More PBWGs and Walruses

While paradigms shift, tastes change, and truisms either stand for all eternity or fall by the wayside, one political consistency seems to be made of granite.

When a political crisis gets out of hand, find a PBWG.

Yes, today is dedicated to Powerful Bald White Guys.

For the uninitiated, PBWGs can often be found on the various “Law and Order” franchises. The seriousness of the crime is determined by the number of PBWGs barking orders.

PBWG Level 1 has the police chief yelling “One Police Plaza is all over my @ss!”

PBWG Level 2 has the top police guy showing up with all of his medals pinned to his chest yelling “The Mayor is all over my @ss,” and other authoritative phrases like “If you screw the pooch on this one, just remember that the cr@p rolls down hill!”

PBWG 3 means all heck is breaking loose, and it gets kicked up to either Fred Thompson (DA Arthur Branch) or Tom Everett Scott (Governor Donald Shalvoy, an Eliot Spitzer clone).

People trust PBWGs because they look like people who handle things. They have a reassuring nature. The original PBWG as reassurer-in-chief would probably be President Dwight Eisenhower. Even my socialist poli-sci professor in college conceded that Eisenhower was a father figure. The man’s campaign slogan was “I like Ike.” That is not exactly off the charts, but it was simple and effective.

Eisenhower was the last president to be elected before the modern television era. Once Kennedy defeated Nixon, PBWGs were not going to win the White House. 2008 validated this.

Yet despite not being the boss, the PBWGs remain vital. In the last couple years times have been really tough, and presidents of both parties have consulted those light on melanin content and follicles to guide us.

President George W. Bush had low approval ratings in his final year in office. He needed to convince America why a 787 billion stimulus package was necessary. He did not have the political capital to push the plan.

Enter Hank Paulson.

Paulson was everywhere. Despite rumors that he and Ben Bernanke were the same person, Paulson did not have the sinister looking beard (another topic for another time). Paulson looked like he was in command. The plan got passed.

President Obama has seen his presidency spiral out of control. The oil spill that began with an explosion aboard a BP ship has proved unmanageable. So many things need to get done. Somebody was needed to handle all of the claims.

When you need somebody to handle claims, you find somebody who looks like an insurance claims adjuster.

Enter Ken Feinberg.

(Since this is a visual issue and not an auditory one, I will gloss over his dreadful New England accent. That is also for another time.)

Ken Feinberg looks like he was born wearing a red and blue diagonal necktie. He looks like his entire life is dedicated to balancing debits and credits.

His honesty is seen as beyond reproach. He looks like a guy who can be trusted, similar to the PBWG boss in all of those Gekko Geico commercials.

(and the PBWG on Law and Order who is now selling gold. The thunder and lightning in the backgorund do not remove his steady calm.)

Ken Feinberg has another quality making him perfect for the job. Not only does he look like the cover page of the fictional “Non-Descript Average White Guy Monthly” magazine, but he has another reassuring quality. He is boring. Boring guys are rarely controversial (somehow President Obama is boring and controversial, not an easy achievement). When Feinberg was asked if strippers were entitled to compensation, his response was pure Sominex. He ignored the sex aspect of the story and dryly responded that while the claim did not seem legitimate, it would be looked at. This guy could win bureaucrat of the year.

Yet it is one thing to administer financial claims. It is another thing to have to fix the oil leak itself. President Obama is not an oil guy. Perhaps he was given an oil painting as a gift, and may use Oil of Olay or Palmolive Oil on his hands, but that is most likely the extent of it.

Some situations are so serious that a standard PBWG will not be good enough. In these rare sobering moments, only a very special PBWG can be considered. Like breaking the glass in terms of an emergency, at these times there is only one thing to do.

Bring in the Walrus.

Find a guy who resembles a walrus, and put him in charge.

Awhile back I dealt with famous walruses in sports. Yet political walruses are even more vital.

Walruses have been liked and trusted ever since Captain Kangaroo. Everybody liked Captain Kangaroo. I never met a person who disliked him.

Oil is gushing into the Gulf.

Enter Admiral Thad Allen.

I don’t have any idea what Thad Allen actually does. I am not sure if he does anything. It doesn’t matter. He looks like he is doing something.

George Costanza of Seinfeld once said that if you want to look busy, look annoyed. Costanza was a BWG, but never a powerful one. Admiral Allen looks pleasant. Whether he is as useless as Joe Biden or getting things done is something we will know in time…or not.

What I know is he looks like the guy who can smile before the cameras, and then privately do his Law and Order imitation by barking “The president is all over my @ss!”

The man has a serious looking mustache. He looks like he has complete control of the oil spill.

At the end of the year I will publish my list of the Top 10 PBWGs. I have a feeling there will be at least one walrus on the list.

Times are tough. We don’t have time to find those with know how. We need to find guys who look like they know how. If they actually know how, that is a bonus.

If global warming causes baldness, people might actually listen to Al Gore.

He would still be boring and wrong, but he would look like he knew something.

Joe Biden has hair plugs that cover up his idiocy. Homer Simpson became respected when he grew hair, but he was still clueless. Biden needs to go cue ball. It probably won’t help, but at least he would look competent.

My work here is done. I am now off to listen to the title track from the musical “Hair.”

You are on your own. For all your sakes, I hope there are PBWGs around to help.


One Response to “More PBWGs and Walruses”

  1. Dav Lev says:

    I have to respectfully disagree. Its not whats on ones head,
    its whats in ones head.

    After all, Jerry Brown is not exactly the best advertisement for
    bald plate remedies, nor was his father, who I liked.

    Lets not stop with Brown, what about Henry (no hair) Waxman?
    He is a great poster boy for the gene that many men have for

    Having hair means nothing except keeping ones head immune
    from sun stroke and perhaps catching young girls.

    Hitler had lots of hair. Arafat was bald, go figure. Abbas
    of the Palestinian Authority has a full head of graying hair.
    Bibi Netanyahu has thinning hair, so where is he?

    Why is it that every bum and street person has a lot of hair
    as did Einstein? Do they have something in common?

    Jews go bald. But wait, one Presidential adviser has
    lots of hair, the other is losing his. Joe Biden has hair,
    thanks to implants. Hillary Clinton’s husband has a full head
    of hair.

    Lets not get carried away with this.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.