Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sorting the Candidates

Dan Drezner tweeted while watching the 2nd GOP debate in about 12 hours about a question that Gingrich might be asked: which Hogwarts House he would want to be in?  So, of course, let me be the voice of the sorting hat this morning since I have nothing better to do (besides heaps of professional and personal chores on which I am quite behind).

Yes, it would be easy to consider them all suitable for Slytherin since they are so ambitious and so willing to do whatever it takes to win, but that would be too easy.  Besides, in the books, not all bad people come from Slytherin and not all good people are in Gryffindor.*
* On the other hand, as my wife points out, racists belong in Slytherin, and several of these folks are racist, so take this with a grain of salt (Berty Bot's)

But, obviously, Newt Gingrich would be in Slytherin.  He has no interest in ordinary values like fidelity, decency (divorce papers to a wife in the hospital for cancer treatment), etc., but whines when he does not have his privileges (like where he gets to sit on Air Force One) and is pretty ruthless.

Ron Paul would be in Ravenclaw because he thinks he is really smart and really likes ideas, no matter how batsh@#$ they might be.

Mitt Romney would be in Hufflepuff because he has no discernible talents but works really hard.  Besides, the guy who wants to be all things to all people belongs in the residual category.

Jon Huntsman might be in Ravenclaw because of his intellect or Gryffindor because he actually is pretty brave, taking a position in the Obama Administration and then choosing to fight against all odds for the nomination of a party that really does not like him.  Besides, since much of this seems hereditary (JK is so very British), we would like to have Huntsman's daughters in Gryffindor (which was the only house that seemed to have a good sense of humor).

Rick Perry, well, seems to think he is the chosen one but is not, so where would that put him?  Given how inept Draco was in his efforts in Half-Blood Prince, I guess Perry could be Slytherin on that basis.  But he is a likely drop-out.  Jacob Levy suggested that Perry is actually a squib--born to a wizarding family but having no magical talent (or otherwise).

This leaves us with Rick Santorum, who believes that most people are pretty much damned and his moral superiority means he should have the chance to restrict the rights of others.  So, Slytherin!  Of course, of all the candidates, he would be most outraged not just at being put in this house but in the Harry Potter context because it is so satanic, pagan, and interesting.

To be clear, there is room in Gryffindor for Republicans: not just Huntsman's daughters but also John McCain who can be misguided (like Percy) but quite bold in pushing against the easy path (anti-torture, mostly); perhaps even the first George Bush (he raised taxes despite the wishes of his base); and, of course, old yellerrail-splitter himself, Abraham Lincoln.  And there are Democrats who are almost certainly affiliated with Slytherin, including Bill Clinton who had few values but lots of opportunism and used his position to advance his basest interests (and pardoned some truly awful people for cash on his way out the door).

So, where is Obama?  The sorting hat would have a tough time since he has many attributes from each of the houses, but I would have to say that it is either Ravenclaw for his intelligence and respect for ideas or Gryffindor since he did push against the grain (voting against Iraq war in 2002) and risked his life, essentially, to become the first African-American president.

So, there you have it.  Of course, this could all be a ruse--as any reference to Hogwarts and its houses amplify the hits to my blog big-time!  That, or I just haven't satisfied my HP addiction lately.

*  Oh, and I didn't sort the candidates who have dropped out--Palin, Cain, Bachmann.  Hogwarts didn't have too many drop-outs until the last years when some parents realized (despite the mythology) that it was far more dangerous to be at the school than anywhere else.  But the obvious place where they reside now: St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.


jaykweetz said...

I am by no means an expert on US politics, but I can't stand when I hear people make the claim that Obama "voted" against the war in Iraq in 2002. In 2002, Obama was an Illinois State Senator and, as far as I know, it was only the US Congress that had the chance to authorize the mission.

No doubt, he should be commended for his well-documented opposition to the war. It was clear-sighted of him and shows his good judgement. However, there is a difference between making a speech against a war and casting a vote against one that determines whether that war takes place or not in terms of the political courage required.

Steve Saideman said...

My bad.