March 26, 2009

"This is an experiment... an exciting opportunity for me to look at a computer and get a snapshot of what Americans across the country care about."

Obama and his computer and us.
As of Thursday morning, more than 71,000 people had submitted more than 77,000 questions. Taking a page, perhaps, from reality television shows like American Idol, the White House has asked Americans to vote on their favorite questions; nearly 3 million votes have already been cast.

I have some questions: How can we make government more like "American Idol"? What other reality TV shows could government be patterned after? Could we — "Survivor"-style — be empowered to vote one person out of Washington D.C. each week?

80 comments:

PatCA said...

It's also an "exciting opportunity" for the White House to collect all your personal contact information and harass you for the next four years.

SteveR said...

I thought voting was what I did last November. McCain/Obama got a few more votes that David Cook vs David Archuleta.

As for Washington, voting one person out a week would take too long.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Bread and circus...

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Jennifer said...

I'd like it if we could use the Amazing Race platform. Send politicians all over the world and keep them busy stacking wood and transporting giant wheels of cheese down steep hills. Not only could we laugh at their antics but think how little screwing up the country they could get done. Win win.

Jennifer said...

Ooh or maybe Hell's Kitchen. When they screw up, Gordon Ramsey could chew on their ass for a while then they'd have to do a little reflection on camera. No room for "I'm sorry you were upset/offended/forced-to-impale-yourself-on-a-stick by my actions" type apologies in Hell's Kitchen.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Well, Althouse would obviously be the Simon. Andrew Sullivan could be the Paula.

Actually, we should make D.C. like Ru Paul's Drag Race (it's a show on Logo) and make them all "lip sync for their life!"

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I kind of like teh idea of voting somebody off the DC island.

When it comes to 'voting the bums out' I have an issue; I like my bum.

What I want is a veto vote on the other 532 members of Congress.

How long would Barney Frank survive a veto vote from the rest of the country?

On the Obama "Town Hall" meeting; it is just so much smoke and mirrors. Wake me up if he actually answers a difficult question.

I expect a long nap.

Henry said...

Dear Mr. President:

WTF?

Thank you.

Henry

Bissage said...

What other reality TV shows could government be patterned after?

And remember folks, don’t get eliminated!

Ha!

Ron said...

What other reality TV shows could government be patterned after?

ummm...The Price is Right? Who wouldn't have faith in President Barker?

LonewackoDotCom said...

Meanwhile, back in the land of those concerned about the direction that the U.S. is heading in, even Ben Smith (link) and Michael Scherer (link) have caught on to the fact that efforts like this are little more than shams.

Of course, that's something I've been saying since the shams first started about a year and a half ago. Here's a list of past efforts and a brief discussion of how to actually make sure the best questions rise to the top.

ElcubanitoKC said...

What about a good old-fashioned round of Russian Roulette?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Well, I think I found the best way to deal with them.

We need to cast them all in this reality show, immediately.

Stoutcat said...

Doesn't this man have anything better to do, like run the country into the ground or something?

I swear, he worked so hard to get this job, and now he's decided he doesn't want it. So he's campaigning again, because everybody loved him then.

Synova said...

Could we — "Survivor"-style — be empowered to vote one person out of Washington D.C. each week?

OH!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

AND:

My favorite clip from that reality show.

veni vidi vici said...

Fuck, each day it's a little more like Philip Dick's "Solar Lottery".

I've been saying that for awhile now. That's the game show this nation's polity is destined to become. Everything, including the asinine meta-laddered-trading-instruments financial system, points in that direction.

PatCA said...

I'm disappointed in the format. I thought He was going to be in his pajamas talking through his webcam! Isn't blogging cooler, more with it and now, than the same old photo op thing?

After all, he was out late last night drinking beer and probably could use a late morning call.

I feel sorry for the people sitting there. They look like they want to make a run for it.

sg said...

A Survivor food eating immunity challenge would be exciting.

Especially if baluts were on the menu.

Jeremy said...

I'm thinking The Biggest Loser. Whoever can cut out the most fat wins.

ElcubanitoKC said...

ZPS, I guess we are thinking at a similar level..hehehe...

TMink said...

"How can we make government more like "American Idol"?"

?????

Government is too much like American Idol, that is the problem. It is not the democracy of our government, it is the appealing to the ignorance and baser motivations of us all that is the problem.

How do you tell if a singer on Idol is good? They sing more notes. They must be good, they are singing all those extra notes. How do people pick their politicians? It is based on how much OPM the politician promises them.

People who THINK about singing and government cannot be swayed by a singer who tries to trill and ornament their way into passing for talented anymore than a thoughtful person can be swayed by promises of more "government" money.

It reminds me of an autistic patient that drew me a picture. It was amazing, the detail, the perspective, truly remarkable. I asked them to draw another picture, and they drew the exact same picture. I asked them to draw a different picture, and they drew the exact same drawing in a different color.

This person, for all their ability to pull off one trick, was no artist.

Trey
Trey

traditionalguy said...

The Lord of the Flies version of Survivor Island reality show comes to mind. I wonder how long it takes to move up in the Chinese pecking order? Will they be good masters when they come to restore adult civilization to our third world Island?

Henry said...

It's Big Brother, but we're all in the house and no one ever leaves.

Quayle said...

I have an idea for a game: I propose that those celebrities on TV news shows and those 'journalists' that write for the major newspapers do their f'ing jobs and ask enough questions that the politicians can't hide and the public is satisfied with the answers.

The only failure more ridiculous than Wall Street's corporate boards and officers is the news industries total and complete dilution.

Ron said...

Can I just give him the three finger salute?

Freeman Hunt said...

LOL, Zach. I love that movie.

Similar.

Rose said...

I couldn't be more disgusted. His first appearance all those years ago now was so promising.

The reality is so depressing and disgusting, I cannot even put it into words. He has surpassed even the worst expectations.

Message to Obama - YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT NOW. You don't need any HELP getting your agenda passed. You're not on the Annenberg Challenge anymore. You aren't supposed to be about 'agendas.' No more ACORN. Drop the campaigning. Quit holding partisan meetings. STOP SPENDING.

You're not a rock star.

Paul Zrimsek said...

To hell with American idol. How can we make this government more like Lost?

JAL said...

And go back a year.

AllenS said...

Dear Mr. President,

AlphaLiberal and hdhouse don't think your shit stinks. Well, does it?

Sincerly,
AllenS

Methadras said...

His teleprompter/lcd screen must be jealous.

garage mahal said...

Man that teleprompter joke just never gets old!

AlphaLiberal said...

Hey, Ann:

Care to respond to this question from Mr Joseph Hovsep over on your "Attack Barney Frank" thread?

http://www.house.gov/frank/scalia.html

What are the chances Althouse will update her post to reflect the actual passages to which Frank was referring?


This is your chance to demonstrate your fairness and neutrality, Ann. Rep Frank squarely addressed something you called him out on. Will you part company with your conservative (traffic) patrons?

I won't be holding my breath!

theobromophile said...

Maybe Queer Eye for the Straight Guy can give Michelle Obama some fashion advice.

BJM said...

ElcubanitoKC, spot on, although we're fast approaching cake or death.

I'm A Feline said...

Not a reality show.
This question calls for a return to the Golden Age of Television.
And by that, I mean "game shows."

And by that, I mean the late, great game show . . .

"To Tell The Truth"

Pogo said...

"an exciting opportunity for me to look at a computer and ..."

This is so goddamned depressing, I can hardly speak.

The game? It's poker, and the minority of people who actually pay taxes are the patsies. We lost before we even knew we were playing.

Like here, in uber-liberal Minnesota:
"It's not a good day to be an IT specialist in IBM (NYSE: IBM)'s Global Business Services unit.
More than 600 workers carrying that title were given walking papers Thursday as part of a sweeping reorganization under which Big Blue is eliminating as many as 5,000 positions in the U.S., according to sources and internal IBM documents."



Fookin' socialists.

AlphaLiberal said...

Socialists run IBM? Who knew?

Quite the scoop there, Pogo.

ElcubanitoKC said...

BJM said...
ElcubanitoKC, spot on, although we're fast approaching cake or death.

12:53 PM


In which case we should not let the Church of England run it. They are too nice...

Mr. Forward said...

"OK, Mr. Obama you have only one case to open and three cents left on the board. Mr. Geitner, the banker, has offered you one trillion dollars."

"DEAL OR NO DEAL?"

ElcubanitoKC said...

AL, lots of big corporations are run like socialists republics. You'll find that out when you grow up and move out of your mom's basement.

The Drill SGT said...

ElcubanitoKC said...
What about a good old-fashioned round of Russian Roulette?


Updated to the 21st Century by using a 9mm Beretta(M-9)?

After all, revolvers are so 19th century.

Maybe we convince some of the WH staff to play ;)

AlphaLiberal said...

ElcubanitoKC, so now corporate executives are "socialists." No kidding. oooo-weeeee-ooooooo....

In the near future the word "conservative" will become synonymous with "batshit crazy."

Or just plain "dumb."

BJM said...

ElcubanitoKC said...

AL, lots of big corporations are run like socialists republics.

LOL, years ago in a corporate setting, a conniving subordinate, whom I shall kindly call the rat bastard, refused an assignment and when I pressed he went to my boss behind my back.

Boss called me, said RB, and HR in to his office. After hearing both sides, Boss said "Mr. RB, this is not a democracy and you do not have a vote, do you wish to work here or not?"

Loved that Boss.

ElcubanitoKC said...

AL, you are an idiot, and you have absolutely no idea about the real world.

Yes, the corporations are run like socialist republics. Does that mean that those responsible call themselves socialists or think of themselves as such? No.

Again, don't forget, you are a fucking idiot.

AlphaLiberal said...

BJM, I agree!!

Corporations are very un-democratic!they are downright authoritarian (in many but not all cases, your mileage may vary).

But to say they are "socialist" is some crazy shit!

AlphaLiberal said...

ElcubanitaKC,

You don't make any sense. Your insults are clear enough, but your argument couldn't pass a 4th grade test.

Please elaborate on why corporate executives and corporations are "socialist."

Should be fascinating!

Freeman Hunt said...

downright authoritarian

That much would be socialist at least.

ElcubanitoKC said...

BJM, that is the good side of that "problem". The bad side is the incredible amounts of internal red tape, the counterproductive politics and the levels of redundancy in the labor force (which in turn produce pretty high level costs)

LUCKY said...

It would be simply great to be able to vote people out of DC every week. Not only might it give incentive for legislators to actually represent their constitutents and the constitution but it would also help to get a bitter taste out of my life. I a part of January, most of Febuary and part of March doing an internship for a lobbying group at my state capitol and could only walk away agreeing with, "If you respect the law and love sausages never see either being made." I can only wonder what kind of nasty taste would have been in my mouth if I had spent that time in DC. I don't think any amount of brushing or mouthwash could get rid of it. The first thing I would look at for voting anyone out of DC would be how many terms they had served.

ElcubanitoKC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ElcubanitoKC said...

For example, why do you have to go through 3 business analysts, 2 managers, 2 directors and 1 VP to get an idea implemented? Not to mention the meetings in the process, including meetings to set up other meetings with even more people to plan on how to implement a simple fix to a business system. That's a very socialist way of doing things.

In fact, there was a song about Cuban bureaucracy in the early 1980s that described a very similar process. Of course, not in a corporate setting, but within a communist government...

AlphaLiberal said...

downright authoritarian

That much would be socialist at least.


Really? Bush and Cheney are Socialists too?!?

I'm learning so much today!

"I don't think that word means what you think it means."

AlphaLiberal said...

Hint:

Unitary executive theory is authoritarian.

Pogo said...

The socialists I am calling fookers are our very own gummint.

It's Obama and the effing Democrat and GOP socialists that have looted this country into the current hole.

The governance of a business is a mere sideshow to the way the full economy operates.

And yes, Bush was a big government socialist. And yes it means exactly that. As usual, the left no longer understands the meaning of the word.

ElcubanitoKC said...

The Drill SGT said...
Updated to the 21st Century by using a 9mm Beretta(M-9)?

After all, revolvers are so 19th century.

Maybe we convince some of the WH staff to play ;)

1:48 PM


That's an awesome idea!

AlphaLiberal said...

That's a very socialist way of doing things.

Man is that ever .... weird.

"Socialist" is not synonymous with "bureaucratic."

Mind you, having worked in several corporations in my day, I fully agree that corporations are bureaucratic. As a disgruntled corporate employee I even used the term "corprocracy." And, authoritarian. Yup, agreed!

But socialist? Words have meaning, man. And corporations are the opposite of socialist.

Daryl said...

Government by poll.

Except he deliberately wants to use polls that will be stacked by his left-wing supporters, so he can claim to have a mandate for pushing left-wing policy ideas.

It's a fraud and a sham.

AlphaLiberal said...

Pogo flaunting his ignorance:
And yes, Bush was a big government socialist. And yes it means exactly that. As usual, the left no longer understands the meaning of the word.

Well, comrade Pogo, I don't know where you got your education, but you should demand a refund.

Socialism:
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

ElcubanitoKC said...

AL, I have lived in socialism, I know what socialism is, I have studied and grown up under socialism. You have not. I get to say what is socialism and what is not. You don't. Now, kindly STFU.

fcai said...

No, liberals know that socialism hasn't really been tried yet. Just ask them. All the deaths under communism have nothing to do with socialism. Quick, look over there, Bush talked funny!

Lem said...

..an exciting opportunity for me [Obama] to look at a computer and get a snapshot of what Americans across the country care about.

Porn?.. Woody Allen’s What's my perversion from All you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask.

Or he can allways name Bill Clinton to a blue ribon panel.

garage mahal said...

Problem for conservatives is that even if what they're shouting about is socialism, most people in this country right now probably think "great, I think I'll have some of that".

ElcubanitoKC said...

On topic, via Instapundit

rdkraus said...

We do use the term socialist too loosely, really as a substitute for big gov't.

Really with Obama what we're looking at is facism. There, is that better?

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

Man that teleprompter joke just never gets old!


Not as old and worn out as your tired and bankrupt ideology, but who's keeping score? Besides, what does a tired, old, worn out vagina like you care about how your messiah-in-chief conducts business. You've already done the dirty work by pulling the lever for him, so why don't you just sit back, relax, and watch the USS USA sink into the great beyond while little black jesus titters and giggles his way through it.

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

Problem for conservatives is that even if what they're shouting about is socialism, most people in this country right now probably think "great, I think I'll have some of that".


What do you know about conservatives, Garage? Ever been one? Do you even know why you are a moronic liberal?

Methadras said...

rdkraus said...

We do use the term socialist too loosely, really as a substitute for big gov't.

Really with Obama what we're looking at is facism. There, is that better?


That's pretty damn close. I'd say more Mussolini style fascism.

Maguro said...

Problem for conservatives is that even if what they're shouting about is socialism, most people in this country right now probably think "great, I think I'll have some of that".

There's a socialist paradise only 90 miles from Key West, but strangely, all the migrants seem to going in the opposite direction.

ElcubanitoKC said...

garage, that has sadly been the case in many other places before. We all know what's happened after a while...

LUCKY said...

How I see socialism and those who support is that they come in three catigories. Those who are living in an Utopian Pipe Dream, those feel they are somehow entitled to something that they did not earn, and lastly those who think they know best how to govern everyones life. See it's great to get out there and campaign like you're going to start all these programs, help various groups, and promise money to everyone. But that money has to come from somewhere. I know it Socialist Utopia land it magically appears when pixie dust gets snorted by a multicultural unicorn with a PHD in Diversity and Sensitivity. Here in reality land it's everyone with a job paying other people to not get a job."

Nelson said...

What other reality TV shows could government be patterned after?

Jackass (the TV series)

al said...

I think we need to put Congress through Surviving Nugent.

That would be fun.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Looks like the antenuptial joy has had a short life among the usual suspects.

As for their slavish devotion to all things Obama, "in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is the king".

Bob said...

What other reality TV shows could government be patterned after?

Rome (the TV series)

rhhardin said...

The ideal format would involve petards.

BJM said...

Speaking of petards, did you catch Kaus's reveal of a JournoList thread?

*snorfle* High brow it ain't.

Pogo said...

"We do use the term socialist too loosely, really as a substitute for big gov't."

That's pretty much what it means.

it is a mistake to call socialism only that which replicates communism. This neglects the fascist method, which is what America is turning toward.

In the fascist flavor of socialism, the means of production is left in the nominal ownership of private citizens, but the government regulates it heavily, demanding ever more “oversight” from government agencies, more paperwork, more taxes, less business creation, fewer new jobs, and fewer new industries. The economy becomes frozen in time. Government intervention progressively increases until the businesses and then the entire economy are entirely controlled by the government in a de facto, if not de jure manner.

Under fascist socialism, the gummint can rule the economy by decree, without actually seizing ownership. But the mixed economy is inherently impossible to sustain and will fail.