraculous skills on you, transforming your drab ordinary self into a glamorous and attractive personage. Roll with the punches as he redoes all previous positions, including statements in print, public utterances and voting record, making embarrassing blemishes vanish in a flash -- especially those gained in earlier primaries. Winners will feel neither shame nor discomfort as they segue comfortably into their new policy positions and new persona.
No. 2b: Nimbleness and Dexterity
You can't represent the party well without being able to evade major issues and promote wedge issues with panache.This means being able to think on your feet; avoid missteps, stay a step ahead of the media by keeping your foot out of your mouth, and doing a quick shuffle while answering questions. Above all, avoid stepping on the toes of supporters.
No. 1: Je ne sais quoi
Do you really have that certain something? Enough to woo and win the hand of a charming young vixen? Guess who?
More fun with words by Larry