I think gay marriage should be legalized. I think everyone in America should have guaranteed health care. I think both a War on Drugs and a War on Terror are by definition un-winnable. So living in America can get frustrating sometimes. You can imagine how upset I was when last week’s special election propelled the Republican party to a whopping 41-59 Senate majority. I’m kidding, of course; with 59 Senate votes, the Democrats still have a clear majority in the Senate, but not the 60-vote supermajority needed to break a filibuster. Which, coincidentally, is what the Republicans will now almost certainly resort to in an effort to combat the pending health care bill, which terrifies them for reasons they couldn’t in a million years explain.
My suggestion for how President Obama should deal with this is so radical that I’m sure he’ll ignore it: let them. Go ahead. Let them filibuster. Do you really think that, if the party of “You lie!” and “death panels” and “terrorist fist jabs” is allowed to say whatever’s on their mind for hours on end, that’s going to make them look GOOD? If anyone followed the health care debate on the House floor this autumn, you know what I’m talking about; it featured such super-dignified moments as John Shadegg (R-AZ) cradling his seven-month old granddaughter on the house floor and insisting that “Maddie doesn’t want government health care.”
Mr. President, I know you care about courting the center of the aisle (lately at the expense of the actual left), so please understand me when I tell you this: letting a bunch of snake handlers and chicken hawks shriek about how you want to smother babies is a GREAT way to get moderates to flock to you out of fear. These are some of the craziest people ever given control of military spending, and you have a wonderful opportunity to tell them, “Say crazy things for as long as you possibly can.” When fate offers you that, you reach out and grab it. Look, George W. Bush was a staggeringly awful president. I’m twenty years old, and I’ll probably be feeling the aftershock of what he did to my country until I’m retirement age. But he had one thing you don’t seem to get: he knew what he wanted, and he didn’t waste time meeting the opposition halfway. So please, Mr. President, I’m begging you: be ONE TENTH the stubborn omadhaun your predecessor was. Make like George Bush; tell the frothing religious fanatics “Bring ‘em on.”