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March 25, 2011 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Draft Tommy Lee Jones for Senate. Texas’ conservative voters aren’t about to send just any Democrat to the Senate in 2012. Hell, it’s been seventeen years since a Democrat has won any statewide race here. That’s quite a record and one we’d like to see broken. To do that, whoever the Democratic nominee is in 2012 better bring something awfully special to the race. Tommy Lee Jones is the only Democrat (or potential Democrat) who does. His name ID, near-universal popularity, fundraising ability, residence in and love for this state, his success as a cattle rancher, Spanish fluency, his image as a western tough guy and his impressive academic credentials would instantly make him the frontrunner, regardless of who the Republicans nominate.
posted by valkane (96 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
second(s)
posted by clavdivs at 7:57 PM on March 25, 2011


Were I a Texan I would vote form based on acting ability alone. Not sure if that's a good idea, but there it is.
posted by jnrussell at 8:04 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would he shoot a man in the face and make him apologize for it? That's the sort of shit that really impresses Texans.
posted by contessa at 8:06 PM on March 25, 2011 [19 favorites]


Well, heck, I thought he was running for office here in Japan.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:14 PM on March 25, 2011


What is the compulsion to elect based solely on familiarity? Electing politicians based solely on the nostalgia factor makes squirm like an itchy bear cub. That's why I'll be voting for The Smell of Crayons for President and Aroma of Popcorn Cooking for VP.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 8:15 PM on March 25, 2011 [23 favorites]


He's qualified for senate because he went to an Ivy League school, he has a tough guy image, and wears a cowboy hat? Seriously?

Something something won't get fooled again.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:15 PM on March 25, 2011 [22 favorites]


He could be the Democrat Fred Thompson!
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:17 PM on March 25, 2011 [13 favorites]


That's why I'll be voting for The Smell of Crayons for President and Aroma of Popcorn Cooking for VP.

Hell, I don't even care what party the Crayon/Popcorn ticket is in, I am ready to donate to the exploratory committee, as long as I can get a firm commitment that Finding the Perfect LEGO Piece is in the running for a Cabinet-level position.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:24 PM on March 25, 2011 [26 favorites]


All I know about Tommy Lee Jones and Texas politics is when he was shilling for urban gas drilling around here in weird billboards. Not the worst thing ever, I suppose, but not exactly awesome either. I'm willing to wait and see though. God knows probably anybody would be better than our current shithead senators.
posted by kmz at 8:24 PM on March 25, 2011


This just in, people vote for people they (at least think) they know.
posted by dobie at 8:25 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a lot of perception that all politicians are crooked idiots, so if you nominate someone who isn't a politician they are less likely to be crooked idiots. The theory is not entirely without merit, until they actually win.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:30 PM on March 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Little known fact: Tommy Lee Jones was Al Gore's roommate at Harvard.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:36 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is the compulsion to elect based solely on familiarity?

If someone's been famous a long time, then chances are you'd have heard about any major character defects by now, plus it's fairly easy to read up on the person's views/behavior prior to any political campaigning. Also habit and looks, but people are a bit more discriminating than you think - otherwise there'd be a lot of 30-40 year old entertainers and athletes on the ballot every year. Finally, fame means much lower campaign costs, which means less time and effort on fundraising, which means fewer wealthy people expecting favors after someone is elected.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:37 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I mean, worked for Reagan and Schwarzenegger, right? On second thought...
posted by codacorolla at 8:43 PM on March 25, 2011


Well, heck, I thought he was running for office here in Japan.

Elections are for Sonomamma Higashi and AKB48. The Boss, like Frank Miller's Batman, doesn't care if you elected him or not. That's why he's the Boss.
posted by No-sword at 8:44 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


If he screws up he can just flashy-thing everybody.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:46 PM on March 25, 2011 [31 favorites]


I read somewhere he was a massive stoner, so that's a point in his favor for me....
posted by lumpenprole at 8:49 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thing is, he flashy-thinged himself.
A plot dilemma.
posted by clavdivs at 8:54 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


He could be like the sheriff in No Country for Old Men, showing up after all the bloodshed happens, drawing a sad face.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:54 PM on March 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is a lot of perception that all politicians are crooked idiots, so if you nominate someone who isn't a politician they are less likely to be crooked idiots. The theory is not entirely without merit, until they actually win.

Thing is.. I believe politicians are no more crooked than any given person. You take a random person off the street and put them in such a position and they will behave like a random politician. Politicians are not more crooked then ordinary people, it is just that when they are crooked they just have greater capacity to exercise it and a larger budget to work with/skim from.
posted by edgeways at 8:54 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thing is, he
posted by clavdivs at 11:54 PM

Thing is..
posted by edgeways at 11:54 PM

wow, A double ponderation.
posted by clavdivs at 8:57 PM on March 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thing is.. I believe politicians are no more crooked than any given person. You take a random person off the street and put them in such a position and they will behave like a random politician. Politicians are not more crooked then ordinary people

Most politicians are not ordinary people, they're lawyers. And they have the morals of lawyers.
posted by 445supermag at 8:58 PM on March 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


MOST politicians are lawyers? I'd like to see statistics to back that up.
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


All I know about Tommy Lee Jones and Texas politics is when he was shilling for urban gas drilling around here in weird billboards. Not the worst thing ever, I suppose,

Not unless you like explosions, earthquakes, and flammable polluted water. Oh and benzene in the air. We got that too.

For more on Barnett Shale drilling, you might want to hang out here and do some reading. Or see Gasland.
posted by emjaybee at 9:08 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


there are a lot of lawyers, but for the whole of Congress the number is between 1/3 and 1/2. 54% in the Senate, 34% in the House. So not really 'most', just a lot and all lawyers are not bad. I would extrapolate my politician example to cover lawyers as well.
posted by edgeways at 9:08 PM on March 25, 2011


He's qualified for senate because he went to an Ivy League school, he has a tough guy image, and wears a cowboy hat? Seriously?

Something something won't get fooled again.


Dude, if you can't tell the difference between a real cowboy, and someone in a hat from Connecticut, then you'll be fooled again and again and again.
posted by valkane at 9:16 PM on March 25, 2011 [13 favorites]


I think that if you took the random person off the street and made them Congressperson they would be a lot less corrupt. Potential politicians become acclimated to corruption by the process of being involved in politics and learning how to campaign.
posted by ofthestrait at 9:17 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, worked for Reagan and Schwarzenegger, right? On second thought...
posted by codacorolla

Don't forget Sonny Bono and Fred Grandy.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:24 PM on March 25, 2011


Al Franken?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:26 PM on March 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


MOST politicians are lawyers? I'd like to see statistics to back that up.
posted by hippybear

It's from 2007 but at least in the Senate, that seems to be the case.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:28 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


He always seemed a bit two-faced for my liking.
posted by doublehappy at 9:29 PM on March 25, 2011 [16 favorites]


Thanks Purposeful Grimace. That's actual data. I appreciate that.
posted by hippybear at 9:30 PM on March 25, 2011


I hope I'm not single-handedly scuppering Tommy Lee Jones's presidential aspirations here, but I heard somewhere he was a bit of a jerk.
posted by Flashman at 9:30 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Alright, listen up, people. Our terrorist has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles-per-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area."
posted by bwg at 9:31 PM on March 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


What is the compulsion to elect based solely on familiarity?

Because if you don't start out with recognition, the other side can say anything they want about you and give the first impression. That's because of our election system where only two parties can adequately compete. So we look for the bad candidate when both candidates seem fake and try to be everything to everybody. Therefore negative campaigning and the need for prior recognition.
posted by Brian B. at 9:36 PM on March 25, 2011


I am opposed to Tommy Lee Jones entering politics because I like Tommy Lee Jones and I don't want to find out that I'm wrong.
posted by brennen at 9:44 PM on March 25, 2011 [28 favorites]


Any man who can charm a teenage Sissy Spacek by driving her roughshod around town in a sweet little red Jeep and then ruin her by giving her too many babies at too young an age and pushing her through the heights of Country Music Stardom, only to rescue her when she has a momentous psychological break onstage -- well, he'd got my vote.

"Coal mine, moonshine, or move it on down the line!"
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:46 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some careers are best left Awesome.
posted by localhuman at 9:49 PM on March 25, 2011 [10 favorites]


Most politicians are not ordinary people, they're lawyers. And they have the morals of lawyers.

I have spent more hours canvassing than most people have had hot meals (rounded up). And I hear this sentiment all the time. It infuriates me. Many people don't want those familiar with the law to write the law, and thus this anti-lawyer sentiment has mutated into a bizarre cult of Joe The Plumber, a president you could have a beer with, John Kerry *gulp* windsurfing like you and me.

I mean, I get the sentiment and all. But man...

Now actors as politicians. Yeesh.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:51 PM on March 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Republicans counter with Nolan Ryan and the shit gets serious!!
posted by Senator at 9:55 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


We need someone who is like Reagan, but a Democrat.
posted by john wilkins at 9:59 PM on March 25, 2011


Now actors as politicians. Yeesh.

Yes, Lawyers are the only people who understand the human condition. They have nothing at hand except... the law. Anyone who could pick a shit script out and throw it away... understand the English meaning.... well, only lawyers understand english. Only they can choose right from wrong.

You have to go to law school to know what's right. Here's some examples:
posted by valkane at 10:00 PM on March 25, 2011


The way the Republican leans batshit-crazy rightwing these days, Reagan himself would probably qualify, john wilkins...
posted by hincandenza at 10:02 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I rest my case.
posted by valkane at 10:06 PM on March 25, 2011


deadmessenger: Little known fact: Tommy Lee Jones was Al Gore's roommate at Harvard.
Little known to whom?! I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, but that's been an extremely well-known factoid for years, along with both Gore and Jones being inspirations for the male lead in "Love Story".
posted by hincandenza at 10:08 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dude, if you can't tell the difference between a real cowboy, and someone in a hat from Connecticut, then you'll be fooled again and again and again.

Well, the joke's on all of us then, because it sure as hell fooled enough people to vote for the dad from Connecticut three times and the son from Connecticut twice, and damn if we probably won't vote for the second son from Connecticut soon enough.

(But the reality is, despite the family New England connections and the ostentatious Kennebunkport and Greenwich idylls, that GHW Bush lived and worked in Texas from the age of 24 on, that GW Bush was a Texan from toddlerhood -- Phillips Academy and Yale and Harvard notwithstanding -- and that Jeb was born in Texas, grew up there, and went to college and law school there. Texas owns them all and they're welcome to keep them.)
posted by blucevalo at 10:15 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, the joke's on all of us then, because it sure as hell fooled enough people to vote for the dad from Connecticut three times and the son from Connecticut twice, and damn if we probably won't vote for the second son from Connecticut soon enough.

(But the reality is, despite the family New England connections and the ostentatious Kennebunkport and Greenwich idylls, that GHW Bush lived and worked in Texas from the age of 24 on, that GW Bush was a Texan from toddlerhood -- Phillips Academy and Yale and Harvard notwithstanding -- and that Jeb was born in Texas, grew up there, and went to college and law school there. Texas owns them all and they're welcome to keep them.)


Bummer. I agree. And in fact, that was my point. None of those people followed the cowboy code. And the fact that the internet could allow a DJ (did you click through?) to point out a person who cares enough to learn and work within the world as it exists (as opposed to stealing) and who is already rich might make better decisions about society, well, it's interesting to think about.

Thanks.
posted by valkane at 10:22 PM on March 25, 2011


Can we draft him now then ask him really politely to leave if he starts careening into shitstorm territory? He likes polite people, right? Almost Canadian that way...
posted by Slackermagee at 10:23 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


And let's not forget this guy, who served as mayor for a term...

(campaigned for John McCain, too.)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:07 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Springsteen for President. Seriously.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:09 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tom Waits for National Endowment for the Arts Chairman.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:11 PM on March 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


If he screws up he can just flashy-thing everybody.

That's not the best reference to Rolling Thunder I've heard, but it comes close.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:11 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone who wants to be in a political office should not be allowed to be in a political office.
posted by Splunge at 11:30 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Politicians are to policy as network news anchors are to journalism.

They exert control, and some of them are more curious and engaged than others, but at the end of the day they are hired to be a face. Those working beneath them do the substantive work, and they present it.

And those who seek out this line of work have a greater tendency than others around them to be shallow and corruptible. Most that I know are entirely empty shirts with no skills or ideals beyond self-promotion. Their staffs will be full of smart idealists, however.

So I like the idea of Tommy Lee Jones running. He's smart, he thinks for himself, and has ideals. That's better than most senators by far. In the end, he'll just be a face anyway, but a better one than those we've got.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:35 PM on March 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


That said... in Australia, we elected Peter Garrett, frontman of Midnight Oil, to some office. And he went from a protest singer to a mostly silent Labor Party stooge.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:02 AM on March 26, 2011


So bin Laden was framed?
posted by srboisvert at 12:15 AM on March 26, 2011


Ebert for President. Seriously.
posted by maxwelton at 12:56 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's good work if you can get it but really who wants it?
posted by Sailormom at 1:13 AM on March 26, 2011


wow, A double ponderation.

I believe thats called a ponderosa.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:36 AM on March 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Dude, if you can't tell the difference between a real cowboy, and someone in a hat from Connecticut, then you'll be fooled again and again and again.

Putting aside the fascinating and relevent discussion of whether Jones is a "real cowboy" or not, you seem to be implying that western tough guys are good political candidates. Or are you saying merely that they are more electable in Texas? Either way, my point is that this is a pretty juvenile way to determine who should be writing and enforcing laws and it has put my country in serious peril on many occasions. You have not linked to a single policy position, a single piece of evidence or personal story that ought to convince a rational person that this is a suitable person to hand a good deal of power over their lives. Maybe I'm just misinterpreting something that's meant to be a silly internet meme. I do not wish to disparage Mr. Jones whom I respect immensely as an actor and whose public persona seems interesting and likable.

Name recognition, being a tough guy, and the ability to generate massive amounts of money to pour into a campaign all highlight serious faults in the current electoral process and this isn't a game the good guys can win, even if they happen to be called "Democrat," though I do understand the implications of the dems losing the Senate majority. Good legislators, the kind we need now more than ever, have years of policy experience and demonstrate a long term interest and commitment to public service. I find the idea of drafting a guy (who doesn't even want it) because he appeals to only the most superficial of the electorate's values nauseating.

Dude.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:06 AM on March 26, 2011


Look how well it turned out in California when they elected someone they enjoyed seeing on the big screen. Or maybe not.
posted by Fizz at 4:27 AM on March 26, 2011


wow, A double ponderation.
posted by clavdivs at 11:57 PM on March 25 [3 favorites +] [!]


We could say, a double ponderosa, for this special occasion.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:48 AM on March 26, 2011


Damn, hal, sorry.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:48 AM on March 26, 2011


Yes, Lawyers are the only people who understand the human condition. They have nothing at hand except... the law. Anyone who could pick a shit script out and throw it away... understand the English meaning.... well, only lawyers understand english. Only they can choose right from wrong.

You have to go to law school to know what's right. Here's some examples:


I hope one day an actor has to give you an appendectomy and you die while spouting "What, only doctors can understand anatomy?"
posted by TypographicalError at 5:08 AM on March 26, 2011


It won't work. TLJ showed up on stage at at least one of Clinton's stump appearances, in Texas, in 1992. I know, I was there. I might even have photographic evidence of it.

From the perspective of the Texas voter, he might as well have personally cut a hole in the border fence while enjoying a joint and being sodomized by George Soros.
posted by AugieAugustus at 5:30 AM on March 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Another ignorant gas company shill? That's the last thing we need in our increasingly toxic state.
posted by tingting at 5:32 AM on March 26, 2011


MOST politicians are lawyers? I'd like to see statistics to back that up.

Here's some:
In the United States, probably more than in any other nation, lawyers not only have an almost complete monopoly of the judicial branch of government, but also constitute a disproportionately large share of legislative and executive office-holders in both national and state governments. 1 Sixty-three per cent of the 38 American presidents have been lawyers, for example, and between 1877 and 1934 fully 70 per cent of United States presidents, vice-presidents, and cabinet members were attorneys. 2 Ascendancy of the legal profession in national and state legislatures is equally clear. 3 The profession also predominates in gubernatorial offices. 4
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:49 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kinky Friedman had some interesting thoughts (ultimately, if he could win the primaries he could win the election).
posted by Houstonian at 6:26 AM on March 26, 2011


Well, you know, I recognize all the arguments against it and don't think that just because I like an actor that he'll make a good politician. But I'm damn sick and tired of writing to my senators and only getting letters back that take the opposite position. I'm a Texas democrat and I'm goddamned desperate enough to try anything. I even voted for Kinky.
posted by threeturtles at 6:47 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Most politicians are not ordinary people, they're lawyers. And they have the morals of lawyers.
posted by 445supermag

Yes, Lawyers are the only people who understand the human condition. They have nothing at hand except... the law. Anyone who could pick a shit script out and throw it away... understand the English meaning.... well, only lawyers understand english. Only they can choose right from wrong.

You have to go to law school to know what's right. Here's some examples:
posted by valkane


I've always been a bit confused by anti-lawyer sentiment. Not the sentiment itself, but why it's so socially acceptable to shit on an entire class of people. A vast generalization, a vast stereotype about what all lawyers are like, and it's perfectly normal to just say such things in polite society. You couldn't make those generalizations about particular ethnic origins or skin colour without making someone cringe and question your whole worldview.

It becomes even more strange when you consider that lawyers as a class of people are only a class because of higher education. They're trained professionals. So what, then, is anti-lawyer sentiment really about?

Lawyers seem to be alone among the professions in attracting this. Accountants are mocked a lot, but they don't attract the same kind of hostility. Doctors have jokes made about them, but respect remains.

Not that anti-lawyer sentiment bothers me -- usually the people spouting it are creating more work for lawyers on the back end -- I've just never understood why it's OK to throw out these stereotypes about a huge group of people, and no-one think anything of it.

Enh.

posted by Capt. Renault at 7:01 AM on March 26, 2011


Ascendancy of the legal profession in national and state legislatures is equally clear.

This is false, primarily because the thing you're linking to is from 1974.

Since then, the proportion of attorneys in state legislatures especially has dropped like a rock. I and a coauthor pulled biographical data for legislators in about half the states for one project; about 16% had a JD in 1999/2000.

Occupationally, as of 2007 about 15% of legislators were attorneys, but presumably somewhat more than that have JDs and might be considered lawyers too.

[where you do see clear domination by lawyers is on the judiciary committees that regulate their profession; these are overwhelmingly dominated by lawyers]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:13 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not the sentiment itself, but why it's so socially acceptable to shit on an entire class of people.

Because it's not a "class" of people by any reasonable definition. It's not an inborn trait like someone's race or ethnicity, or their height or hair color or appearance. It's not a deeply-ingrained family-based trait like someone's religion. It's an occupation. Chosen freely, and chosen as an adult. And, unlike some other unpopular jobs, not a job that might be chosen as a result of deprivation or severely limited economic circumstances or educational possibilities. Instead, it's a choice made by the relatively privileged.

It becomes even more strange when you consider that lawyers as a class of people are only a class because of higher education.

Exactly. Someone doesn't become a lawyer and work their hardest to, in popular perception, keep evildoers on the streets hurting decent people or to help big corporations fleece kind old ladies because they were driven to it by dire economic circumstances, or because their educational opportunities meant they couldn't do much of anything else.

So what, then, is anti-lawyer sentiment really about?

It's not that hard to figure out. There's a certain degree of amorality inherent to anglo-american law that's hard for people to wrap their heads around -- if you're an attorney, it's your job to do everything legally and technically possible to defend your client or advance your client's position, even if your client or their position is evil, wrong, and harmful.

Any time people have had the assistance of a lawyer to defend them from harm or advance a valid claim, there's been some other attorney trying their best to harm them, or to prevent their valid claim from taking effect. For every lawyer working to prevent defend someone against another party's evil, there is at least one other lawyer on the other side working their hardest to inflict evil upon them. (Of course, which is which is often more or less impossible to figure out without godlike omniscience)

Don't get me wrong; I get that having competent and committed attorneys is a vital part of any adversarial legal process. But I think people's experiences with lawyers, and their (mis)-understanding of the processes, make negative impressions of lawyers obvious and inevitable, not some grand mystery.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:49 AM on March 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


And TV commercials with copy like this don't help:
Have you been injured? You may be eligible for a large cash settlement!!! If you don't win, I don't get paid. Here at the law offices of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, our team of experts is on your side....
posted by 445supermag at 8:08 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The last time we tried something like this, we ended up with Kinky Friedman in the primary, and he turned out to be neither very Democratic nor very electable. We have a thin bench, especially after Blil White crapped out at Governor. But I'd still rather have Bill White than Tommy Lee Jones.

(And, as someone said upthread, I like Tommy Lee Jones. Let's not ruin him.)
posted by immlass at 8:09 AM on March 26, 2011


That's why I'll be voting for The Smell of Crayons for President and Aroma of Popcorn Cooking for VP.

Go ahead, throw away your vote. I'm voting Smell of Freshly-Ground Coffee/Smores.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:21 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." -- Mark Twain
posted by kirkaracha at 8:22 AM on March 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe he can screw up the Democrats chances of winning as well as Kinky Friedman did.
posted by mrhappy at 8:45 AM on March 26, 2011


Yes, Lawyers are the only people who understand the human condition.

Tommy Lee Jones knows all about the human condition.
posted by homunculus at 9:15 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone who wants to be in a political office should not be allowed to be in a political office.

Reminded of the excellent Groucho quote: "I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:24 AM on March 26, 2011




Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be lawyers.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:04 AM on March 26, 2011


(let 'em grow up to be actors and cowboys and such...)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:05 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is not that all lawyers are bad. However, a general lack of intellectual diversity is definitely bad, very bad. I don't want congress/government populated with a majority of lawyers anymore than I want congress/government populated with a majority of ... pick any profession. For example, a government dominated by say computer scientists is going to be very warped. I want educated and scholarly leaders, but I always hesitate to vote for a lawyer because I feel like the legal intellectual perspective is currently very well represented.
posted by gruchall at 10:23 AM on March 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why not Sandra Bullock? Or Lynda Obst? They're Texans (Obst lives in Austin for most of the year), they're successful, and they're cute.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:40 AM on March 26, 2011


Something something won't get fooled again.

Love it. Slarty Bartfast for pundit of the United States.
posted by willie11 at 10:43 AM on March 26, 2011


Something something Cobb.

Sorry--I'm not that familiar with Tommy Lee Jones' body of work.
posted by box at 11:03 AM on March 26, 2011


Look how well it turned out in California when they elected someone they enjoyed seeing on the big screen. Or maybe not.

You know, in spite of the completely dysfunctional California legislature, we have some of the best environmental laws in the country. That definitely counts for something. I very much doubt we would have gotten them with a democrat for governor- even now republicans are agitating to get rid of the Air Resources Board.

I'm not seeing the argument that a non-Hollywood governor would have been better in some way. Scwarzenegger, as a non-careerist repug hack, was able to be pro-choice and pro-environment. That doesn't make him the awesomest governor ever- far from it- but I think it was in our favor to have a movie star republican instead of a political one.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:07 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scwarzenegger, as a non-careerist repug hack, was able to be pro-choice and pro-environment.

And, FWIW, his government didn't try to defend Prop 8 in the courts. That's worth a few bonus points right there.
posted by hippybear at 11:11 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


As long as this is in his acceptance speech, I'll send in my donation:

The second one, it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin' through the mountains of a night. Goin' through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin'. Never said nothin' goin' by. He just rode on past... and he had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin' fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. 'Bout the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin' on ahead and he was fixin' to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there.

Seriously though, MN elected Al Franken and he's a damn sight better than half the Democrats in the Senate and all of the Republicans.
posted by Ber at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2011


The thing with a guy like Tommy Lee Jones is that he won't be impressed in a positive way by all the money and trappings of power that come with national political office. That's a good thing. But who knows where he is on campaign finance reform?
posted by Mister_A at 2:20 PM on March 26, 2011


I'm sorry, please explain why Texas should continue to be allowed to send Senators to Washington. And if you have no better reason than because it's a "state", forgetaboutit.
posted by Goofyy at 10:53 PM on March 26, 2011


Putting aside the fascinating and relevent discussion of whether Jones is a "real cowboy" or not,

Them's fightin' words, at least here. Jones has a biography that any Texan would respect. (Born in San Saba? To a roughneck? Campaign gold.)

Overall, it would be very foolish to underestimate the impact that his performance in Lonesome Dove as Woodrow Call had on Texans. Larry McMurtry is one of the state's true literary royals, and Lonesome Dove (both Pulitzer-Prize-winning book and television miniseries) is positively revered here.

Last year, upon the 25th anniversary of the book's publication, state mag Texas Monthly said this: "It is the great hero myth of Texas, the state’s favorite depiction of itself and the world’s favorite depiction of Texas."

People here, especially rural Texans (who all were Democrats a decade ago), will be quick to make a place in their hearts for "Senator Woodrow Call".
posted by pineapple at 10:53 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone who wants to be in a political office should not be allowed to be in a political office.

The nice thing about saying the political process is totally broken and it's pointless to try to do anything about it is that it perfectly justifies not taking up any of your valuable video game time trying to change things. All those silly people in the Middle East, risking their lives for change- don't they know they should be playing Duke Nukem instead?
posted by happyroach at 11:32 PM on March 26, 2011


Seriously though, MN elected Al Franken and he's a damn sight better than half the Democrats in the Senate and all of the Republicans.

Al Franken was already involved in politics before he ran for office, though. He'd written a number of books and done a talk show for Air America. I can't think of anything political Jones has done; I have no idea what his politics are. Maybe he'd turn out to be an "only Nixon could go to China" guy and get elected and do things I want, but after the disappointment of Kinky Friedman, I'd like to know who he is before I vote for him. Besides, I expect Bill White to run again, and now he has more name recognition, and I actually like him. He was a decent mayor for Houston and I don't think he'd be a bad Senator. So I'm not seeing the upside for Jones, who doesn't even seem to be interested in politics.
posted by immlass at 7:59 AM on March 27, 2011


I do agree that Bill White would be a good Senator. As a former Houstonian, I respect him and he really did right during Ike.

rural Texans (who all were Democrats a decade ago)

Yesterday my husband turned to me and said, "Guess how many Republicans were in the Texas state House in 1963?" The answer is one. I then had to explain to him about the Civil Rights act. I think if more people were aware of how radically people's party affiliation has shifted over time, our political system would be much improved.
posted by threeturtles at 12:06 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's qualified for senate because he went to an Ivy League school, he has a tough guy image, and wears a cowboy hat? Seriously?

Sorry, what are the actual qualifications to be a politician?
posted by fusinski at 8:20 AM on April 21, 2011


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