Well now that THAT’S over…
So after a week of no sleep and a grueling work schedule, I’m finally coming up for air after the midterm elections. Next time I’m leaving the country — having to talk about more than 500 races and hundreds of local candidates wasn’t only taxing, it was downright absurd, and should be left to a wonkier class of people. And my tussle with an in absentia Chris Matthews on MSNBC was only but a small consolation.
But as we gear up for the debate on extending the Bush tax cuts, might I make a suggestion to my Republican friends in Congress? Take a page from the Democrats’ handbook and be the best Monday Morning quarterbacks you can be. Folks on the left like Paul Krugman and Rahm Emanuel have been arguing that the economy’s still tanking because the stimulus package wasn’t big enough, proving that hindsight is 20/1,000. I say, Republicans should come back with, “Well the Bush tax cuts weren’t big enough either.” What do you have to say to that, Congressional Democrats? Nothing! Iced.
Also, in the wake of the Bell, California corruptocrats, Obama’s federal employee outreach program, and the hundreds of stories about government employees using taxpayer money to, I don’t know, put sconces in their living room or get their wives breast implants…isn’t it time we stop demonizing Wall Street and “greedy corporate executives” and acknowledge the real culprits in the economic downturn? I miss the good old days, when government jobs were for the pallid and unassuming workaday set. You made just enough money to put TV dinners in the Frigidaire and keep the wife in twinsets from the Sears, Roebuck catalog. The highlight of every year was the office Christmas party, because that’s when Harry made his special rum punch and Fred managed to smuggle in some Cubans. Of course, there was always Dotty’s questionable ambrosia salad to contend with, but she meant well and besides, her creamed corn at the company picnic was pretty swell. You had one car until it collapsed in a cloud of pollutants on the side of the road, and a vacation meant a long weekend of parcheesi and S’mores at the KOA campgrounds in Plattekill. There were no condos in the Caribbean or private jets or wardrobe budgets or $400,000 salaries. You spent most of your time begging the front office to send more manila envelopes (and an exterminator, while they’re at it). You were a lowly public servant who was vastly under-appreciated and probably pretty miserable. But at least there was a chicken in every pot!
But enough nostalgia. I had a number of bizarre but awesome green room experiences over the past week or so, which I’m more than happy to share with you. While at CNN to appear on “Parker Spitzer,” I found myself flanked at one point by Texas Governor Rick Perry on my left and “90210” alum Shannen Doherty on my right. They came separately, and were appearing on different shows, but in my mind I decided that they are planning a “Little House on the Prairie” remake, and Perry is considering the Michael Landon role. What?
On another night I ran into Karl Rove (who doesn’t know that we’re secretly dating) at Hannity. We got to talking about hunting, naturally, and in a surreal moment of one-upmanship, we both whipped out our hunting tags to compare cojones. He has seven doe tags to my two this year, but I have a bear tag. I win.
Been catching up on some television I missed while held captive by the rebel army of midterm elections. There’s apparently a new cultural trend in the wake of the economic downturn that’s manifesting in what I’m calling “recession programming.” There’s a show called “Downsized” on the WE network, and another called “The Fairy Jobmother” on Lifetime, both of which center on the financial struggles of everyday Americans. It’s an earnest and well-intended attempt at putting human faces on the financial crisis, but I’d frankly rather watch Lisa VanderPump spend $2,000 on a chocolate Easter Bunny on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills than watch the Bruce family cut coupons. No offense to them — and believe me, I’ve got more in common with the Bruces than the VanderPumps (best rich people name ever!), but in my increasingly precious downtime, the last thing I want is a reminder that we’re all screwed. More wildly reckless spending and grotesque self-indulgence please! It’s all I have.
Finally, I’ve decided there’s no such thing as extraterrestrial life. Because if there were aliens out there, they’d have recognized that now is the PERFECT time to come down and invade our planet. We have no money. We think burying gold bullion in our backyards is a pretty good investment. We think credits in carbon are actually worth something. We worry about conserving water — something that literally falls from the sky every day. We are professionally distracted, running into walls and lampposts because we refuse to look up from our iPhones. We think marijuana should be available at every gas station, but Happy Meals are killing our kids. And we’ve got unexplained missiles springing up from the ocean. If there were ever time for an alien invasion, it’s now.