Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.

President Obama continued to “hold down” his rhetoric last week in dealing with Republicans.

Maintaining his policy of calm reason, he told a news conference:

The American people want us to be reasonable, and I’m willing to sit down and talk with my opponents. The problem is, they insist on talking themselves, instead of just listening to me. Apparently, they don’t understand that because I was re-elected last November they should be required to do as I ask.

And I have held down my rhetoric to produce an atmosphere of calm, in which they can listen to my program and understand why they should just go along with it. Otherwise, they are threatening the robust – but still fragile – economic recovery that my policies have brought about.

It’s as if they don’t care about the 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed and have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Sure, they have voted to provide back pay when these workers return to their desks, but, meanwhile, these devoted public servants, who could make much more money in the private sector, will be living hand to mouth.

These federal workers are very like the illegal aliens we allowed to march on the otherwise-closed Capital Mall. These workers, like the immigrants, just can’t get a break from the radical Republicans in Congress, some of whom are known to loiter in public restrooms.

Republican extremists are demanding that I negotiate, but I won’t negotiate while extremists hold a gun to the head of the American people. These bomb-throwers next will be marching on the White House with their AK-47s and placing IEDs beside my driveway, threatening Michelle and my darling children.

I know that despite what people say, John Boehner is not a child molester, and Mitch McConnell probably does not have a criminal record as a heroin dealer, but they’re being held hostage by extremists in their own party who have been known to engage in ritual cannibalism.

If they would just give me a clean bill to reopen the government – all the government, especially the Affordable Care Act – then I would be happy to negotiate with them, though I have no idea what would be left to negotiate.

Anyway, that’s not important, as long as these radical right-wingers understand that negotiating means listening to me explain things to them calmly, while they shut their racist traps.

Why, I’m even willing to sit down and talk with Nazi collaborators like Sen. Ted Cruz, if he’ll agree to leave his high-capacity, assault rifle magazines in his desk in the Senate Office Building.

Now, I’m going to take some questions from you ladies and gentlemen of the news media. Oops! I see we’re out of time. I’ll get your queries sometime next year. I may even take a question from the reporter for the right-wing, bomb-throwing Fox News.

Let’s hear it for the chaplain! While channel surfing last Wednesday, I found myself on C-Span, just as the Senate’s chaplain, the retired Rear Admiral Barry Black, was giving the daily invocation.

Instead of the pro forma “guide us in the paths of righteousness,” I heard Black say, “Lord, when our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dying on far-away battlefields, it’s time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough.”

And he went on to ask God to “cover our shame with the robe of your righteousness.”

Did this guy really shame the Senate of the United States? He did, and by extension, he shamed the policy makers – read “lawyers” – in the administration who decided the death benefit wasn’t covered by the pay-the-military measure passed by the Congress.

Sure, the president signed that law, but does anybody not believe the no-death-benefit decision was the result of Obama’s make-the-shutdown-hurt campaign? It may be that relatively low-level attorneys perpetrated this outrage, but they did it because of the attitude at the very top.


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