It is said that when Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828 just about his entire trashy following descended on the nation's capital looking for plum jobs or appointments in the new administration. Lots of them still had dung on their boots at their interviews. It came to be known as the “spoils system” just because of how bad so many of these characters smelled. A true fact.
Same thing only different happened with Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and it's sure to happen again here in 2008, starting approximately yesterday. A vast horde of camp followers and hangers-on in search of patronage jobs that offer good pay for not doing anything, sort of like that FEMA director in the current regime.
A good bet is that Al Sharpton will be first in this long line of applicants, with Joe the Plumber elbowing in right behind him. Then Todd Palin and his ilk. The Countrywide combo loan guy and his like. Franklin Raines. Bill Bennett and all the Bill Bennett types. Chuck Norris and those of that lamentable station. The Hutchinson brothers. Henry Williams. Gary Bauer. Zell Miller. Linda Tripp. Doyle Webb. Rafe Hollister. Motley Kennedy heirs and ne'er-do-well kin of other ex-presidents, especially those with real curvy dongs. Born-again Swift Boaters. Geezer Wal-Mart greeters sick and tired of forced friendly. Power-drunk bloggers, defrocked abbots, defanged radicals, and repentant Libertarians, to name a few.
It'll be some long lines. Forty-eleven lawyers swarming in to oust the Pat Robertson Law School grads who gang-raped Lady Justice. Forty-twelve would-be new leftist postmasters in little towns from Crawford, Tex., to Wasilla, Ak.
A tip for you job-seekers: It won't help your chances any if, after filling out your application form, you find the urge irresistible to scrawl on the bottom of it that some of your best friends have always been n-words. Even if they have been, this isn't a good idea.
I think most of us unwashed can forget the top-level or mid-level appointments. Those will go to those who earned them one way or another, such as ACORN workers or long-time Socialists. I understand Oprah Winfrey is a lock for ambassador to Great Britain, for another example.
P. Diddy has said he wants to head up a new government agency that would provide airport chauffeur service to drunk celebrities, and let's face it, the job is his if he wants it. Nor could we hope to compete with Gennifer Flowers for Undersecretary of Being Interviewed on the Radio While Peeing in a Brass Bowl. I mean her experience there trumps the abject willingness of any one of us potential competitors for the job to fling aside all dignity.
A number of lesser positions are up for grabs, though.
• Head of the Office to Secure Congressional Funding for Bridges to Nowhere. (Earmarks will make a comeback, you can count on it.)
• Secretary of Deciding What to Do About All the Chicken Litter. Not one of the glamour jobs, but as I understand it, nobody as yet has made the short list.
• Secretary of Persuading Congressmen Not to Do That Gay Foot-Tapping Signaling Thing When They're in Public Rest Room Stalls With Surveillance Equipment Present.
• Secretary of Following Newt Gingrich Around Kicking Him in the Butt Every Once in a While All Day Every Day Just For Old Times' Sake. A pretty sweet job, but you'd have to be around New Gingrich all the time.
• Secretary of Following Dick Morris Around With a Sign Saying “This Dillweed Likes to Suck Prostitutes' Toes.” Same problem there.
In England, Monty Python once proposed a Ministry of Silly Walks, and while we don't have ministries here — too Commie-sounding — a Department of Correctly Pronouncing “Nuclear” would be nice, and also a new regulatory agency empowered to punish whorey-looking women who chew gum obnoxiously or wink suggestively at TV cameras during political debates in order to bewitch horny old conservative newspaper columnists.
If McCain had won, I had in mind to apply for Secretary of Delivering Bottled Hot Water to Dehydrated Babies. This post was his idea — you might've seen the video — and it was intriguing if a little on the cryptic side. But I reckon he would've given it to somebody a little more faith-based than Ol' Moi.
Several other plums would've been available under President McCain that apparently won't be under President Obama:
• An Office to Require Everybody to Wear a Flag Lapel Pin Even on the One Gallus of One-Gallus Overhauls.
• An Office to Get God (Not Allah Either) Back Onto the P.A. at High School Football Games.
• A Department to Explore Hidden Muslim Meanings in Spousal African-American Fist Bumps.
• And I heard it was the Quipster who originally proposed the Bureau of Free Velveeta Distribution to Former Public Servants and Their Weebil Families Who Got Hooked on the Stuff Through No Fault of their Own While on the Public Teat.