Are we ever going to learn?
With each change of seasons we are supposed to be wring our hands and wail to the heavens at the latest End of the World Crisis!!!!! in Washington. Twice a year or so they tell us that Sky Is Falling!!! Doom is inevitable!!! All Is Lost!!! And then nothing happens.
Well, what happens is that they sit down and do what they’re paid to do and resolve the crisis. At the last moment. And we all crawl back in from the roof ledge and put aside the butter knife with which we were to cut our wrists in panic and despair.
Like Lucy and the football they do it do us every year — every single year — and we fall for it every time.
Has anyone ever, even once, heard of a “10th-hour solution”? A “7th hour” resolution? Of course not. All negotiations are miraculuously completed at the very last instant. That’s the way the game is played. You can’t get the other guy to compromise in advance — you need the tick-tocking of some imaginary clock — some Mayan clock, maybe — to allow them to go back to their blood-calling stalwarts and say a compromise is necessary with those demons on the other side.
It always happens. It happens like the tides.
Yet the media and other marionettes dance the panic tune as if it were Verdi. Just as no one would believe the political polls which forecast almost to the ballot how the 2012 elections would come out because where’s the fun in that? so, too, do nearly intelligent journalists caanter around around like monkeys to hurdy gurdy music about the crisis de jour and never once look back to the truth that they did the exact same thing a few months ago.
Can Speaker Boehner go back early to his fire-breathers and say, “We had to give a little?” Of course not. Can President Obama whistle up his supporters early and sday, “It’s time to be practical because it makes sense to be practical now?” No. They have to let it seem to slog toward some imaginary brink (which can be repaired in plenty of time thereafter, anyway) with the hollow-heads running around pellmell As If This Has Never Happened Ever Before In The History Of The World. Except last summer. And spring.
Come on, just do your job and stop scaring people.