Life is full of endless complications in this cartoon world.
Perhaps it’s no surprise then that the real life Lisa Simpson should fall for a younger, politically ambitious Bill Clinton at Yale Law School. Why, with his talent for gab and kissing babies they could surely rule the world together.
And, wouldn’t you know it, they did.
His agenda, naturally, would come first, but that was as much a practical matter as anything, and no one was as practical as Lisa.
She’d keep her last name as long as she could, but she’d intuit the politics of taking a husband’s name. She would be the first woman president, surely, if God is just. Look at the sacrifices, the quiet indignities she bore: the law-school boys’ clubs, Arkansas first-lady’s social hours, the scrutiny of sure-fire real estate partnerships, her husband’s thirst for risky extramarital affairs, the right-wing conspiracies — so far beyond fair even when founded in bitter truths. It was all so beneath her.
Didn’t they know? Couldn’t they see? “I was a fucking rock, excuse my language.”
No one could be asked to absorb as much for this bright school-girl’s dream? And it was a good dream: first woman president.
Her whole life she was told to wait, that being tough and ambitious wasn’t ladylike. So her skin became leather. But did she not speak soft truths? Did she not fight for the underprivileged? Did she not raise enough for the party? She was a senator; she was Secretary of State; she waited her turn. Yes, she hid gossipy emails. Yes, she tried to pass the blame, but who didn’t? “They’ve made me a monster,” she thought. And she was right.
Brother Bart Simpson was a different cat altogether.
School was for suckers, he thought. The real key to power was celebrity. Celebrities could be stupid and still be rich.
And so he’d sell himself and whatever he could. Real estate was at hand, so he’d promise the biggest, the best buildings. But he’d take whatever chances he’d get. An interview? He’d do it. Say something that’ll bring the papers back, he thought. Power was about leverage, he’d learn. He didn’t have to be good at business; let the school suckers cover the work. He was a professional celebrity.
Friends are friends and enemies are trash, to Bart. It’s not personal. It’s a matter of status. “If they talk against you, bury them, dude.” Keep lawyers close. They’ll fix all the mistakes. “Just tell people what they want to hear.” And it worked. It always works.
“That’s Crooked Lisa’s problem. She’s lame. She cares too much what people think.”
And, still, he never got the respect he was sure he deserved.
Didn’t they know? Couldn’t they see? He’d built everything out of nothing. No one had hustled harder. He told the same lies as anyone else, but his were bolder. He had penthouses. He slept with the hottest women. “Billy Fucking Bush had been lucky to be in the same room. I am the mother fucking president.”
What could be more respectable than that? All the rich people he’d kissed up to — none of them had been presidents. He was better than all of them. Even smarter than Lisa.
Sure, Bart courted help from Russian mobsters to bury her. And he’d won. She’d never have that nerve. That’s the difference. “It’s called winning. No one cares how you won.”
But as great as he was, “They made me a monster,” he thought. And he was right.