When you’re drunk on power, you’re bound to act like an addict. Maybe it’s time for an intervention.
“My name is Washington, and I’m powerless in the face of power“. That’s a chorus I’d like to hear, as the message machine in DC and the megaphone of the media collude to try to drill the phrase “fiscal cliff” from our brains with the word “sequester”. Quite comically, if you Google “sequester”, one of the top results is a definition of the verb form, which is “to isolate or hide away someone or something” using the example “the artist sequestered himself in his studio for two years”. While this seems uncannily accurate in the case of Washington’s addict-like behavior (more on that in a moment), verbs represent action, and we have little hope of seeing any of that in Washington. So we’re left with the more obscure definition, a noun that means “A general cut in government spending”. Which also seems grossly inaccurate; there’s nothing “general” about these automatic budget cuts. They’re the very specific result of a total abandonment of responsibility on the part of a bunch of overpaid, underperforming, self-obsessed twits who are supposedly at the driver’s wheel of our country. And that’s the scary part. The paralyzing partisanship in DC means that two hands are on the wheel of a battered vehicle with no forward visibility, flat tires, and low on fuel, and the only thing they can agree upon is that the car should keep moving at all costs. And you and me? We’re like the huge codependent families who – in spite of knowing that our friend is a drunken idiot making absurd claims about another drunken idiot – stand faithfully on one side of the argument or other, pointing fingers. This analogy is not really much of a stretch, David Ignatius of the Washington Post framed it as a Political DUI, and when I made this general analogy to an addict’s “I’ll quit next week, I promise” behavior, a friend of mine agreed, saying “Basically, our goverment decides it will take antabuse to stop drinking, and then goes ahead and drinks, anyway“. If Washington can’t deal with its addiction and gambling problems, maybe it’s time we did an intervention.