Or should I say, which “party of no” is giving you trouble. We’ll start with a little Sonic Youth just because it came on right as I logged in and it works for tonight.
No. Man, I’ve heard that word a bajillion times in my life. From the time I became cognizant the sounds emanating from those sweaty, alcohol-and-tobacco-breathing giants who nurtured me actually had distinct meanings up through today at the office. And don’t get me started on the chicks. No. Simple, elegant, effective. No. Why, you ask? Because I said so.
No has gotten a bad rap over the years as a negative word. Who likes to be told no? Nobody. But where would we be without no? I can say for a fact I wouldn’t be alive today without no. No teaches us acceptable boundaries and saves us from a single, final lesson in physics sprawled across the grill of that Suburban zipping down your street. Without no, those that survived to adulthood would all be walking around naked, swilling cheap liquor, rutting like otters and flinging poo.
There’s a downside to that scenario somewhere, I suppose. Maybe I’m wrong about no after all. Sure Rome fell, but it must have been a hell of a ride. Carpe the diem, right?
Be that as it may, no is usually just the starting point for negotiation. What matters is just how desperate one party is to get to yes, and how committed the other party is to no. I frequently see this conundrum play out between children and the parent herding them around the store. Mommy can we get this? Mommy can we buy this? Why? Tommy’s mom got him one. Please? Pleeeaassse?!? We’ve all been on BOTH ends of that conversation at some point in our life. So we can all relate, right?
Now that the people of Massachusetts have create a firebreak in Congress it is time for Conservatives in Washington to whole-heartedly embrace no. The Party of No? I like it. The commercials practically write themselves.
Scene: A distinguished looking gentleman elephant (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) sporting a GOP vest is pushing a shopping cart between two rows of shelves while a young female donkey (voiced by Miley Cyrus) in a blue dress emblazoned with a large D flits about.
Democrat (Grabbing an enormous box off the shelves): Can we pass a $2.5 trillion dollar health care bill that forces private citizens to purchase insurance under threat of fine or worse that does nothing to control rising costs and will eventually lead to rationing of care?
D: Pleeeaase? England did it and it’s totally awesome!
R: Ah Nancy, if England were to squeeze its population with taxes on energy production and drive manufacturing job out of the country would you do it too?
D: Oh sweet! We’re going to do cap and trade?!?
R: We’re doing what now?
D: OMG it’s so cool. Everyone in Europe is doing it. We’ll get, like, billions of dollars by limiting how much greenhouse gas anybody can emit and they have to buy the credits we’ll hand out to our BFF’s for free.
D: No fair, why not?
R: Because voters said so.
D: Whatever! Pouts and stomps away
R (breaking the fourth wall): Oh, that Nancy. Maybe some day she’ll learn you can’t just spend your way out every situation. But together we can help teach her.
It works on so many levels if Conservatives are willing to embrace the awesome power of no. There’s never been a better time to wave the flag of smaller government. I don’t mean slowing down spending, I mean cutting the federal budget by 2% a year until the Debt is manageable again. It’s got to happen. The entitlement tsunami headed our way over the next 30 years will make the “worst economic crisis since the Great Depression” look like John Kerry losing $100 at the dog track.
Millions of people around the country have had to cut back while Congress and Obama have embarked on the all time spending bender. They are quite literally writing checks their constituents’ asses can’t cash. I mean, for the love of God, don’t any of the Democrats have children or grandchildren? It’s one thing to hate your parents, but who hates their kids so much they’d doom them to government serfdom? Are they blind or stupid or just carpeing the f’in diem and mortgaging the future for power and kickbacks now?
Sometimes nothing is a pretty cool hand; Democrats may find out that “no, money is tight and we need to cut back” is a pretty cool hand with the voters right now. No just might be a word incumbents get very used to hearing from voters.