The situation on Capitol Hill has become so confusing, we’re going to need a nuclear physicist with a googleplex of serially connected molecular microscopes to precisely explain what is happening. Instead, you got me. This whole debt ceiling debate has made rush hour gridlock on the 405 look like a romantic excursion in Central Park on a bicycle built for two. Nonetheless, I take it upon myself to sort out what’s going on. No need for thanks. Part of my court-ordered community service.
Right now, you could say we find ourselves philosophically constipated and at a bit of a standstill. You could also say that molten lava is hot. Here’s what we know so far: The conservative wing of the Republican Party has stopped talking to Speaker of the House John Boehner. Boehner walked out on President Barack Obama. Probably weeping. Obama finds it impossible to even look at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi puts her hands over her ears and makes “la-la-la” noises whenever she sees House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Cantor challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to a pugil stick match in the gold stacks at Fort Knox. Reid can barely stand erect. The Tea Party won’t stop shouting long enough to hear the sound of the oncoming financial train wreck bearing down on us. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has advised Obama not to negotiate with terrorists. Boehner can’t talk to the Tea Party until he finds someone on his staff who speaks gibberish. Calling the situation “bizarro,” Arizona Senator John McCain wandered down the hall looking for a wormhole to Mordor. And finally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken to leaping out from under the hangers in the Senate Cloak Room trying to scare the media.
Tea Party members have evidenced their ideological purity by not only refusing to consider any bill that features revenue enhancement, but also shunning anyone who has ever been in a room where revenue enhancement might once have been mentioned. Their mantra is cuts, cuts, cuts. Then sell the blood, blood, blood. They claim to be practicing tough love, with emphasis on the adjective and a void near the noun.
Their enigmatic intransigence has escalated even though they are aware their plan to eviscerate Medicare has less chance of passing a Democratically controlled Senate than a poison dart frog has of co-starring with Angelina Jolie in a Jim Henson produced remake of “Spartacus.” Democrats need to avoid the slippery slope of entitlement slashing, due to the alarming frequency with which old people vote.
The Righter than Right’s message is an update on the old “My way or the highway,” coming more from the asphalt contractor’s view. “My way or become part of the highway.” The attack dogs are so wound up they’re turning on their own leaders. Boehner had to scold his party to “get your a** in line.” Of course, internal fears are they will then inadvertently form a tunnel.
The whole noisy lot of them continue to run around like chickens with their heads cut off and that choice of fowl is anything but accidental. This is less the tail wagging the dog than the flea on the tip of the last hair on the tail wagging the whole Iditarod Kennel. And I hope that clear things up better than a dump truck full of fertilizing manure in a children’s inflatable pool. But I doubt it.