Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Political Theory According to ABBA

Before “Mama Mia,” admitting one jammed to ABBA was like announcing one was Republican at a party. You could do it, but had to accept the distinct possibility that doing so would render one friendless at least in public.

However, now even men can be seen singing along with “Waterloo” as they scurry about in their Prias or mini-vans. If the commercial success of the musical wherein the plot was grafted onto a greatest hits CD is any indicator, perhaps Obama should feel a bit worried. That, or he should have his theme song be “Take a Chance on Me.”

Recently, the O man has been taking it on the chin, but politics like basketball is a game of hot streaks followed by lulls in the action. We have just finished the first fifteen minutes. Only Edwards has fouled out. The score is virtually tied and the coaches have wisely called a time out for the purpose of letting their respective teams catch a breath. There has even been a bit of cheesy courtside entertainment in the form of Paris Hilton, who oddly enough, managed to grapple with the complex issue of energy needs and environmental impact with more nuance than anyone currently running.

It’s time for the Veep Candidates, the B-team if you will. For those still grieving the passing of George Carlin and Bernie Mac, hope for humor remains. We have the Republican and Democrat Conventions and those crazy Clintons. Reality Television hasn’t had it this good since Richard Hatch and the Susan "snake eats the rat" speech. Even the Olympics in all their actual and manufactured glory cannot compete with a true blood sport. Sure in training for the global games held every four years, you surrender your body and quite probably childhood, but in elections, you mortgage your soul and anyone else’s you find available.

So, whose up to being the Miss Congeniality in the beauty pageant? Ready to be Salutatorian, all of the long hours of work and dateless weekends with no one applauding your wisdom in a moving but unmemorable speech at the end? Being a Vice President has to be the most over rated job on the planet. “Hello, I’d like you to uproot your family, allow the world to scrutinize every email you ever wrote, vet your every action and inaction, association, quip, quote and thought uttered in your lifetime for the purposes of being essentially the silver medalist who only won the medal by losing the gold. You’ve got job security if we win for the next four years unless I die.”

“Sounds great, sign me up!”

Traditional wisdom in politics would argue that one should pick what one lacks –i.e Barrack needs a Democratic version of Dick Cheney “Gravitas” or a person from an electoral state that’s in play, Virginia or Ohio. For McCain, he needs someone who looks like he could whisper in the candidate’s ear, “You might want to say that hearing aid is really an IPod or a hands free cell phone, and pick a song more recent than “Dancing Queen” as one of your favorites even if it’s current because of the movie with Meryl Streep.”

Because, as everyone knows, “The Winner takes it All.”

For humor that's more accessible than disco music, try

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