Second Thought: Wednesday, August 20, 2003
California Dreamin’

Our ballot would fit on a beer can.


As much as I hate to admit it, I’m jealous of California right now. The upright citizens of the union’s most wacky state are recalling their governor and now are considering electing bodybuilder/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger or child actor Gary Coleman or porn star Mary Carey or even Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, whose claim to fame is the egalitarian concept of the “beaver hunt.”

I’m jealous because I’ve always thought Texas had cornered the market on stupid and squirrelly politics. Think of our heritage here: Lyndon Johnson stealing elections, former Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis claiming he was “filled with humidity,” gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams telling the national press a rape joke, Bushie the Younger detailing his education policy with the statement: “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

We should be proud of our mentally delicate and money-grabbing politicos. We have set the standard for political gibberish and whoring lobbyists. We should be embracing a system that has produced the likes of Ross Perot. To quote Fort Worth’s own Gibber: “There’s a lot of uncertainty that’s not clear in my mind.” Who can argue with such logic?

This is no small thing, this California recall initiative, and we, as Texans, would be wise to up the ante on those left-coast weirdoes. With our Democratic state senators currently hiding out in Albuquerque over redistricting, and Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst carrying the water for Bushie the Younger’s advisor Karl Rove, it is time to take action. If there is one thing Texans get pissed off at, it’s being used as pawns by those boys in Washington.

So here’s the plan. First, we have to get a recall effort to can good-hair Perry and stuffed-shirt Dewhurst. Why? Because they have mismanaged this redistricting thing to the extent that we are going to court and having stalemates in the legislature over something as simple as redrawing some maps. They have taken a relatively simple political process mandated by census figures and turned it into a Republican conspiracy to rid the world of Democratic congressman. These folks are not working and playing well with others. We need more humanity in our state government. Or humidity.

After the recall, we should elect Willie Nelson as governor. Why Willie? For starters, he is the quintessential Texan, appeals to old and young alike, and has been bankrupt and battled the IRS. Sure he’s liberal, but he likes to smoke dope and play golf. Who else has hobbies that appeal to such broad portions of the political spectrum?

For lieutenant governor, I suggest a more seasoned politician. The Mayor of Lajitas, Clay Henry III, has the proper pedigree and experience; his father and grandfather both served in the Lajitas mayoral chair. By the way, Clay Henry III is a goat. And he is famous for drinking beer with tourists. Like Willie, Clay Henry III has faced adversity: He was castrated a few years ago by a man who was angered when the goat drank his beer.

Once we get Willie and Clay Henry in office, the redistricting issue will be a snap. We can load up Willie’s tour bus with Republican and Democratic legislators, federal judges, bad-hair Karl Rove and his minions, and the goat. Willie can fire a few up, give everyone a map of Texas and some crayons, and drive around for a few weeks. Once everyone has drawn and colored their congressional maps, Clay Henry can choose the winner, not by political sampling but by actual nibbling. Like Texas voters, goats will swallow almost anything.

When the bus rolls up to the state capitol in Austin, the door will open like Spicoli’s van in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, smoke billowing out, and Rove will emerge arm in arm with Democratic State Sen. Royce West, and Republican strongman Tom DeLay will be drinking beer with Clay Henry III. Willie will proclaim a new era in Texas politics, the fat cats lying down with the goat, so to speak. And since Willie tours so much, the day-to-day business of the state government can be handled by Clay Henry III. I’m sure the goat can learn how to wield a gavel and accept gifts from lobbyists.

A state government run by Willie Nelson and a beer-drinking goat can’t do much worse than what we have now. Plus, that will once more put us ahead of California in the political eccentricity sweepstakes. From where I sit, Willie and a goat would trump Arnold Swarzenegger and Gary “Whatchu talkin’ about California?” Coleman. We have plenty of our own nuts we can elect to office. Embrace the weirdness, Texans.

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