New Yorkers would like us to believe that Broadway is the drama capital of the world, but it’s not. The greatest show on earth is played out in Washington, D.C., 365 days a year. An uncouth person might be inclined to say that politics in the nation’s capital is total BS. But being the dignified gentleman that I am, I prefer to see it as theatre – pure, high-level political theatre.
Unlike Broadway, however, political theatre in Washington is not harmless. The drama acted out by politicians in the multiplex D.C. Political Theatre destroys lives. It has also destroyed (past tense) the grandest experiment in self-government ever attempted.
Currently, the longest-running play in the D.C. Political Theatre is the four-year presidential campaign that began in January 2009. A majority of Americans have watched this production over and over again and, as a result, know most of the lines by heart.
They also know the plot – a corrupt system controlled by corrupt human beings, affectionately referred to as “politicians.” The politicians are the guys and gals whose twin objectives are to stay in office as long as possible and exert evermore control over their fellow citizens.
In dramatic fashion, the D.C. political thespians never tire of talking about scary and exciting subjects – like the need to stop China from “cheating,” the future of Big Bird, the evils of hiding one’s money in the Cayman Islands – even Beyonce!
Now comes the umpteenth remake of an old favorite, “The Fiscal Cliff,” a drama in which experts, in a state of near panic, warn us that “The clock is ticking towards the dreaded fiscal cliff.” Make no mistake about it, it’s an intense, Hitchcock-like drama – so intense that many Americans think about it even while watching their weekly menu of NFL games and guzzling their six packs of Bud Light.
As always, in the newest production of “The Fiscal Cliff,” the actors pretend as though we haven’t yet gone over the cliff. That, they say, will happen at midnight on Dec. 31, when the “Bush tax cuts” (theatre talk for current tax rates) are scheduled to expire and a process known as “sequestration” sets in. That’s when the world will go black, “massive,” automatic spending cuts will kick in and Politicosaurus Rex will become extinct. We should only be so lucky.
Attention Mr. and Mrs. America: We’ve already gone over the fiscal cliff! What else do you call $16 trillion in debt, budget deficits in excess of $1 trillion a year, real unemployment at 11-15 percent (depending on how you manipulate the numbers), 47 million people on food stamps, millions of moochers getting paid not to work, the downgrading of our credit rating, millions of homes worth less than their mortgages … the list is as long as you want to make it.
Of course, if the current production of “The Fiscal Cliff” is like those in years past, what is more likely to happen is that the performers playing the role of politicians will come up with yet another theatrical favorite, a “continuing resolution,” in an effort to keep the natives from storming the theatre and scalping them.
In one of the best lines in the current production of the play, Barack Hussein Obama, arguably the greatest thespian in the history of the D.C. Political Theatre, says, “We’ve come too far to turn back now.” It’s a line that makes both of your legs tingle with excitement – until you awaken from your trance and remind yourself that none of this has anything to do with reality. It is, in fact, pure political theatre.
And, as to whether or not there will be future remakes of this ageless drama, the answer is: Yes! The reason you can be sure of this is because no one in the current production of “The Fiscal Cliff” is calling for serious spending cuts. The only disagreement between the two wings of the Demopublican Party revolves around the extent to which the growth of spending should be slowed.
To be sure, each remake of “The Fiscal Cliff” is exciting, but the play I long to see is the one in which it is clearly explained to a comatose public that giving money to any government for any reason is a waste of capital that could be used for productive purposes in the marketplace. Oh, and by the way, it also happens to be immoral … but, then, morality is an old-fashioned concept anyway.
Which brings us to the Prince of Puffery and what he means when he says, “We’ve come too far to turn back now.” Notwithstanding the insistence of the O’Reillyites to the contrary, the Prince’s goal is to put an end to private enterprise, beginning with the United States of America and, ultimately, throughout the world. This was the dream of his arrogant, dysfunctional father, the King of Puffery, and the Prince is passionate about carrying out that dream.
No doubt the theatrics in Washington would be perplexing to rational humanoids landing here from a rational planet in a rational galaxy. But, unfortunately, we don’t live in a rational world filled with rational humanoids. We live in a world ruled by frauds, liars and thieves – and some of the worst of them can be found in the D.C. Political Theatre.
Yes, you can quote me on that. Now you’ll have to excuse me while I tidy up my bunker in preparation for the aftermath of the drop over the fiscal cliff.