If you're feeling like a rotten spouse or incompetent parent right now, I have a sure-fire cure for you. Welcome to Wednesday nights on ABC: Wife Swap and SuperNanny. There is nothing more reassuring than sitting down with the hubby and the kids and watching someone else parade their astounding family dysfunction on national television. You'll be amazed at how terrific you and your family will feel about the basket of laundry you've yet to put away, or the dog's nose prints on the patio door, after seeing someone allow themselves to be beaten up by their toddler. You'll see each other in a whole new appreciative light. Guaranteed.
So, tonight, after we had congratulated ourselves on how much less dysfunctional we are than those families, I got to thinking about reality t.v. and my friend Renee's post about being an undecided Dem. If we truly want to get to to know who the candidates really are, I say we ditch the next debate and let's go reality show instead! The premise: What if Hillary and Barak had to swap lives for a week? Remember, we're not swapping wives, here, but candidates instead. Each would fulfill the roles of the other, argue each other's positions, campaign for each other, be the spouse of the person they replace. (A side benefit is that they'd get to see how our same-sex couple friends live...we may actually see some policy changes after Hill and Bar live in those shoes!) I think the idea has great promise, and will definitely pitch the concept to the networks. (Anyone out there know any network execs???)
I'd love to see the firworks when Hillary has to go to church with the Obamas. I'd tivo for posterity Barak having an intimate breakfast with Bill. But most of all, I'd cherish the policy issues "big reveal":
Hillary: I know the American people will see, from my record over the past week, that I have developed a newfound respect for Barak. I've learned that grassroots organizing is really where it's at! Of course, I've also learned that having a strong wife can be a challenge in it's own right-
Barak: -If I can just interject here, I'd like to respond...what I've learned is that it's perfectly fine to make a mistake, to err in judgement, to decide that your initial decision might not have been the best choice in hindsight. I've learned that it's difficult to live in Bill's shadow and be held accountable for all his actions.
And we're off and running. Of course, there would be spinoffs. Party Swap would place a Democrat wife with a Republican husband. I've heard it can be done, but I just can't wrap my head around it. All I can say is James Carville and Mary Matalin must have some seriously hot nookie goin' on to make up for their vast political void. (Yes, this from a woman whose greatest fear while pregnant was that her kids would grow up to be Republicans...) SuperCampaign Manager, and SuperChief of Staff would be natural progressions. And we political junkies will get our fix - things just haven't been the same since The West Wing left the airwaves.
Ah, for the good old days when we could pretend the Bartlett administration was really running the country, if only for one hour a week. Now we have to settle for comparing our lives to housewives with OCD and parents that find it easier not to parent. Thank God for all seven seasons of The West Wing on DVD.