With the snow gone from Oregon (finally) and my older children back in school (double finally) I have been liberated from the winter prison that was my Christmas holiday. I have been spending more time in my car shuttling my youngest son around to places that will, presumably help him become well socialized and not a total embarrassment to our family when he finally goes to school himself. (Honestly, I'm just hoping that he will stop pointing at random strangers and in his booming, raspy 3 year old baritone announce which parts of their anatomy make them male or female. Although, I must admit, I do laugh.)
Due to the upswing in car time, I have been listening to the radio a lot more, and because I usually listen to OPB (our local NPR affiliate) that means that I have been listening to Senate confirmation hearings. One word - boring. I know that I should probably reverence the process. I know that I should think to myself "checks and balances - now that was a stroke of genius" but... All I hear when I'm listening to obscure senators questioning equally obscure cabinet appointees is the voice of the teacher from Charlie Brown - "wah waaah wah, wah waaah wah wah", and I picture the glassy eyed nominees doing some sneaky texting under the table like angst ridden teens in some horribly tedious health class. "OMG, i h8 him. His qstns r so hrd."
I for one would love, for say, the potential UN Ambassador to bust out her i-pod, stick in her ear buds and say "Just let me know when you're done with your obviously biased "question"/speech where you criticize or adore me/hypothetical political ramblings regarding capturing Osama bin Laden with duct tape, a hair pin and a warrantless wiretap so that I can completely ignore you and talk more about myself."
Let's face it, everyone's getting confirmed, and once again, I'm bored... so let's ask some questions that are going to keep the nominees on their toes and learn the really important stuff about these people before they start running the country:
1. If you were a Spice Girl which one would you be? I mean, do we really want Scary Spice to be the Secretary of State? Oh, wait - I think we did get Scary Spice as Secretary of State.
2. Who should play you on Saturday Night Live for the next four years? This one will probably only apply to Hillary Clinton and the Attorney General guy, but you never know. Maybe one of the cabinet members will get sloppy and put their foot in the wrong place in an airport restroom, or shoot themselves in the leg while at a night club with their peeps. Keep your fingers crossed people.
3. If you could have one super hero power what would it be? If I were them, I would go with invisibility - hands down, but I would also consider the "lasso of truth" like Wonder Women. I would not choose to be that one Wonder Twin that was always something made from water. Seriously, how is a purple ice bridge helpful during a super hero emergency?
4. What are the names and birthdays of all of your children? How can we believe that someone that can't remember these things is going to remember the names of world leaders like: Ban Ki-moon, Jalal Talabani or Dmitriy Anatolyevich Medvedev.
5. American Idol - love it or hate it? I am firmly in the "hate it" camp and could forgive a lot of the political sins of my like minded comrades. Total socialist welfare state? Ummm, OK - as long as we can banish Simon, Paula and Randy - (and the new girl too I guess).
All I'm saying is that I think there are ways to find out about a person without being so stuffy, Senators. After all, if you can't get information out of people without them knowing you got information out of them, (a skill that I have become quite adept at, raising three children), you might want to hang up your security clearance badge and hand your title over to someone a little more fun and a whole lot more useful.