Who knows? And what really does matter when it comes to politics?
Fly fishing and politics are a lot alike when you get down to the brass tacks of it all. Think about it....we create flies that will attract trout to them. Then we go to a river and seek out the areas where there are likely to be decent numbers of fish. Then we tie a fly on the end of our line and cast it to where the trout are holding. If after some effort the trout ignore, or worse yet, get frightened by our offering, we bring it in and change to another fly pattern in hopes that they will find this new one appealing.
Once we have found the right fly, the one that the trout like on that particular day, we begin to catch fish. Yes, they take it in their mouth and we gently set the hook in their jaw. We then reel them in and within minutes they are in our grasp. We have landed another trout because we have found the right fly to spark the trout's interest in order that we can hook them and reel them in.
Now isn't that what Mr. Obama lama-ding-dong, Hillary dillary-dock, and J. S. McCain (you can't even find a rhyme with this guy) are doing?
Yup, the three fly fishers of election year 2008. They have their advisors tie them some different flies in the way of sound-bites, issue ideas, and other bullshit, and then they go out and cast these flies to the general voting public. Sometimes some of the fish take their offering, other times a lot of fish take their offering, and other times they have to keep changing flies because they just don't seem to have the right one that day - they have frightened their quarry. What's interesting is that while the fly fisherman has to cast their fly upon the water and deal with varied currents and depths, the politico has the media, who just like the water can sometimes sink them.
Which brings us to the title of this post. Without belaboring the issue, trout don't give a rat's ass whether a fly is artistic or not. Period, the only aesthetic they care about is whether they can blend in with their surroundings, and even that's a thoughtless proccess for them.
If you ask our esteemed candidates whether they feel there is an art to their form of angling for votes, they would most likely have to think about it. They would have to ponder if there is an art to catching votes and whether it can be presented in a positive light. Afterall, how often do you hear about the art of bullshit?
After some conferring with their fly tyers (advisors), I would guess they would eventually conclude that there is an art to presenting their side of the argument. Their egos would not have it any other way. They must assess the general attitude of the school of fish in their midst, and attempt to figure out what they may be feeding on that day. Then choose the fly that they believe will satiate that hunger and satisfy the fickle palates of their constituents. Then with a big, false smile, and earnest conviction cast their ideas with utmost care and passion so as to make them seem as real as the fly must seem to the trout, in order that they will take the bait.
Is it an art form though?
I always thought of art as something that came from the soul. A stream of conciousness from the depths of one's inner being. It can't forced or coerced, it must flow from within, and whether it takes the form of paint on canvas, pencil on paper, chisel to stone, or even feathers and fur on steel, the result is an expression one's spirit.
So, I guess that's the answer. When one of these candidates can present that which truly comes from within them, we'll know who to vote for. Until then, it's just a casting contest.
Life is good, just do it with your eyes open.