Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lessons In Real Life, #1

I've always thought that there are some things that they should teach you in school that they don't (big shock, right?) But seriously, there are just some things that everyone should know that will help them, and I'm going to share them, as and when I think of them. So, learn for today:

1. Whenever any politician starts talking about immigration, they're trying to distract you from how shitty they are at their job.

2. Whenever a rich man proposes a new tax plan, they're really just trying to find a way to pay less taxes.

3. Everyone promises more than they can deliver when campaigning for public office; only a fool attempts to keep every promise they made, and only a bigger fool believes that they will.

4. Whichever presidential candidate tries to suggest fewer debates is the guy you shouldn't vote for. He's the guy who's worried that in an unrehearsed high-pressure situation, he'll do or say something stupid that will cost him votes. Since he'll be spending the next four years in nothing but unrehearsed high-pressure situations, you don't want a guy who tries to avoid them.

5. A good, reliable field-goal kicker is worth his weight in gold. They score you points, they can make the difference in a game, and they all have long careers because nobody's allowed to tackle them.

3 comments:

Arturo said...

Traditionally, "the guy who wants fewer debates" is the guy who is ahead in the polls at the time they are trying to agree to debates. For the simple reason that a debate has more potential for loss for him. If nothing changes, he stays ahead. If he "wins" the debate, he stays ahead. That person is the one with something to lose.

If you look in Mexico's presidential race right now, the guy ahead is extremely good at debates, held personal daily news conferences for four years while being Mayor of Mexico City, and can run rings around the other two candidates. While he was still mayor he proposed "10 debates", but now says that one or nothing. Why? Because he is ahead, and the debates can only cost him votes.

John Seavey said...

Fair enough. But I'd still say the rule holds true in a tight race (like, say, the 2000 and 2004 elections. It was very clear that the Bush team didn't want debates because they knew that Bush is not good at not saying unbelievably stupid things when he's not working from a script.)

Arturo said...

Oh, absolutely. And in general, if you have a tight race, then the points you make are absolutely dead on. In 2000, and more especially in 2004, the race was so close and the deciding factors so fickle that both candidates had about as much to win or lose in the debates; so the Bush camp wanted fewer debates for the reasons you mention.