A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Re-arranging the Rhetoric Closet

The end of the year holidays are fast approaching, which in America is a series of celebrations of (in this order) gluttony, excessive materialism, followed by more gluttony and possibly drunken debauchery.

What’s not to like about this time of year?

Of course with the holidays come decorations, and all of the accompanying sentiments. This calls for a rearrangement of the rhetoric closet. Move to the front all of the salutations we’ll need for the upcoming holidays, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year”, “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”, “God Bless Us Everyone,” “I want, I want, I want…” and so on and so on and so on.

In the meantime, other sentiments will be packed away in the back of the closet, until we need them again. I’m not necessarily referring to slogans and catch phrases that celebrate such uniquely American holidays as Fourth of July and Labor Day. No, actually, I’m referring to the holiday just passed and is threatening to become a quarterly event: the Government Shutdown.

I would love to discard all of the phrases and sentiments of the recently departed Government Shutdown season, because I would like to think that everyone learned their lesson, everyone now has a cooler head, and a government shutdown will never happen again. Obviously I’m in an alternate reality universe when I think all this. 
So what rhetoric will I need to keep handy when the next crisis happens in January? The tea party has already vowed to keep fighting against Obamacare, so we may want to keep phrases like “defund” and “repeal” close by to pick up at a moment’s notice. I will also keep on standby my new label for any member of the tea party that threatens the Affordable Care Act: rumpholes. It’s similar to calling them assholes, but not so offensive to their tender religious right ears.

Other rhetorical terms to store near the front of our closet:

“Debt ceiling” – which now expires in February. Once again, we can expect this threat to go down to the wire.

“Revenue” – as in taking in more money to support government functions. The Democrats in Congress, egged on by the President, will insist that raising revenue be a part of any budget negotiations. Of course, the Republicans in Congress will hear the word “taxes” whenever Democrats mention the word “revenue.” And we all know how the Republicans (read: tea party rumpholes) feel about taxes.

“Entitlement reform” – which the President has said he will consider in negotiations. He may want to tweak Social Security with the Republican proposal of using a chained CPI to determine benefits. The Republicans, on the other hand, will undoubtedly resurrect Paul Ryan’s voucher plan for Medicare. And we all know how much Democrats love Ryan’s plan…not! 

Which reminds me, I will need to store terms like “impasse”, “blockage”, and “standstill” where I can grasp them quickly.

“Filibuster” and other procedural maneuvers by Congress will also get aired and used. I wonder if Ted Cruz has selected a literary reading for his next performance of egotistical grandstanding. Perhaps he should choose something simpler than Dr. Seuss, something that won’t be so taxing to his intellect. Something along the lines of say, “See Dick run!  Run, Dick, run!”

“Bipartisanship” is more of a dream, like unicorns cavorting in nature than an actual concept. No need to put this back in the closet. Let’s just toss it in the trash now. There’s no point in getting our hopes up that the two sides of the aisle will reach out to each other to solve our problems.

Also, as long as the federal government keeps kicking the budget can down the road, we might as well keep the term “government shutdown” dusted off and polished for future use. Yes, a nice buff shine will keep this stale concept looking new through repeated uses by all media outlets, let alone the blogosphere.

For now the federal government is working and functioning as well as could be expected under such trying conditions. We might as well enjoy this autumn of normalcy, but like the seasons – holiday or otherwise - it’s all a temporary illusion. We have a long winter ahead of us…and it doesn’t look pretty from here.

(Thank you for reading. See Ted shut up. Shut up, Ted, shut up!)


Blogger Bob said...

It's like Tooth Fairies and Easter Bunnies and Santa Claus.
It doesn't exist but people talk about it in the hopes that we'll all be good.

October 19, 2013 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Oyve!!!!! It is so shameful what is going on.

October 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Hi Bob, thanks for the comment. Or as Mark Twain was known to say, "Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it."

Thank you Nadege. It's also pathetic, but we should probably prepare for Round Two in January.

October 20, 2013 at 7:48 PM  

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