Politics & Government
10:26 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Essay: Tumbling Dumpsters

Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Both the Democrats and Republicans are trying to close ranks ahead of this year’s mid-term elections – and ahead of the bigger prize in 2016 – the White House. Lake Effect political satirist Will Durst says that led to the most strained meeting he can imagine since Cain attended Abel’s funeral.

The meeting probably wasn’t as awkward as Cain attending Abel’s funeral. Closer to Anna Nicole walking past her husband’s family in court. Surely had a Billy Bob Thornton/ Brad Pitt- drunk at a wedding reception feel.

Talking about the recent encounter between President Barack Obama and the woman rummaging through his closet, trying on his Chief Executive mom jeans, and not getting a lot of encouragement in return; Queen of the formers… Watergate lawyer, First Lady, Senator, Secretary Hillary Clinton.

The two of them ran into each other at a lawn party at a golf club on Martha’s Vineyard the other evening. And what could be more proletariat that that? Lawn party. Golf club. Martha’s Vineyard. Think we’ve triangulated the 1% Trifecta here. All you need is imported truffle canapés, some commemorative swizzle sticks and pastel sweaters tied loosely around necks and voila… a royal raspberry reduction.

The source of the ungainliness was Ms. Clinton herself, who, in an interview with The Atlantic, characterized our Syrian policy as a disaster. Then said “’Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” Obviously referring to some past politician whose name is synonymous with shrub but also throwing the current President’s equivocal quote under the same wheels of that big bad bus.

She ain’t alone. Most of America thinks Obama’s foreign policy is like Malaysian Air frequent flyer miles. Sure, they both exist on paper, but nobody’s really all that interested in implementation. Anticipating the contretemps, her spokesperson said Hillary looked forward to “hugging it out” when she and POTUS met. Yeah. Bet she did. Like an emergency tracheotomy with a Bic pen.

Can’t you picture that embrace. Fade in: First Family seated. Hillbilly walking. Visual contact. Slight stutter step. Bill grins, shouts and waves. Hillary, Michelle and Barack summon courage from unfathomable depths to plaster on phony smiles. Everybody’s interior dialogue channeling Hamlet: “To hug or not to hug.”

Barack rises and in a stab at humor, throws his arms about an inch apart as if welcoming a cuddle. She laughs so coldly ice cubes crack, and bending at the waist touches her right shoulder to his right shoulder as they pat each other on the back. Once. The Presbyterian hug. As graceful as tumbling dumpsters. Fade out on the sound of more ice cracking.

As the past and the future of the Democratic Party, Barack and Hillary are eternally entwined. It’s like one of those relationships you see in Manhattan and San Francisco these days. Where neither person can afford to move out because both incomes are necessary to cover the rent. Velvet handcuffs.

The problem is, they’re the same person. Opposite spectrums: black- white- male- female. But the same ultimate political animal. Concussions are common when the smartest person in the room is forced to interact with the other smartest person in the room. Both dimly aware that throwing Bill & Michelle into the equation means one of them may actually be the 4th smartest person in the room.

She needs him to seamlessly insert her into his frictionless fundraising machine and he needs her to guarantee his legacy is not wiped out in a torrential Tea Party tsunami. The grudging mutual respect of the cobra and the mongoose. Strange Bedfellows indeed. Who needs a hug? Craaaaack.

Political satirist Will Durst is a writer, comedian, and Milwaukee native who lives in California’s Bay Area. He’s a regular – or maybe irregular Lake Effect contributor.