Thursday, January 26, 2006

Socks for President

There was a brief spate of discussion about the qualifications for becoming President of the United States last year, with a serious proposal to remove the requirement that the President be a natural-born citizen, primarily to enable California's Governor Arnold Schwanzenwanger to run in some future election.

I agree that we need to loosen the requirements, to lower the bar somewhat, since we've been plagued with over-qualified applicants. However, I would take a slightly different approach, in my own new 28th Amendment:
  1. The qualifications to hold the office of President in Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States are modified as follows. "No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, or a cat shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States, excepting a cat who shall have attained to the age of three years, and been one year a resident within the United States."

  2. The oath of office for the President in Article II, Section 1, is modified as follows: "Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,' or 'Meow, meow, meow.'"
The purpose of this amendment is, as should be the case for all such trivialities as a Constitutional amendment, specific and narrowly limited. I firmly believe that the United States and the world were better served when the Clinton family resided in the White House, but Bill is ineligible (Felons get three strikes, but Presidents only get two!) and Hillary is, quite honestly, almost as polarizing a figure as Dubya. Chelsea won't be eligible until 2016, or she'd be my first pick. That just leaves America's sweetheart, Socks.

Socks Socks Clinton Groucho & Howard Groucho close-up Groucho

I even have the perfect running mate for Socks, on the Feline Prosperity ticket: my dear friend Groucho, pictured in the middle above with his pet Howard, with a face shot on the right. Groucho is no ordinary cat: he comes when you call his name, and he tells you in no uncertain terms exactly where he needs to be scratched or petted or massaged. Groucho's only condition for accepting the #2 spot on Socks' ticket is that Howard be named the Secretary of the new Department of Cat Food. [Howard also has an adults-only website of his own, although it's for a very specific segment of that market. Unless you're already accustomed to using terms like M4M, OTK, and Canadian School in casual conversation, you probably won't enjoy it much. Kids especially, you'll have much more fun over on the Degrassi web site or maybe Monsters, Inc. or Toy Story; trust me on this one.]

With Socks as President, we will bring back honor and integrity (and hairballs) to the White House. We can be assured that the I.Q. level in the Oval Office will rise dramatically, even before Bill Clinton arrives with the morning's PDB. We will finally have a President who gives thoughtful responses at press conferences. We will have a President who won't appoint Michael Brown or Harriet Miers or Charles Pickering, not even as dogcatcher! The only way to go is up.

If Socks becomes unable to perform his duties — most likely due to advancing age — Groucho will be able to step in at a "meowment's" notice.

I realize that The Third Path has already endorsed another candidate, Graham Norton, but regrettably we cannot elect President Norton without also opening the door to a future President Schwanzenwanger. Our ideal ticket of Graham Norton and Alan Cumming must thus remain only a dream. It's time to order new bumper stickers, I guess.

Conflict-of-interest disclaimer: I own a personally autographed photo of Socks, the value of which on eBay would surely skyrocket if he were nominated, not to mention if he were elected.