You most assuredly must remember this famous scene from that great 1981 movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones is running through an Arab marketplace, vanquishing attackers with his bullwhip. Thug after thug attacks him. Thug after thug is whipped into submission.
Finally, along comes some ultra-thuggish sword-waving cuthroat, making fancy movies with his flashing piece of cutlery, and Ford has had enough. He simply pulls out is pistol and blows the sucker away with a single shot.
There’s a story behind this scene, which was filmed in Tunisia. Ford, and most of the film crew, had come down with what has been alternately described as a “horrible stomach flu” and as “food poisoning.” Harrison was gamely shooting his scenes, feeling sick as a dog. Finally, the effort became too much and sick-to-his-gut Harrison suggested blowing away the last thug instead of more efforts at bullwhip gymnastics.
The scene is a classic because it resonates with Americans who can take just so much of a posturing pain in the butt before they do something the other side doesn’t expect. In the Senate, the Democratic majority has bullwhipped down loony bill after loony bill defunding Obamacare, allowing innocent Americans to get murdered in the name of gun “rights,” cutting food stamps, short-circuiting the economy with short-term debt ceilings, and more. At some point, enough will be enough.
No, we can’t go around shooting Congressman, nor should anyone advocate that. But if the bullwhip can be a symbol for the Democratic Senate overturning Republican mischief, than the pistol can be a symbol for the power of the Presidency.
President Obama needs to get his political shooting iron out and start blasting away. Does some obstreperous Congressman have earmark money going to a beloved constituent or campaign contributor? Slow the money down. Let the check get lost in the works. When the constituents and contributors call to complain, answer that due to your Congressman’s impossible behavior, the administrative machinery is so clogged that the President and various civil service departments won’t even be able to look into it for a while.
Congressmen and their families handle a lot of money. Some of it from PAC contributions. Evidently tons of it from the NRA. Some of it from speaking engagements. Some of it from inside investments. Mmm, sounds to me like grounds for an audit, even if it means sending some good guys with guns to Wayne Lapierre's home and office to go over the books. Eh, Mr. LaPierre?
Finally, there’s the power of the mouth. Mr. President, no more shilly-shally speechifying like this: to what are essentially congregations of the converted:
“This is an interesting thing to ponder, that your top agenda is making sure 20 million people don’t have health insurance,” he said of House GOP lawmakers.
Agreed, but too damn gentle. We need for Mr. Obama to pull out his presidential shooting iron, the verbal one, and start blasting away.
Let’s call Republican obstreperousness what it is. Mr. President, I submit this passage for your next speech:
If an Al Queda agent put Anthrax in a city reservoir and hundreds of people died as a consequence, with a total of 20 million in danger, America would rightfully demand military action, to take out these saboteurs before they take any more American lives.
But Republicans in the House have been killing thousands of Americans, by preventing them from getting the healthcare they need, and by spreading lying propaganda that helps block the path to saving lives. This is no longer politics. This is an act of war against the American people.
Speaker Boehner, I accused you of an act of war against the American people. Congressman Eric Cantor, I accused you of an act of war against the American people. Senator Ted Cruz, by your false propaganda against affordable healthcare, you also are guilty of an act of war against the American people…[The list would continue from here.]
Would this j’accuse rhetoric create a huge hullabaloo? You betcha. Would there be lots of rage on the Republican side? Frightened people are always rageful. Would President Obama take intense heat for a speech like this? Tons of it. But…
But the conversation in America would change, from whether we should have Obamacare and gun control, to whether the anti-Obamacare and 2nd Amendment crazies are guilty of treason. Believe me, theTea Party legislators would not enjoy it. But they would learn to fear the president, perhaps (or probably) enough to fund Obamacare, put some sane controls on the proliferation of real guns and consequent real murders, and raising the budget ceiling for more than a few months at a time.
The question is, does Mr. Obama have the courage to put down that silly bullwhip and stage a rhetorical gunfight?