Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Party Chit Chat for the Political Novice!

It’s holiday season, which means lots of holiday parties! But it’s also campaign season, which means that holiday party chit chat will turn towards politics! That’s great for a political junkie like me, but for the average Joe who doesn’t know much about politics, it just creates anxiety. People tell me all of the time that they’re afraid that expressing a political opinion at a party could make them look stupid, or give offense to others. And they’re right! Without expert guidance, you’re bound to seem like a fool or a buffoon!

But never fear! Below I’ve provided some pro tips for talking politics at parties that will help you seem smart and in-the-know!

What’s your political philosophy? This is an easy one! Practice the following sentence: “I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative!” This simple phrase shows that you’re thoughtful and independent! It shows that you’re cosmopolitan and “down” with all sorts of people, but that you’re not a sucker and that you have enough bank to care deeply about the top marginal tax rate! I’m serious about practicing; repeat “I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative” over and over until it’s second nature! At a 2003 cocktail party at Maureen Dowd’s house I had a few too many and announced “I’m a social conservative and a fiscal liberal.” It nearly caused a riot! Don’t you make that mistake!

Are you a Democrat or a Republican? Also easy: “I’m an independent!” Definitely a safe answer! A real pro would add, “because neither party really has the solutions to today’s problems.”

Which candidate do you support?  This is a tricky one! Anything you say that directly responds to the question could be held against you! So use a trick that the pros use on teevee! Answer a different question! Instead of talking about who should win the election, talk instead about who will win the election! For instance, you could say, “I think Ted Cruz has got the organization on the ground in Iowa to take advantage of his strength with evangelical voters,” or “Hillary Clinton will pick up the nomination by tacking to her left, but that could weaken her with moderate voters in the swing states in the general.” That way you show that you’re savvy about politics, but you don’t risk offending anyone by declaring support for a candidate that they hate! And don’t worry about being wrong; no one will remember!

What do you think about Black Lives Matter? Another tricky one! The best approach: “What do you think about Black Lives Matter?”

What do you think we should do about ISIS? It may surprise you to learn that this is actually an easy one! You’re not the President, so it isn’t your job to know what to do about ISIS! So you say, “The problem with our approach to ISIS is that the President doesn’t really have a strategy.” This same statement can be adapted to make you seem thoughtful about any foreign policy problem!

Follow these simple tips, and the average person will think you’re a professional political pundit!

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Ryan Solution

Republican Party leaders are desperate to convince Congressman Paul Ryan to reconsider his refusal to run for Speaker of the House! House Republicans are currently in complete disarray with the pending resignation of Speaker Boehner and the withdrawal of Kevin McCarthy, the presumptive favorite to replace him! Only Ryan, with his brilliant policy ideas and strong conservative credentials, can reunite the fractious House Republicans!

But why should Ryan stop at fixing the House Republicans? There are so many other problems in our politics that must be addressed! Let’s start with the mess in the Republican primaries, where the failure of moderate, respectable, honorable leaders like Jeb!, Christie, and Jindal to inspire support has allowed wild cards Trump and Carson to lead the field! While both men are brilliant and have brought forward truly innovative ideas, the Party must decide whether it is really wise to select a political neophyte as their standard-bearer! The obvious solution: draft Ryan to run for President!

But it isn’t only the Republicans that need help! Hillary Clinton’s completely unprecedented and deeply disturbing use of a private email account will inevitably destroy her candidacy, leaving a Democratic field consisting only of socialists and nonentities! Democratic wise men are casting about for a solution! Well here’s one! Nominate Paul Ryan! Now you might be asking why in the world the Democrats would nominate a Republican to be their nominee! Well the answer is that when the Republican and Democratic nominees are the same guy, both parties are guaranteed to win! Including the Democrats! That’s much better than the crap shoot of nominating your own candidate, isn’t it? Besides, Paul Ryan is such a reasonable moderate that he’s almost a Democrat anyway, so nominating him would just make it official! It’s a perfect bipartisan solution!

There is one final problem that Paul Ryan could solve: the lame duck Presidency of Barack Obama! His presidency is obviously dead in the water, inexplicably incapable of achieving bipartisan compromise! And without bipartisan compromise, nothing of value can get accomplished! The smart thinking in Washington is that Obama will really have no choice but to resign by the beginning of next year at the latest! If Biden resigns too, and Ryan is Speaker by then . . .

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hilarious Republican!

To me the highlight of last night's Republican Presidential Debate on CNN was Marco Rubio's hilarious joke:  "I'm also aware that California has a drought, and so that's why I made sure I brought my own water."

I fell on the floor! The whole audience just erupted in laughter, as you can see in this video!

That's the kind of wit that could help Rubio get to the top of a very strong Republican field!