I think my generation will agree with me when I say that the greatest president this country has had in the past 30 years has been Jed Bartlet. Fictional or not, the man led the country with valor and unrelenting patriotism, even when he was shot, or his daughter was given ecstasy and then kidnapped.
With all these shenanigans going on surrounding the debt issue, and with President Obama breaking into our primetime television to appeal to the nation, I can’t help but thinking that President Bartlet would not be standing for this nonsense. Of course, he’d let Josh and Sam duke it out over policy and the foundations of government. And Donna would get all nervous that Josh was going to finally quit and start some kind of third-party campaign. And Rizzo would be there. And CJ would try to mislead the press in some way in an attempt to stall so that the president could make the right decision before the hour was up. But there would be leadership gosh darnit!
So, from what I can understand about this issue (and take it with a grain of salt because finance isn’t my thing), the federal government is in a predicament not dissimilar to the girls on MTV’s True Life: I’m in Debt. Let’s say that years ago your parents told you that you could only borrow so much from them. And you went out and you partied and drank and bought super expensive clothes and maybe financed a bunch of wars and now you owe money that you don’t have so you need to borrow more money from your parents to fulfill those commitments. Dad, who may or may not be a Democrat, says yes to more borrowing. Mom, possibly a Republican, says absolutely not (because she’s the hardass of the family). “You will just have to go into further debt and not pay back those people (who will then also go into debt) because we told you years ago you can only have so much and you didn’t take heed.” It’s something like this.
And, this is where I feel President Bartlet is much-needed, to step in and somehow say, obviously we need to meet all of our commitments and not default, but once this too-small of a band-aid is placed on this problem we need to go back in and take a serious look at our spending and revenue and even if it takes us 100 years we need to overhaul the way America spends and borrows (personally, I think we should start trading in Snooki bucks, which rise and fall each week based on the viewership of Jersey Shore, which we all know is going to be running until the end of time; but this is why I didn’t get that job as head of the SEC).
Anyway, this has been rambling and kind of a crazy post, but basically what I’m trying to say is leadership is the only way out of this extremely weighty issue, and a hammer breaks glass but forges steel and whatnot and I just think that the time has come for someone to actually prove why we elected them in the first place. It’s not a time for partisanship, it’s certainly not a time for politics, and I know, in my heart, Jed Bartlet would not stand for it.
Educate Yourself! Read the NY Times’ Q.&A. on the Debt Ceiling.
Also, follow President Bartlet on Twitter @Pres_Bartlet.
3 responses to “What if Jed Bartlet Was President?”
The odd thing is that, while I strongly disagreed with most of the policies endorsed by the Bartlett character, I’d still likely vote for a real world version of him just to have a leader and a statesman – even one I would wouldn’t agree with on almost everything – into the White House.
I don’t know if that is funny or sad.
Great post, as usual, Kelly. Waiting for your book..
Haha so dorky, but I’m a total West Wing nerd and loved this post. He’s also Michael Douglas and no matter how much stress his presidency brings, he still manages to never age and still look stunning.