Welcome to round-the-clock media coverage of the debt commission super committee set up by President Obama to help reduce the national debt. It was on August 10 of this year when the Federation of Debt Debate Athletics declared the new super committee applicable to participate in their sports league. For those uninitiated, this isn’t an overly aggressive, physical sport. It’s more 98% aggressive athletics of the mind in getting what each one wants–while giving the illusion of both sides winning when one side actually wins.
Before coverage of our first game begins, however, be aware that we’re quite different from the ordinary. You won’t find ESPN level sports commentary or truly Olympian moments you’d see on NBC. Still, we consider this new sport of the intellect to be the most excruciating of any comparable sport out there.
It also makes the game more exciting in that the twelve super committee members have no idea we’re analyzing them as major athletes.
And here they come now. Round One is about to begin as the twelve Reps and Senators take their seated positions. All appear to be wearing their usual Congressional suits, albeit some with red, white and blue ties, along with a few wearing all black. It also appears that John Kerry and Patty Murray have been picked as the rebounders for the Democrats. Fred Upton and Pat Toomey are the chosen rebounders for the Republicans.
The first tee-off has been thrown in Max Baucus telling a dirty joke to lighten up the mood. Immediate call by our ref is the half-arm thrust, or the other eleven looking grimly at their watches. This may lead Round One to be called as a false start, though Republican Dave Camp decides to go for a gut swipe with a proposal to reform taxes across the board. This just received a sideswipe by John Kerry to start with something much simpler: Defense spending.
First on Kerry’s list: We don’t need more bazookas or tanks. It’s should be about cheap robots being produced by private enterprise for half the price that can be used in complicated military maneuvers.
John Kyl basically agrees, however argues that robots used in military maneuvers can’t always be trusted. To prove his point, he’s brought one of the robots into the committee room to prove they don’t always shoot straight. The robot is taking aim at a target hanging on the other side of the room…
Foul called because the robot has just missed the target and taken a nick out of John Kerry’s ear. No reaction at all from Sen. Kerry. He’s merely forfeiting his rebound status. He’s taking his seat while receiving a gauze bandage from Xavier Becerra.
Round One ends with a draw.
Round Two begins with Republican Rob Portman declaring that he’s a moderate and will save the day with a moderate proposal. He thinks the super committee should spend extra time to weed out black market projects that are taking up more federal spending than anything else on the table. This may require 300 more rounds, ladies and gentlemen, in order to make possible. If it does, we’ll be here to give you coverage.
Hold on, the less moderate of the committee have nixed this idea due to the use of the half-arm thrust maneuver of looking at their watches again. Round Two is being called as a draw with a -1 given to the Republicans for putting a true moderate on their side.
Round Three will now begin with Fred Upton saying he may or may not be a moderate on dealing with cutting entitlement programs. Sen. Patty Murray challenges Upton to keep his word with Social Security and Medicare as he has with decreasing tax cuts for the wealthy. A collective proposal to at least up the retirement age before receiving Social Security is getting bipartisan support.
But John Kerry is using his rebound status to propose a challenge to all the super committee members: All of the members have to give up their own Social Security due to their higher income. This can eventually snowball to the rest of the country so Social Security can become solvent and hone in on those who really need a check.
All of the other committee members refuse, saying that whatever they pay into, they still want. They think the same argument by high-income Americans will lead to this option being moot. The earlier military robot agrees by shooting another mortar shell and nick out of John Kerry’s other ear.
With no more bandage gauzes available, John Kerry sits out in the injury sidelines. A super committee doctor is brought in to treat and sit in for Kerry.
Round Three is deemed a stalemate. Round Four may have a more definite outcome with a doctor sitting in for Sen. Kerry. Medicare will be discussed next, and there seems to be a consensus that a debate without words may be the last civilized approach to getting something done. In this regard, James Clyburn proposes playing a chess match to determine who gets to cut Medicare and who gets to keep it as is.
The chessboard has been set up in the middle of the meeting table. Republicans will be black and the Democrats will be white. No, wait a minute…the Republicans want that reversed due to their stance that Herman Cain will likely lose the Presidential nomination to Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.
It appears, after several moves, that the Democrats are about to be checkmated by a Republican white knight. The doctor filling in for Sen. Kerry has the next move and has decided to King-Castle. Now he’s knocking the King over on the board, allowing the King to break in two. Medical crews are called in to see if the King can be repaired.
The King is dead! Unfortunately, the doctor can’t seem to revive him. We’re also being told that the doctor is a mole for the Tea Party and wants Medicare scrapped. This won’t hold water, however, and the doctor has been disqualified for now–yet fairly given an offer to fill in again if another Rep or Senator has an injury. John Kerry’s injury appears to be better and again takes his seat as we declare Round Four to have an undetermined winner.
Before Sen. Kerry can utter another word, the allotted time allowed for today’s session has expired. As Sen. Kerry calls for an adjournment, all of the committee members are already saying their goodbyes via cell phone from their cars. Reports are that most of Congress is taking an early Thanksgiving holiday with some claiming they won’t be back until early January. This automatically makes the trigger go into effect.
Consulting the official rulebook, we can’t find any information on how to call the game if the trigger is pulled. In that regard, good ladies and gentlemen, we’ve decided the final word has to fall to the play-by-play announcer.
I call this game an unofficial, non-scoring pre-season game before Congress reconvenes in January. Any winners and losers go to the American people. The losers are the ones who drafted these players into the league.
The winners are the ones who manage to avoid watching these games every night on TV without getting emotionally involved.