Oh sure, they made a big show of signing the debt ceiling agreement, with official photo-ops and fancy commemorative pens all accompanied by great racking sighs of relief. But now both Congress and the President are having second thoughts; treating the deal like a dead horsefly floating in their cut-glass tumbler of 25 year-old Scotch. You’d find more enthusiasm from the contestants of a beach volleyball tournament surveying a sand court littered with scorpions scurrying under a sea of broken beer bottles.
Speaking of scorpions, included in the agreement was a provision forming a committee responsible for future deficit reduction. 12 members appointed by party leaders from both the House and Senate. Whose mission, should they accept it, is to find 1.5 trillion dollars over a ten year period digging past the bare bones, down into the marrow.
Charged to construct a plan by Thanksgiving Eve or risk triggering automatic cuts. Doomsday cuts. Cuts designed to frighten politicians from the most stable of districts. That’s right: cuts to the military.
A majority of the committee, equally split between Republicans and Democrats, must agree on the proposal to send it to the whole of Congress who will vote either up or down with no amendments or filibusters allowed: meaning one member has to cross party lines, which is about as likely as pimento flavored Velveeta taking first place in the 2012 World Championship Artisan Cheese Contest.
Even though the American public and pretty much every economist on the face of the planet agrees we need a balance between entitlement cuts and revenue enhancement, the Democrats already snapped that entitlement cuts are off the table and the Republicans are shouting no new revenue will be accepted, so really, what they did was not so much kick the can down the road, but throw it onto the back of a passing flatbed truck where it disappeared over the asphalt horizon.
Now, this group has been called many things. Useless. The Supercommittee. Business as Usual. The Twerpy Twelve. A Dozen Punters. The Craven Caucus. Esteemed Assembly of the Ill-Advisable. League of the Unexceptionally Pontificating Pool of Party Hacks. But most commonly, it is referred to as: “Super Congress.”
“Slower than a slug on Thorazine; less powerful than a soggy Kleenex; unable to compromise in a million years. Look! Up in that swiveling leather club seat of that private jet. It’s a ruse, it’s a sham, it’s… Super Congress.
Yes, Super Congress. Strange hybrid from another reality, come to Capitol Hill with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal members.
Super Congress. Who can change the course of appropriations, bend ethics regulations in the wink of an eye and who, disguised as… the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, mild mannered functionary of the Hall of Invertebrates, fights the never ending battle against Truth, Justice and the American Way.”
And when their capes are discarded and utility belts back in storage, we can move onto the next level of logical suspension and form the Super Duper Congress. Then… Son of Super Duper Congress. And call in Batman or maybe the Justice League or reconvene the Watchmen or that little guy who talks backwards and doesn’t make any sense. Mr. Mxyztplk. You may know him as: Ron Paul. More scorpions, please.