Politics of Inexperience
By Scott C. Smith
The George W. Bush Google bomb has been pretty successful.
The idea was for folks to put the phrase "miserable failure"
into a web page with a link to Bush's official White House
biography. The Google search engine would then record that
link, so that a search on Google for "miserable failure" produces
Bush's bio as the first hit.
As a participant in this experiment, I actually had never
bothered to go to the White House web page and read
Bush's biography. As I was waiting for a freshly painted wall
to dry, I thought I'd give it a look.
What struck me first was not the horror of Bush's mug staring
right at me (I think the eyes move) nor the temptation to
run the Barney Cam (Barney looks like the White House spong
monkey), but rather the section which lists Bush's previous
job experiences, a sort of mini-resume. Here's what it says:
Owner, Oil and Gas Business
Partner, Texas Rangers baseball team
Governor of Texas
President of the United States (2000-2004)
That's it! What kind of resume is that? Even I've
owned a failed oil and gas business. Okay, I'm lying. I was,
however, governor of Texas, briefly. Okay, that's a lie, too.
Politics is a strange business because it's one of the few
professions where no experience is required for the job. In
fact, it's considered a plus to not have any political
experience. It's interesting to compare the job experiences
of Bill Clinton to George W. Bush. As men in their 20s and
30s, only one of the two was actually doing something with
his life, and I'm not referring to being an expert with a
beer bong. When Bill Clinton was 30, he was elected attorney
general of the State of Arkansas.
When George W. Bush was 30, he had received a citation for
driving under the influence of alcohol in Maine. Bush refers
to that as "youthful indiscretion." Think about it: Bush was
a heavy drinker until the age of 40. So that's the secret
to being elected President - lots of experience drinking booze,
and being a failed businessman. Mediocrity - the key to winning
a presidential election.
Apparently Republicans have very low standards for the politicians
they support. How else to explain J. Danforth Quayle? Not
only did he serve in the Congress, but, get this - he actually
was Vice President of the United States of America! Really!
And like his spiritual brother, George W. Bush, Quayle had
some issues with public speaking. I've got one word for these
two: Toastmasters. Look into it.
In California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor,
and the only experience he had was groping women and bodybuilding.
Although, to be fair, he did star in Predator, which was a
great flick. Oh, and the Terminator films. Great movies. And
now people want to amend the Constitution so he can run for
president. He'd win, too, at least as far as Republicans go.
I'm surprised former Oregon Senator Bob Packwood didn't aspire
for a higher office. What with his experience in drinking
and womanizing, he'd make the perfect president. Or, California
I wonder if Democrats have a problem with expecting their
candidates to actually have experience, and education? We
support, or have supported, candidates like Bill Clinton,
a Rhodes scholar; Howard Dean, a medical doctor; and John
Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, Yale graduate and prosecutor. All
smart men, to be sure; we also support smart women like Hillary
Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, and Carol Moseley Braun. We like
to have smart people in office.
A Democratic president is not likely to say publicly, "I
am the master of low expectations," as George W. Bush has
said. When we learned Bush had a "C" average in college it
really came as no surprise. Studying was not at the top of
young George's list of priorities. A solid domestic policy
isn't at the top of his current list of priorities; I suspect
that the only item on Bush's list of priorities is "remember
Oh, wait, I thought of something else George W. Bush is
good at: taking vacations. And lying. So, when you get down
to it, George W. Bush is the perfect Republican.
About the author: Scott C. Smith is a freelance writer based
out of Beaverton, Oregon. Scott writes for his web site, What's
in Scott's Head, at scottcsmith.net.
In his spare time, Scott doesn't work due to the Bush economy.