Red and Blue Rover: My Playground Solution to Cutting the Deficit.

Heck, they’re acting like children anyway. Let’s play in their wheel house.We have this massive deficit, but no one on either side can think of any way to cut it other than attacking a bogeyman on the other side. Republicans want to cut “entitlements”–which when they say they manage always to sneer sarcastically–like enough to eat and ways to get well, while Democrats want to stick it to “the rich” preferably while they are all hole-up at Davros and will be too busy eating caviar off of the bodies of thirteen year-old virgins to notice.

We can’t use experts, because those uncooperative assholes will always do just what you asked them to do–find actual ways to solve the problem and in so doing force people to make sacrifices that are actually sacrificial.  If Congress can agree on anything, it’s that nobody wants to go there!

The only solution left is to think outside the box. Since they haven’t even let me inside the box in over a decade, that makes me your guy.

The trick is to get each side to answer the question: If I had to cut my stuff, what stuff would I cut? Inner city midnight basketball? Corn subsidies? That nifty new bomber the Air Force doesn’t want? National Poet Laureate? You have every single member of the Senate write one idea on a piece of paper and attach it to his or her lapel with that handy flag pin. An independent commission overseen by Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger (who will discuss the project on the most boring episode of Charlie Rose in history) will certify that each senator’s choice actually reflects his or her interests. Sorry Inouye, keep your mitts off the subways!

Now the fun begins. Take them out to the national mall and line them up in face-to-face rows of fifty each.

It’s Red Rover, Bitch!

For those of you unfamiliar with the reference, Red Rover is a brutal playground game from back in the day when we were able to throw two-foot long “Jarts” with sharpened tips at each other for fun. In Red Rover, each person in line grabs the hand of the person next to him or her as tightly as possible, then the line is stretched out. The object is for someone on the other side to run across the field at full speed and break one of those links. If the runner succeeds, one of the players whose link was broken is out. If the runner fails, the runner is out.

I’m lookin’ at YOU Kucinich!

Anyway, we’ve got the Republicans lined up against the Democrats across the lawn. The Republican all look a little uncomfortable holding each others hands, except Larry Craig whose mood could almost be described as serene. The Democrats don’t really know how to act. One one hand, they are glad they don’t have to work around the awkward issues that would have arisen with Murtha. On the other, they could sure use Hillary right now.

For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet (Somebody get Palin a note pad), here is how it works.  After the coin flip and the subsequent recovery of the coin from Biden who is being surly because he really wants to play, the winning team goes first. Let’s say the Republicans–I have a sneaking suspicion that if they don’t get to go first, the House will vote to repeal the game. A big beefy Republican, say Kyl, charges across the field and breaks the link between Diane Feinstein and Al Franken (Their advisors told him to hit, Mikulski, but he remembers how hard she clotheslined him when he tried to cheat at Good Friday Limbo Bash). Since he succeeded, Kyl can tear the piece of paper away from the flag pin of either Feinstein or Franken. The program or entitlement on that piece of paper is irrevocably cut. He picks Franken thinking he can finally say goodbye to Public Radio, but Franken fools him. Knowing that his early days as a comedy writer had given him congenitally weak wrists, Franken went with Cap-and-Trade. “Hell,” he thought.  We live in Minnesota. If anyone can last out an Ice Age it’s us.”

Then Patty Murray heads right for John Thune, reasoning that as an evangelical Christian he might fear strange girl cooties. Sometimes strategy trumps strength. Suck it, B-1 Bomber! Your days are numbered.

And so it goes, until finally the last pair on one side of the field is broken. Other than the minor controversies created when Lieberman kept changing sides, and McCain wouldn’t take his turn, because he was afraid of what would happen of his constituents thought he might support sneaking under something, it went off without a hitch.  As a reward, the winning side gets to pick five of its lost programs out of a hat and put them back in the budget. Otherwise, the case is closed. Billions are saved, everyone suffers equally, and three years from now China owes us money.

Yes. It is brilliant. I know. Don’t thank me. I am motivated like we all are by my love of country. If this works, I would like to discuss the possibility of replacing both the draft and the volunteer army with an annual nationwide game of 7-up!


About bigshotprof

College Professor in the Communication Studies department at Pace University. My personal life fall somewhere in the gap between less than you want to know and more than you need to know.
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