Thursday, September 5, 2013

In which my inner Machiavelli becomes useful

Primo burst breathlessly into the bedroom, where I was happily reading a book, minding my own business, not thinking about politics at all.

Primo: Remember that bill? The one about puppies? And how puppies should be taken for a walk every day, at least once a day?

Me: Yes. So?

Primo: Well, you remember that the people on my side were completely against the bill because they don't think the government should be telling people how to treat puppies?

Me: Yes.

Primo: They voted on it. And Slim Shady [Polka Dot majority leader in the state senate] voted for it! So did some other Polka Dots!

Me: Uh-huh. (I don't really care about this bill. I literally do not have a dog in this fight. Plus the bill contradicts a federal law about dog walking and you know what the constitution says about that.)

Primo: There were some Polka Dots in districts that are pretty evenly split between Polka Dots and Stripes, so they had to vote for the bill to keep the Stripes from making a big deal about it in the next election.

Me: Right. Standard political calculations.

Primo: But there are people who are not in contested districts who also voted for it! Why? I can't believe that Slim voted for it, too! I am so ticked at him! There is a huge facebook fight going on about this - a lot of Polka Dots are attacking him. Why would he do it?

Me: To provide cover.

Primo: What do you mean?

Me: He's providing cover so it's not so obvious why the people in the contested districts voted for it. Plus there's no chance the bill will ever become a law so it's a low-risk vote.

Primo [jaw dropping]: That's exactly it! That has to be it! I didn't even think about that. How did you figure that out so fast?

Me [modestly]: I was an English major. All I did was try to figure out why the characters did what they did.

Primo: But you don't care about politics.

Me: I don't want to talk about the issues with you, but I am very interested in the behind the scenes stuff.