Tuesday, September 22, 2015


All you need to know about presidential politics is that Arnold Schwarzenegger will take over from Donald Trump as host of Celebrity Apprentice.

It's the only way any of this makes sense.

Schwarzenegger became governor of California, I firmly believe, on the novelty vote: "Yeah, sure, what the hell? It's not like state government does anything anyway. Let's put the Terminator in office! I might finally vote this time!"

So we installed Schwarzenegger and watched him chew up yet another role — larger than life, narcissistic, hedonistic, every-man-wants-to-be-him-and-every-woman-wants-to-be-with-him, AhhhNohd!!

Or some such.

He made his political move at the right time, propelled on a movement to recall the sitting governor who epitomized all that is boring and perfunctory and defacto defunct about government, including his name: Gray Davis.

Enter Schwarzenegger from stage left, in such a raucous coronation that his handlers were already talking about tweaking the Constitution so the Austrian Oak could soon become the American president.

Schwarzenegger tilted the ship nearly overboard the other way instead. Jerry Brown came back to clean up the mess, including the cigar ash that got everywhere. Arnold's wife, Maria Shriver, got a divorce after everyone including her learned Arnold had fathered a child from an out-of-wedlock affair. The deposed, disgraced star fell and fell into that deserved pit of shame: A multi-picture deal in which he gets to play a caricature of his caricature, and now the Celebrity Apprentice gig.

That'll teach him.

It's the same for Trump, I gotta believe. I gotta believe that all his so-called supporters are just yanking our chain, seeing how far this frat prank can go, seeing if this buffoon can actually cover all the bases — base, debased, off base, baseless — on his way to the White House. Doesn't matter anyway, what's the worst he can do?! Let's vote!

Teflon®™ Reagan had nothing on this guy. The stupider, more insulting, more juvenile, the more outright outrageous Trump gets — and he tops himself daily — the more his poll numbers seem to rise. The more he trumpets his catch-all platform of "We're gonna look into it, and a lot more other things, believe me!" the more attention he gets.

The more attention the news media give him, rather. The media follow the money and open their troughs to catch it, and spill the slop on us. They don't particularly care whether he's racist or xenophobic, they just point the camera and the money comes pouring in.
It's why I, the casual victim of social media, know that Bristol Palin is upset that President Obama invited to the White House a 14-year-old Texas kid was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school. Why does the media care — and why would we? — what Bristol Palin has to say about the matter, except the media give her attention because she's the daughter of Sarah Palin? Cha-ching!

It can't possibly be what the pundits said last week, that the public is so disappointed and disenfranchised by the status quo that they're reacting in anger. (I heard this three times from three pundits last week, with eerie similarity, making me question their independence of thought.)

And Trump is their answer?! Donald Trump?! Who is nothing like the average American? Who's the poster boy for the 1%? Whose empire is a house of cards? The Donald Trump who led the campaign to insist Obama was not born in the United States? That's who we want to change the world with?

Are we on Candid Camera?

The other Republicans envy Trump and gnash their teeth and rend their garments about him, which is appropriate biblical language given the theocracies that a third of them propose for us as president. They should embrace Trump instead, for making them look almost normal.

Even Ben Carson, who said this weekend on Meet the Press, "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that." He looks sane alongside Trump.

The conservative media have tried so desperately to describe what Carson could possibly have meant, that he was referring to radical Muslims; Carson himself tried to help by saying he could support a Muslim who pledged loyalty to the Constitution. I'll let you think about the stupidity of these comments, about the ironic fallout of someone saying "I would not advocate that we put a black/woman/Jew in charge of this nation," and say Carson is a brilliant joke.

Maybe I'm too hasty. Maybe I should remember that, as usual with campaigns, most of these candidates will fall away, and quickly. Promising theocrat and union buster Scott Walker dropped out this week, following theocrat and government buster Rick Perry.

We will have expended too much envy on these trivial pursuits, as usual.

I'll know sanity is restored when we resume our war on Christmas and Trump takes back his leather seat on Celebrity Apprentice. So Schwarzenegger can run.

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