Bars are not democracies, but in both cases, you get what you order with regularity. Voters pick the guy who’s going to deregulate, reform education and cut taxes, and lo! that’s what he does. Voters pick the guy who’s going to reform health care, cut taxes and get us out of Iraq, and lo! Ditto! There are few surprises. Scott Walker’s bait and switch aside, elected officials are actually kind of predictable.
So what do voters mean when they complain about slippery politicians? It means they ordered up something they don’t want after all, and instead of admitting their own mistake, they find a crack in the glass, a fly in the soup, a crook behind the bar. Obama the candidate was pretty clear about seeking to reform healthcare should he be elected. Guess what? He did just that.
But voters want to send back the Obamacare cocktail, and now he’s ignoring his own biggest legislative achievement. He could say, “Hey, you got what you ordered.” But he won’t. As every bartender knows, you dump the perfectly good drink and make another, to the customer’s specifications, even though it’s the customer who’s at fault.
Having been maneuvered into this defensive posture more than once, here’s what one former bartender used to do: suppress customer turnout. In other words, I took preventative measures, steps to avoid filling the orders of customers likely to return them, by discouraging the customer from staying at my bar. I profiled. Here’s the kind of customer who’s going to send a drink back:
- Asks for, then spends a very long time parsing, a Drinks Menu
- Chooses based on the garnish, hence ordering that which comes with an umbrella, cucumber, or
specialty ice cubes in the shape of florets
- Consults friends and neighbors before ordering, but does not consult the bartender
- Zeroes in on the flaming drinks
Someone who fit this profile would learn from me, much to my disappointment, that the key ingredient (crème de boullion, a sparkler) was out of stock. If I had to, I’d invent a key ingredient.
This method is highly inexact and therefore thoroughly unfair. No doubt many lovely customers got caught in my dragnet. Tough. Since I’d earn better tips from taking care of fewer, less problematic drinkers, prevention was too winning a strategy to ignore.
Which is why Republicans are very busy suppressing wide swatches of the electorate with “anti-fraud” laws, lest some few of them vote for Obama, and why I here suggest that Democrats try the same, anti-democratic, elitist, un-American, immoral strategy. Here’s how:
- Card the usual suspects: every white person over the age of 50. Make sure each has a valid passport or similar to prove U.S. citizenship.
- Inspect the ID photo—does it really look like its bearer? Or like a younger, more attractive cousin? Since passports are good for 10 years, a number of photos will be out of date. Challenge these.
- Check the address—is it within the polling place’s district? Some of the elderly move into assisted living but don’t change their addresses on their passports or driver’s licenses, since they can no longer travel or drive. Flag these tricksters as potentially fraudulent voters, no doubt pulling a fast one on America from their socialist, Obamacare-subsidized wheelchairs.
- Also target younger white men with cigars, white women who show up during business hours pushing expensive strollers, and anyone wearing a cross.
- Canvass the parking lot, then demand valid proof from white voters with fish or other Christian iconography on the bumpers or rear-view mirrors of their cars.
- Have all of the above cast provisional ballets, so they are in the same boat as the young, black and brown Americans who’ve been harassed by the other side.
There is an easier way. Voters could educate themselves. They want to slash aid for hungry people, schools, NPR and Planned Parenthood, while pouring tax dollars into wasteful defense spending at a rate higher than the next 10 countries’ combined military budgets? They can vote for Romney. They want tax breaks for the rich and squat for the middle-to-poor? They can vote Romney. If people calculated their interests like the rational creatures economists believe them to be, Democrats would win with 99% of the vote. But voters are no more rational than giggling arsonists perusing the drinks menu at Painkiller. Oops, gotta go. Just got a request for Zombie Punch.