Friday, October 2, 2015

What I Want 2016

I have to admit, Trump’s been crushing it as far as pretending to campaign for president goes.

I mean, every new thing out of his mouth has been crazy, inappropriate, racist or all three, and I’ve been eating it up with a childlike sense of hope and wonder. I could not ask for a better piece of entertainment product, and while I don’t know what we did to deserve this, I’m wiling to go with the flow, lean back, and watch an angry clown pretend to run for president without thinking about it too hard.

After all, his candidacy is the sort of thing that really does start to fall apart if any level of scrutiny is applied to it.

If you’re a Trump supporter, I apologize, but that’s the level on which I’m choosing to enjoy this whole thing. It’s a shallow level, but that doesn’t make my joy that he’s running any less real. And isn’t it more important that we ARE enjoying the same thing than petty questions of why?

Ultimately, I don’t think Trump will take the Republican nomination, because the people who own the party choose how it’s run, not the voters, and the owners know that Trump is too much of a wild-card to allow as their standard bearer during a major election they think that they might actually win. Which is unfortunate, but nothing can be done about it, that’s just how the process works. A safer choice will be made and the whole US election program will become a much less interesting one.

Which is what it is, though I DO believe that with a little luck, and sufficiently passionate supporters, Trump CAN make himself an important enough part of the conservative conversation that, when the time comes to choose a vice presidential nominee, he will be legitimately considered and, though this is not likely, perhaps even chosen. With the sheer number of people running, after all, the party will be splintered, and a moderate, business-friendly candidate might need a good way to reach out to the more conspiracy-minded base. Stranger things have happened, after all…

That would be a lot of fun.

On the Democratic side, meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is running basically unopposed and the whole primary can safely be ignored until the national convention.

If you’re a Sanders supporter, I apologize, but you had to know on some level that this was the case. As I pointed out earlier, the people who own the party choose how it’s run, not you. Sanders is moving the Overton window further left than I’d have thought possible, and congratulations to him, but you’re going to have to take that win and be happy with it.

It’s not a bad win, after all.

Once she has the nomination officially nailed down, however, things begin to become interesting. Because the sitting vice-president, who at one point did have a slim but non-zero chance of mounting a legitimate challenge had he entered the race, chose not to do so, keeping Clinton’s path to the presidency clear for her. And presumably, while it’s unlikely any actual quid-pro-quo situation has been negotiated, he would appreciate something in return.

Due to this, as well as the fact that, technically, there is no legal reason the same man can’t be the vice president under two different presidents over the course of sixteen years, there’s a small but non-zero possibility that Jolting Joe Biden is tapped to, once more, run in the VP slot. The Republican nominee picks Trump, Clinton picks Biden, and NOW the decks are cleared for a Donald Trump/Joe Biden vice presidential debate.

I want this so much, you guys, I can’t even say. People forget because the Obama administration has done a pretty good job keeping him on a short leash, but Joe Biden has basically zero internal censor, in a way that’s frequently unbelievably entertaining. His debate against Paul Ryan was one of the highlights of 2012, not the presidential campaign, the year, it was one of my favorite things that happened that year, and his tendency to go off script, contradict the official white house position on major social issues or drop a random F-bomb makes watching him do things while camera’s are pointed at him a fascinating prospect even when nothing goes off the rails. Even when he’s well behaved, there’s a sense of anticipation in the air!

And, partnered with somebody like Trump who CLEARLY has zero interest in such petty things as “Facts” or “Research” and who genuinely believes he can speak authoritatively on any subject, Biden off the leash could really go to town, unleashing his own unrestrained id with a willing, if much dumber, sparring partner.

It would be a debate for the ages. For all the wrong reasons, obviously, but for the ages nonetheless, and I want to watch it happen SO MUCH!

Alternately, Comedy Central could host the “Parallel Universe” Trump/Biden presidential debates. I’d watch that too.

But let’s be honest, part of the sick thrill is the danger of this taking place in real life, with actual policy decisions in the balance. Staged for the purposes of a show, much though Trump’s candidacy IS staged for the purposes of a show, I don’t know that it would have the same impact…

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