Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Primary School Primaries

Our long national nightmare is nearly over – the Primaries are over and we can enjoy the Olympics this summer. My nightmare ended earlier, when Mike Huckabee dropped out.

With football season over, my son has been following the primaries closely. Every morning his first question on waking up is “Who won?” The explanations are taxing. If CNN “political strategists” can’t explain super-delegates, what chance do I have with a six year old? (Although, in fairness, he understands the NHL playoff system – so maybe I’m the problem.)

Somehow my son decided he was rooting for Mike Huckabee. Maybe it was the funny name, maybe it was his down home charm, or maybe it was because I told my son he used to be fat (my son loves stories about William Howard Taft). Possibly it was because he thought Huckabee’s wife Janet was “Inter-Planet Janet” (from "Schoolhouse Rock - I've got the whole video below.) I don't think my son's support was due to Huckabee’s policies (about which my son was blissfully unaware).

The reasons don’t matter. While I try not to infuse him with my politics (I’ve learned from the mistakes of my Trotskyite father), in our social milieu of liberal Jews (possibly an oxymoron) open support of Mike Huckabee is verboten. If my son actually said something about it at school it would spread like wildfire and we would never be able to schedule another playdate again. We would probably have to move.

Now with Huckabee out, my son has shifted his support to the much more palatable Barak Obama

Personally, I had a soft spot in my heart for Huckabee. I’m not a creationist, but the kinds of people who get worked up over creationism are the kinds of people who are really fun to annoy (like middle school teachers.) I’m not so old that I have lost the joy of provoking apoplexy in a tightly wound pedagogue. This may have been Hillary Clinton’s problem – she reminds people a bit too much of the middle school teacher who insisted you would use algebra when you grew up or who tolerated no dissent on the proper diagramming of sentences.

Another nice thing about the primary season being over is no more mad maps on the cable networks. At one point, CNN's John King used his interactive map to focus in on a home in northern Indiana, which in turn was watching CNN - where John King was focusing in on their home. It was pretty trippy, but I believe he was playing fast and loose with the time-space continuum. Speaking of which, here is "Inter-Planet Janet." I loved her, in my heart and now it is too late...

No comments: