The most powerful Republican in the nation has thrown down the gauntlet to the most powerful Democrat in the country and a stalemate has ensued which threatens the economic future of America. And the government shutdown showdown could be something right out of Seinfeld.
Remember when Jerry and George were hashing out terms for their own show with television executives in one of the episodes, and George refused to negotiate, insisting things had to go his way or no way? That's the role Pres. Obama is playing now in the unauthorized sequel playing out on national television at all hours. Remember Jerry's character? Viewers could always count on him to take the more balanced and logical position. Well, John Boehner is no Jerry Seinfeld, but he's close when it comes to the calm demeanor the comedian exudes, so he's playing that role right now by default.
George, aka Pres. Obama, has huffed and puffed and promised he won't budge come hell or high water when it comes to giving an inchÂ—on anything. And he dared the House Speaker to test him. So Jerry, aka John Boehner, did, and now the two are at the same kind of impasse that Seinfeld gave us in Episode 12 of Season 2. The revenge episode, which has George trying to get even with his boss and Jerry trying to get even with a laundromat employee. In real life Americans have John and Obama trying to get even with each otherÂ—at their expense.
Elaine joins George in his revenge vendetta, and so Harry Reid has joined Obama in his, with Yahoo News reporting on Oct. 7 that Reid's spokesman Adam Jentleson had these fine words to say about his employer's nemesis: "Americans across the country are suffering because speaker Boehner refuses to come to grips with reality."
Jerry had an ally in Kramer for his revenge efforts and Boehner has one in his spokesman Michael Steel too, who clarified the position this way: "The federal government is shutdown because Democrats refuse to negotiate."
Yes, Democrats are refusing to negotiate. That's certainly true, following their party's biggest leaders own position, no doubt. But it isn't true that Boehner isn't coming to grips with "reality" unless one factors in whose reality is being talked about: the nation's economic reality or the reality of Harry Reid and his spokesman.
In the Seinfeld episode the audience eventually learns that George was unrealistic in his expectations of getting to use the boss' bathroom, just because it was what he wanted. Likewise, Pres. Obama appears unrealistic in expecting the Republican leader to always hand him the keys to the checkbook or anything else he wantsÂ—everytime he wants it, and without any discussion of consequences to the American people or economy on down the road.
Jerry was in the wrong in the Seinfeld episode too, however, just like Boehner is in this case. And while Jerry was wrong to jump to the conclusion that his missing money was taken by a crooked laundromat employee; Boehner is wrong to jump to the conclusion that the American people will all support a continued shutdown just to make the president get the country's finances in orderÂ—and to rework a bad health care law.
Let's hope, however, that Pres. Obama doesn't pull a George at the conclusion of this matter, because George got his revenge by spiking the boss' drink, even though he didn't have to, since the boss graciously gave him his job back first. And that's what you call a vengeful person. On the other hand, Jerry went back to the laundromat and repaid every penny of the $1,200 he and Kramer cost the company after they put cement in a washer as their revenge. So at least one person in this story did the right thing for the other parties involved. Who will it be in the government shutdown that does the right thing?
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