#4 Who's Sinking the Ship? (1998)

rat All Rights Reserved © 1998 Thomas W. Day
If you follow politics, even a little, the uproar about Clinton's possible dalliance with an aide has got to be a lot confusing. For me, two big questions come to mind: 1) Who cares? and 2) Is the job of President of the United States so boring that Clinton needs this kind of distraction?

The answer to #1 is, obviously, Republicans care. They care for all of the wrong reasons. They seem to be almost rabid about the fact that a Democratic president has stabilized and reduced the National Debt to a manageable size. They hate the fact that a Democrat has been President during one of the most stable and productive economic periods in modern history. Economics and business are what Republicans claim as their territory.

In the last twenty years, the Republicans in charge have claimed to be economic conservatives while giving away the bank, and the country's future, to a collection of domestic and foreign bidders. Suddenly, a Democrat is playing the same game, considerably more competently; and that really ticks off Newt and his buddies.

Republicans have always owned the FBI, CIA, NSA, and every law agency down to small town, Midwestern county sheriffs' offices. They have no trouble getting these bloodhounds to dog the footsteps of every living being ever to cross the President's path. And they may have found something or they may have found a way to make something up. But their purpose in doing this is not to protect the nation, it's to protect their powerbase. These people are no more patriotic in their actions or purposes than a dog is loyal to the carpet it pisses on. The country is nothing more than the place where they do their business.

Question #2 is even more interesting, to me. In my 35 years of employment, I'm still waiting to see my first executive who actually provides something valuable and necessary to his/her company. In fact, in most of the companies I've worked, if the whole upper echelon of execs suddenly died it would be months before anyone noticed. (Unless the company's instant increase in productivity created attention and suspicion.) I wouldn't doubt that the President may be about as valuable to the country.

If the Zippergate accusation is true, you have to believe there isn't all that much to being President of the United States. Most of us with normal jobs don't have the time or energy to think about carrying on affairs at work. If the President has that kind of time on his hands, we're not getting much for our money, as taxpayers.

And let's face it, that has been true for the last 20 years of Presidents. Ronnie was senile, and not all that bright before he started losing it. Reagan, from the reports his own people have published, slept through most of his eight years as President. Carter had so little to do that he tossed the entire country's business aside for nearly a year so that he could concentrate on saving a bunch of State Department employees held hostage in Iran. Jerry Ford played golf and stumbled around for three years. Tricky Dick worried about aliens and communists taking over the last pair of functioning cells in his brain and vacationed in China after he got bored with burglarizing Democrat hotel rooms. Kennedy gave us Zippergate Part I. Eisenhower was a lethargic mix of Ford and Reagan's hobbies. And so on. If you deducted the non-government crap all of these ex-Presidents did during their terms, you might end up with four years worth of forty hour-per-week work for the lot of them.

Instead of impeaching Clinton, I say we start paying all politicians on a piece-work basis. I wouldn't trust any of them to play a time-clock straight, so let's figure out a flat rate and pay them only for the stuff we want them to be doing. Based on my 40 years of tax paying experience, I think that would lower the total cost of government to about $500 a year.

January 1998

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