On The Subject Of “Compromise”

Dear Mister President,

Is that what I’m supposed to call you? Mister President? That seems redundant. Why don’t I just throw in “Doctor” at the fore and “Esquire” at the rear and just call you Doctor Mister President, Esquire? We could also staple on “Detective” and “Junior” if that would be an appropriate honorific?

Perhaps we could compromise? You seem to like this word. “Compromise.” In our compromise, I could call you “Mister President” in the way that you like, and you could, ohh, I dunno, manifest a pair of testicles and then show them to us all? That’s all I’m asking for. I would like to see your balls. Because, at present, I’m left to believe that all you’ve got between your legs is a scrotum that looks like a sad, deflated balloon. Or maybe you don’t even have that. Maybe you just have a second butthole down there.

A ragged pucker the Republicans chewed open.

But I know I’m not going to get that. I’m not going to get even 10% of what I asked for.

Thus, I’m not going to call it a compromise.

I think you misunderstand the word “compromise.”

Let me paint another scenario.

Some sort of monster — for shits and giggles, let’s say it’s some kind of orange-skinned weepy homunculus named “Boner” — has taken the village children hostage. We say to the monster, “Hey, Boner, please don’t eat our village children. As Whitney Houston clearly laid out in her song, the children are our future. And so, without children we are also without a future. Please tell us what you want not to eat the children, and we will give it to you. Otherwise, we will be forced to come in there and stab you in the face with some kind of chainsaw-broadsword hybrid which is awesome and will really hurt.”

And Boner says, “RAAR I DON’T CARE I WANT TO EAT THE CHILDREN.”

And then he cries, because Boner cries a lot. I don’t know why. Probably because he’s an asshole. Or maybe he got self-tanner in his eyes and it really burns? Few can say.

We say again, “Please don’t eat the children or we’ll kill you. Tell us what you want to convince you not to eat the children. We are civilized villagers. We can compromise.”

Boner says, “RAAAR I WANT A BUS FULL OF STRIPPERS AND CHEESEBURGERS.”

We get the monster the bus full of strippers and cheeseburgers and he takes them and eats the children anyway. And then we say, “Thank the gods for such a glorious compromise.” And then we shake hands with the monster live on TV as he vomits up the bones of our young, and everybody has a good laugh.

See, I don’t think that’s a real good compromise.

Your definition may vary. In fact, it must vary. Because here it looks to me like the GOP made you swing so far right you make Ronald Reagan look like a stout Democrat. Because you ended up having to regurgitate their own plan back to them and still have them reject it. Because you ended up having to take a mouthful of Tea Party seed live on television with a big greasy goopy smile on your face.

To say the least, I’m a little disappointed.

You were full of all that Hopey-Changey stuff. And that was dangerous because what happened was, you got a lot of people high on the fumes of political possibility and then made sure to confirm that our dreams of moving forward, of attaining new progress and fresh potential in this country, were just that. Dreams. The higher you carried our hopes, the further they had to fall. That breeds cynicism of the highest order.

And hey, listen, I get it. Being the Detective Doctor El Presidente is no easy task. I get that you have to rule in ways that the common man doesn’t understand and that we’re an impatient gaggle of fuckheads. I also get that you have genuinely done a lot of good and I don’t want to be blind to that. But this latest acquiescence moves you from appearing “academic and even-handed” to appearing like Ned Beatty’s character in Deliverance. There you are, a man of the city, bent over a log and having a bunch of ignorant hillfolk plow you from behind, gobbing a stream of tobaccky spit on your back.

And that stream of spit? That’s what you’re calling a compromise. “Well, sure, we’re all getting porked up the baboon basket here, me and the whole country, but look what we got in return!”

Lubrication for an unasked-for rectal violation is not a compromise, Herr Doktor President.

Ultimately, I’m aware that something had to be done and perhaps your back was up against the wall. Then you need to tell us that. You need to be assertive and make clear that we as a nation voted in a bunch of GOP tea party fundamentalists who were willing to burn the house down to make a fucking point. You need to say to us that you’ll keep fighting the good fight. Because what you did in return was get slapped around and tell us that you liked it. That we should like it.

That we should be thankful for such a glorious compromise.

Can you even say that word with a straight face? Compromise?

I mean, hell, I like compromise. I’m all for a nation where the liberals get this, the conservatives get that. I believe that truth and justice usually live somewhere neatly in the middle.

But this? Really?

Can you really get behind a plan that fucks the poor and middle class and helps the richest of the rich? That slaps veterans and old people while giving a continued boost to oil companies?

(See also: “Wake Up, GOP: Smashing System Doesn’t Fix It.”)

Do we as a nation even really know what’s in this goddamn plan? We’re just learning that the EPA is going to get elbowed in the throat. Given that I just moved from a town that had epic levels of arsenic in the water, I’m not excited by the notion that not only will such levels be reasonable but nobody will be looking.

What else got tossed up on the altar of so-called compromise?

As a writer, I think it’s important we understand the definitions of the words we use. And, Dear Commander Lord President, sir, I suggest you find yourself a dictionary.

Anyway. What do you care? We’ll vote for you anyway because the only other choice comes out of a stable of fat-cats, dullards, and crazy people.

I hope you get a second term and use that term to reclaim the stuff you helped us to lose.

I also hope that one day you’ll just get sick of it, and you’ll get on TV and kick over the podium and speak to us like another enraged common man.

But, like I said, maybe we’re done with all that hope and change.

Maybe it’s time once again to settle into the deep mire of cynicism and accept that the plutarchy is well and duly upon us. It’s funny. I always chided my father for such cynicism. He had that attitude of “a little revolution is a good thing,” and stockpiled guns just in case we had to one day take our government back from the government, a government that had long forgotten the fear of its people. I always thought that was nuts, that anybody that held the notion of going up against F-14s with a Remington hunting rifle was not a healthy strategist. And yet, as I get older and I see the parade of puppets put before us in politics, I can see how cynicism erodes good sense and foments that feeling of, well, raging against the machine.

In those ashes, groups like the Tea Party are born. Anger and ignorance and cynicism.

Cynicism that I feel I’m giving into even with this post.

Who knows?

I sure don’t. I feel like I should sit down and apologize to my son. “Sorry, kiddo. Not sure what this place is going to be like for you when you’re an adult. Good luck, is all I’m saying.”

Maybe the Commodore Dauphin Obama will prove us wrong.

Or maybe he’ll just run us through the wringer of another “great compromise.”