A Weak Analogy

Four guys set out from Los Angeles, road-tripping north on a week-long beer run to Bellingham. You know, get themselves some Boundary Bay IPA.

BARACK: Damn it, I told you, we should have stayed on I-5. Now we’re in Lodi, damn it!

JOHN: That’s your fault, you know.

BARACK: Yup. I listened to you. “Go right! Go right!”

ERIC: You always want to go left! How far are we from Boston?

BARACK: Boston? Why Boston?

ERIC: That’s where the beer is.

BARACK: Boston?

ERIC: Yeah. We agreed to go get some beer. Why can’t you ever compromise?

BARACK: Compromise? Hey, I’m driving two thousand miles, alright? I still don’t see why we couldn’t just pop down to Stone, or maybe stop off at Firestone-Walker.

JOHN: We always have to do it your way.

BARACK: My way? Bellingham was your idea!

JOHN: Just head west, or we’ll never make it to St. Louis.

BARACK: Saint L— . . . . Wait, what?

ERIC: We’re looking for good American beer. Made in the U. S. of A.

BARACK: Freakin’-A.

MITCH: Who’s the scary black man? And why’s he drivin’? Carjacking! Carjacking!

ERIC: Head west, or we’ll never make it to Kentucky.

BARACK: Turn left?

MITCH: [singsong] The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home . . .

ERIC: You always want to turn left.

JOHN: True.

ERIC: I said head west.

BARACK: We’re heading north. And—

ERIC: I know! We need to be heading west to get to Kentucky.

BARACK: You’re kidding, right?

MITCH: [singsong] ‘Tis summer, the Darkies are gay . . .

ERIC: Why can’t you be more cooperative? You know, try to compromise?

BARACK: [shrugs] Fine. Where we going?

JOHN: Well, you’re driving. Isn’t it your job to know?

BARACK: Two minutes ago, we were going to Bellingham.

JOHN: Well, show some leadership.

BARACK: Okay. We’re going to Bellingham, just like we agreed when we started.

ERIC: [muttering] Always trying to make people do things your way.

BARACK: Okay, how ’bout this? You don’t want to follow the original plan. You can’t figure out where we’re supposed to be going. So, pick one and let’s go.

MITCH: [singsong] Weep no more, my lady . . . .

JOHN: [rolls eyes, mutters aside] The fool can’t even make a decision on his own.

ERIC: Kentucky!

BARACK: [sighs] Alright. Kentucky it is.

ERIC: Yay! Gonna get me some Jack Daniels!

BARACK: Um . . . that’s in Tennessee.

JOHN: [tears springing to his eyes] Damn it, man! Why do you always have to be like that?

BARACK: Like what?

ERIC: Angry liberal elitist!

MITCH: [singsong] For the old Kentucky home far away . . . .

ERIC: [angrily] And look, you made him cry.

BARACK: [quietly, irritated] I need a cigarette.

JOHN: You and me both.

ERIC: Wait! Why are you turning?

BARACK: Explain it to him, John?

JOHN: [barking laughter] Like that’ll work.

MITCH: [singsong] They hunt no more for ‘possum and coon . . . .

At a press conference today, congressional Republicans furiously criticized the president’s leadership skills. “You’d think he couldn’t find north on a map,” said Speaker Boehner. “And he can’t make a decision for himself.” Senate Minority Leader McConnell agreed: “He thinks he can carjack the economy and drive it into the ocean. Well, we won’t let him.” House Majority leader Cantor added, “He can’t compromise with anyone, always trying to take his elitist attitude and shove it down your throat. Yeah, like Tennessee is in Kentucky.”

It is, I suppose, a drawn-out setup for such a weak punch line, but therein lies the problem. I mean, come on:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), two months ago:

Republicans’ efforts to undo President Barack Obama’s health care reform law appear to have come to an end, as House Speaker John Boehner described it Thursday as the “law of the land.”

In an interview with ABC News, the nation’s top elected Republican seemed to indicate that Congress wouldn’t engage in the type of repeated repeal votes the way it had in the past two years.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), three days ago:

“This week, the House passed Republicans’ balanced budget that fully repeals and defunds ObamaCare to protect families, workers and seniors from its devastating consequences. The House will continue working to scrap the law in its entirety. . . .”

Note the amount of time that’s elapsed: we’re not talking about Boehner changing his mind over the course of three years; we’re talking about taking wildly different positions over two months. In January, the Affordable Care Act is the “law of the land,” and Congress has better things to do than to waste time trying to repeal a law that isn’t going anywhere. And in March, Boehner reversed course entirely—congressional Republicans have already voted several dozen times to repeal the reform law, and the Speaker sees no reason to become more constructive now.

It’s one thing to say you can’t make this stuff up. But it is also fair to wish for a better show.

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