The Great Concessionaire

Sorry if you settled into your recliner ready to enjoy the blessed silence destined to descend on the political playing field in the aftermath of the Debt Ceiling Death Match. Lasted as long as the life cycle of an adult mayfly. That momentary, blissful peace was rudely broken by a cacophony of squeaks and grunts and shouts as each camp tried to out-blame the other for the thudding crash Wall Street made falling down a well. Quick, go find Lassie!

Cartoon by R.J. Matson

It appears the Market is not impressed with the two-step deal Congress agreed to, kicking and screaming. Look close and you can see the bones of the middle class sticking out of the confetti left over from the banking and oil industry celebrations. Spending cuts during a recession. There you go. Starve a fever and feed a cold, or the other way around? What the hell, starve them both. We’ll eat when we’re dead.

Hard to understand why Progressives are so mad at Obama. After all, he didn’t do anything. Besides cave faster than an overused supply tunnel in a Chilean coal mine. The difference is, nobody’s rushing out to organize any rescue parties. Happy Birthday, Mister President. Sorry we couldn’t get Marilyn to sing. Doubt if Pelosi hummed it either.

The Tea Baggers won, confusing both Democrats and Republicans by refusing to act like politicians, eschewing all the usual motivations such as their own self-interest or party affinity or even the general welfare of the country. You can’t negotiate with cement. Giving proof to the old adage: “Never get in a fight with an ugly person, they got nothing to lose.”

One fascinating thing to come out of the debt debacle was watching the only adult in the room turn from Great Facilitator into Great Enabler before our very eyes. Obama is so determined to govern from the middle there should be a double yellow line down the center of his forehead. Democrats may desert him, but he remains king of the Road Kill Party. Would hate to get stuck behind Barack in a grocery line after he was asked, “Paper or plastic?” Your ice cream would liquefy waiting for him to convince the clerk he wanted “plaper” or “pastic.”

The Tea Party held the government hostage, and the president fell victim to a wicked case of Stockholm syndrome, bonding with his captors, until at last he was able to successfully convince the kidnappers to accept more than they originally asked for.

The administration called the deal a compromise. The same kind of compromise the Titanic arranged with that iceberg. Like how Nagasaki and Hiroshima compromised with Fat Man and Little Boy. Brokered as many concessions as New Orleans got from Katrina. The financial equivalent of handing over Czechoslovakia after extracting a vague promise to possibly leave Poland alone. Trust he got a rolled-up umbrella for his birthday.

At this point, you can’t even accuse the Democrats of being afraid of their own shadow because they don’t cast one. Besides, it’s hard to see your shadow when your head is so far up your butt you can tickle your spleen with your elbow. And if they expect any chance at all in 2012, they’d be wise to invest heavily in stem-cell research in hopes of regenerating their spine.

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