Saturday, November 04, 2006

Election 2006: Governor? Texas has a Governor?

One of the most entertaining contests in all of politics is entering its last few days. The race for Governor of Texas is usually a pretty fun contest to watch for several reasons, not the least of which is because at least one of the poor saps inolved is under the delusion that he's running for a serious office.

You have to understand: the Governor of Texas has just about enough authority to choose his own toilet paper, provided that he can get the Lieutenant Governor to counter-sign for it. The way the Texas government runs day-to-day, the Lieutenant Governor actually swings more pipe. If you need something ram-rodded through the Legislature, the LG's your man. The Guv, he's just a moving target, drawing fire from the LG while he gets the work done. The awful truth is that you could shave an ape, sew him into a Brooks Brothers suit, and it might be months before anyone noticed the difference.

This tends to confuse most immigrants from states that have real Governors. Our constitution, you see, was written with the primary goal of infuriating Yankees. Hardly anything actually works the way you'd expect it to. And that's just how we like it. Some of us are of the opinion that inefficiency in government is a feature, not a bug.

Anyhow, here's the official TTS analysis of the candidates for Governor of Texas, in descending order of preference:

Kinky Friedman has, by far, provided the most entertainment. Not only that, his immigration proposal ("Five Mexican Generals") smacks of pure genius. Not for its details (which might have, um, most untidy side effects), but for the general idea that as long as illegal immigration isn't a problem for Mexico, they'll do nothing to curb it. Make it at least partly their problem, and they might pitch in to do something about it. As his official campaign slogan says, "Why the hell not?" I'm voting for Kinky.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn has a campaign slogan that says that she wants to "shake Austin up." That ain't what she's about. Not really. For some reason that escapes me, she absolutely hates Rick Perry. No, Strayhorn's real goal in running for Governor is to poke a sharp stick in Rick Perry's eye. And you know what? I can respect that. If Friedman weren't running, I might vote for Strayhorn.

Rick Perry does nothing for me. He's the kind of blandly handsome politician that's all too common these days, dull as dust. And what's with those commercials? Earth to Perry: you're running for Governor of Texas, not autitioning for a Land's End catalog photo shoot. But hey, if I ever need a model for outdoor wear, I know who to call. The sad and pitiful thing is, this dope's liable to win. But that's not the saddest thing.

Chris Bell is. The guys who actually looked at this chump and thought, "Hey, we've got a Governor here" should never be allowed within shouting distance of the political process ever again as long as they live. Not that anybody actually knows who Chris Bell is. You remember those old American Express commercials? The ones where some schlub that nobody ever heard of asks you if you know who he is? But that it's somehow all right now, because he's got this square of green platic with his name on it, embossed with silver letters and everything? They should have run that guy, but they didn't. Don't leave home without it, Chris.

And that's about it for Election 2006 here in Texas. Vote early, and vote often!

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