The governor is agonizing over whom to name as our state's temporary U.S. senator. With typical modesty, I offer a way out for him:
That's right. Sen. Troxler. I'm not going to lobby or interview for the job, but I'm here if he wants me.
I already meet the main qualification: I promise not to get in Charlie's way. When my year and a half is up, I'm outta there. I checked at work. They said I could come back.
True, there is a minor drawback, politically speaking: I'm not a Republican. But I'm not a Democrat, either. Neither side could boss me around.
Because all the other candidates are current or former politicians, I'd be the only guy in the whole danged U.S. Senate who never took a penny. I wouldn't start, either. No gifts, junkets, contributions, slush funds or PACs. Not a dime.
Furthermore, I promise not to take the congressional pension; in fact, I'll introduce a bill to abolish it. I won't take the free health care or vote myself any raises. I hope you don't mind if I take the salary, though. Gotta eat.
Now for the issues. Unlike your typical candidate trying to please half the people and fool the rest, I do not care whether I tick anybody off.
(1) Everybody gets to keep their guns except felons and certified lunatics.
(2) Roe vs. Wade is fine by me.
(3) Everybody can marry anybody they want and call it marriage, too. None of my business. Yours either.
(4) Unless the president names a child molester or drooling idiot to the Supreme Court, I am gonna vote yes and not make hay about it. All that whining by the side that's gonna lose the vote anyway is a huge waste of time.
(5) I am pretty sure the president was born in Hawaii. And if he wasn't, I don't care.
(6) On this health care thing, I am not voting for anything that denies people the choices they have now, or that racks up $1 trillion in deficits. I am willing to talk about it otherwise, though.
(7) In fact, I'm not voting for anything unless it comes with a way to pay for it, besides just borrowing the dough. That might even make a dandy constitutional amendment.
(8) Everybody has to pay taxes. No loopholes.
(9) Corporations, too. Don't give me that line about "they just pass it along to their customers." I don't care.
(10) Less Iraq. More Afghanistan.
(11) No oil drilling off the Florida coast. Listen: It will not make us more "energy independent." It will not bring down the price of gas. This is a campaign by bad guys to fool Americans into letting them make money. They're gonna ship a lot of it to other countries. It will hurt the beaches. Even without spills. To recap: No drilling off Florida. Ever.
(12) You should be able to play poker for money on the Internet if you want to.
(13) In fact, the vast majority of things we do is none of anybody else's business. Cell phone calls, Internet traffic, personal data — we need to declare the whole danged thing private, and violations of that privacy a felony.
(14) No pork. No "getting our share." Sorry. We're broke.
(15) Yes to stem-cell research. Yes to R&D in general. Yes to science. Yes to a Mars mission. Yes, it's getting hotter — yes, it is. Not sure about cap-and-trade, though.
Hmm, I think those are the high points. It will be a pain to shuttle back and forth to Washington, but I'm ready to sacrifice for my country. Somebody's gotta do it.