The two scariest words in Washington are “bipartisan consensus” – it’s like when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help.
What if President Obama and the Republicans controlling Congress really did cooperate?
Tax the top 10 percent who accumulate an unconscionable amount of wealth, but also tax the bottom 10 percent who commit an unconscionable amount of crime.
Or, the GOP could agree to higher taxes for the wealthy – if the wealthy are rich, self-loathing liberals who make large contributions to “progressive” causes. Tom Steyer, George and Jonathan Soros and Michael Bloomberg will be taxed at 100% -- with a 10% surtax on Bloomberg if he puts salt on his French fries, has a large sugary drink or sneaks a smoke.
If neither of these compromises work, tax pornography. There are about 1.4 trillion searches for “erotic content” per year on Google alone. At $5 a pop -- as it were – the national debt would be paid off in 30 months. The tax could be even higher, because what senator or representative from either party wants to go on Face the Nation and argue in favor of cheap porn?
Yes, the porn tax would anger male voters. But what are they going to do, Google “Hillary Clinton”?
The same kind of cooperation could be extended to foreign policy. Republicans abjure additional sanctions and give the President a free hand in negotiating a nuclear weapons treaty with Iran. The negotiations go on and on and on while, of course, Iran secretly builds an atom bomb.
In return the President gives Congress a free hand in negotiating with Israel.
Bibi Netanyahu: “We intend to build three new settlements on the West Bank.”
Congress: “How about ten?”
Bibi: “We want to buy 75 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons.”
Congress: “Buy 76 and we’ll throw in a couple of dozen for free.”
If Obama hosted the right kind of Cigar Night at the White House, Congress and the President could also agree on Cuba policy. Bottle after bottle of Havana Club Anejo 15 Anos Gran Reserva, box after box of Cohiba Esplendidos plus some lovely señoritas from El Centro (and some handsome, suave señors to entertain the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues).
What a party. Around 3 a.m. the revelers commandeer the POTUS limo fleet, go back to the Capital Building, sneak in through a basement window and unanimously pass legislation trading Fidel Castro’s Cuba for Puerto Rico.
In fact, bi-partisan drinking may resolve many of the issues that separate Republicans and Democrats. Such as immigration. Who do you think is waiting tables at that bar?
Democrats won’t push for immigration reform because labor unions hate cheap labor. Republicans won’t propose immigration reform, for fear that the xenophobe nut-fudge part of the GOP dog’s breakfast will explode.
But both parties know America is full of jobs no American will take. If there were more booze and cigars in that smoke-filled room, politics would be conducted the way politics used to be conducted: With a wink and nod and a secret handshake deal. Give the Border Patrol new tools – lawn-care implements. And -- whoever it is that’s crossing the border -- if they can start the leaf-blower, they’re in.
Mas mojitos frio, Jose!
After three or ten cups of cheer, consensus could be reached about climate change as well. Here’s to global warming – blow-hard wind-power in the summer! Here’s to global cooling – fracking gas heat in the winter!
I can hear the voices in the smoke-filled room:
John Boehner: “You know whash’s a great idea? Thish a great idea. The Keyshtone Pipeline? Letsh make it... solar.”
Nancy Pelosi: “Thas good, thas good. I could vote for thish. But gotta haff a bike path.
Boehner: “Hell, yesh. Pike bath. An, jush cause I luff you schweetheart, rightlail. Rightlail tracks all the way from Alberta to Texshus.”
Pelosi: “Nother rounda white whine for the House!”
Drinking is also known to raise the divorce rate, which is already high among well-fixed Republican campaign donors. Opposition to Obamacare might disappear from conservative Super Pac agendas if the President threw in free cosmetic surgery for blonde third wives who are half their husbands’ age or younger.
On the other hand, a ban on liberal-leaning entertainment industry breast implants, butt-lifts and Botox would free up more healthcare resources to provide Obamacare. And, since Washington is “Hollywood for the Ugly,” the ban would apply to elected and appointed officials – thereby lessening political partisanship in America by making politics even more unattractive than it is already.
Another way to bring bipartisanship to the nation is to apply the NFL standard to “ruling challenges.” Every time a politician introduces, votes for or signs a law that’s over-turned by a federal court he or she loses a timeout and has to stay in his or her home state or district, where we will quickly come to loath him or her. In the case of the President, he has to – like Tom Brady did -- answer every snarky question at a press conference.
With reforms like these, Congress and the President might compromise on Free Community College. The GOP passes all the necessary funding bills. But the GOP gets to pick all the community college professors – who will be Ayn Rand disciples, Tea party organizers and Cleveland police officers.
Congress and the President might compromise on childcare, too. The 188 Democrats in the House of Representatives don’t have much to do at the moment. Drop your kids off at their congressional district offices.
There’s even room for compromise on abortion. Don’t make abortion legal. Don’t make abortion illegal. Make it retroactive. Kid gets to be 18 and he’s still a bum... whack.
Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, imagine not having one party thwarting your goals and undermining your interests. Imagine having two.