Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hollywood Fred goes to Church

So the Republican candidates show up at the "Values Voters Summit" (because, as we've seen already, only biblical-literalist extremists have values) to genuflect before the leaders of the Christian Right and kiss their rings. Which is great, because who isn't tickled pink by a wealthy divorced actor who rarely attends church showing up to one of these with a trophy wife 34 years his younger and proclaiming his undying love for Jeeeeesus? It's almost as amusing as watching the audience lap the performance up as if they truly believed what he was saying (which surely they don't, right? Right? Hello... is this thing on?)

At any rate, this go 'round Fred Thompson hit upon a brilliant gimmick, sure to please the assembled masses when he announced that he'd spend the first hour of his presidency locked in the Oval Office praying for divine guidance (and, presumably, resisting the Devil's offer of all the kingdoms of the world if he will just bow down to him).

Now, ever since FDR put in place most of his New Deal programs within the first 100 days of his presidency, candidates and newly elected presidents have felt the need to outline an ambitious agenda for their first 100 days in office. Ronald Reagan, for instance, vowed to start a nuclear war within his first 100 days and balloon the national debt. George Bush Sr. vowed to sow the seeds of his electoral defeat in 1992. Bill Clinton vowed to know the names and favorite drink of all the interns on his staff, and George W. Bush vowed to stay off cocaine and bring about the second coming of Christ. All of these men kept to their word and that's a large part of the reason why politicians still feel obliged to announce ambitious proposals for their first three months in office. Recent advances in microprocessor technology, however, have allowed politicians to speed things up and compress their time table considerably. When Democrats took control of both houses of Congress in 2006, for instance, newly elected Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi , pledged to end poverty, implement universal health care and pull the U.S. out of Iraq within the first 100 hours of the new congress. It was an impressive legislative agenda, but of course, as we all know by now, they pulled it off without a hitch and have the public opinion ratings to prove it.

Well, Fred Thompson knew he had to go a step further and so, eschewing a 100 day legislative agenda, and even a 100 hour plan, Thompson announced a bold plan for the first hour of his presidency. Sure, there will be naysayers out there who, seizing on Thompson's well established tendency to spend his time putting a minimal amount of effort into doing almost nothing, will insist that this "1st hour" plan is little more than an excuse to go into a room, close the door behind him and do very little for the next 60 minutes of his life. However, we at Patriot's Quill aren't quite so cynical, and assume that Fred means it when he says that that's his plan.

We do, however, wonder if Thompson thought things through before making his announcement. As a guy who spends almost no time at church, old Fred may not have realized mow much of a drag it would be to actually lock yourself in a room for an hour, drop down on your knees and pray...for an hour...non-stop. Hell, sitting at the dinner table and waiting for grace to be said as you gaze at a landscape of roast beef, green beans and buttered mashed potatoes can seem like an eternity sometimes. And if the pastor's invited over for dinner then forget it. You're in for a prayer that resembles something of mini sermon, and though it only takes a couple of minutes at most, you'd swear the broccoli whithered, went to seed and sprouted up again in the interval.

So, locking yourself up in the oval office and praying non-stop for an hour? Let's just say that about the only guy I can imagine pulling that one off sucessfully is the albino monk from The Da Vinci Code (and maybe John Ashcroft). I'm not saying Fred's intentions aren't good ones. I'm just saying that if he is elected and does go through with it... well, I hope he sneaks in a Nintendo Gameboy in his jacket pocket.

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