Like our infamous hero who set out on a series of dubious quests, so does our infamous Speaker of the House lead us along a series of mishaps that does nothing but bring disaster and despair upon his loyal followers – and the nation he pledged to lead.
The cry of “Fiscal Cliff!” rings out from the Speaker’s mouth with much the same absurdity as Don Quixote’s claim of “giants!” in one of his first adventures.
“But look, your Grace, those are not giants but wind mills.” replies the knight’s faithful companion Sancho.
“But look, Mr. Speaker, that is no fiscal cliff, it’s just that deal you made two years ago, coming to fruition.” Just as Don Quixote raises a false pretense to attack the windmills, so does our Speaker blurt out a false pretense of economic danger to attack the political process – creating an emergency where there is none. One received a dislocated shoulder, a broken lance, and wounded pride. The other further injured the faith of a nation, set up a path to a more difficult fight, and created even more divisiveness.
And just like Don Quixote, our John Boehner continues on his quest to make an issue where there is none, spinning tales of fantastic economic gallantry based on fiction rather than reality. “Plan B, I have a Plan B!” He touts as he works the press and the public into frenzy over another possible, (maybe, this time???) compromise. Alas, Plan B was nothing, literally nothing, since he didn’t have the support he knew it needed. Ah, but injuries are sustained even in this little ruse. Again, America learns that her leaders are not all they claim to be – “we have a plan, but we don’t have support for the plan.” I can hear us expelling a collective “Huh?” along the same lines that Sancho exclaimed when Don Quixote declared that approaching sheepherders were indeed fierce and terrible enemies with whom he must engage.
“The Debt Ceiling, The Debt Ceiling!” What about the debt ceiling oh faithful leader? “Well, its…its…its THERE, in front of us.” Yes, we’ve always had a debt ceiling, your Grace, we’ve always just let it pass. “Well, that’s just preposterous! Of course we’ll fight the debt ceiling; henceforth it shall not pass for free!”
“Marauders, thieves, murderers!” Don Quixote exclaims to Sancho and the stars, as they listen to the cacophony of some approaching group or other. Our infamous hero takes off into the night only come upon a caravan of mourners, complete with a corpse upon its death bed. No longer is a mourning group able to pass unmolested, it is accosted and defiled under no precedence except that which exists only in the illusion of the perpetrator.
Damage report: life threatening wounds inflicted upon our hero, and a national credit down grade inflicted upon our nation.
Not to fear though, our hero has a holy remedy, a sacred balm, which will cure all wounds and which is available only to the divine knights-errant. Some tincture of mixed herbs administered thusly to Don Quixote’s faithful Sancho afflicted him with an admirable bout of loose bowels, and a non-magical carpet ride by local villagers because his Squire refused to pay the bill. In our universe, the recipe for a similar balm (deemed affective by the order-of-the-knights. ie. the republican party), consists of spending cuts without a balance of revenue to pay for existing debt – spending cuts that only serve to slow down an already weak economy that is still recovering from the economic loose bowel episode of 2007. Sancho was wise to refuse further treatments of his master’s exotic balm. We should be so wise.
In the end, our infamous hero came to his senses and realized he had been living in a false reality. His realization came only at the expense of his humiliating defeat however. Who knows what humiliating battle might befall our dear Speaker, let’s hope common sense prevails and he avoids such an ordeal. I do fear for us though, as a nation. Having a leader crying over injustices or fighting battles that are non-existent has been a drain on us as a nation. I worry about the degree of polarization taking place amongst us because of false claims and illusionary thinking. Please, Mr. Speaker, let’s stop the charade. We are better than this.