Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Dear John Letter

Dear Speaker Boehner,

I had a phone call yesterday afternoon from my boss within the Department of Defense for which we both work. Well, me not so much as it turns out which was actually the point of his call.

What he was telling me in an as excruciatingly awkward conversation as is possible for two people to have with one another was confirmation that I, as my parents had always told me, was indeed one of God's Special Creatures, though what they and he had in mind were two very different entities.

That announcement Saturday by the Pentagon to recall almost all of its employees, I learned yesterday afternoon, Sir, does not apply to me at all. I felt a little bit like whatever that pair of creatures who had finished second in the Last Seat on the Ark Lottery Noah organized before The Great Flood must have been experiencing.

This is the second time in two score or so years that the Department of Defense for whom I've worked has felt it didn't need me. The last time, it was on a different continent and feels like it was in another life, probably because it was. The hole in my heart from that never really healed, but the scar tissue still pumps. And now this time. If I had any, my feelings would be hurt.

Except-I've learned something from you and it's not just that orange isn't a primary color nor an extremely good look for a Caucasian man; though those conclusions are entirely correct and in your case, sadly valid.

I've learned that the way to negotiate is to be unreasonable and irrational and make sure that while you're holding people hostage you put everything on the table-to include stuff that has already been decided. Because you never know when 'that's final' is subject to review and recall.

Here's a preview of what I'm writing to tell my congressman who is most certainly not you, Sir. I hope he spreads the word among his colleagues as the debate on raising the debt ceiling (which is the ability of Congress to pay the bills it has already incurred, Sir, in case you forgot whom you are saving) heats up.

I would very much enjoy watching you being hoist on your petard even if funding for petards has actually been temporarily halted. Ready, from your playbook:

Before the debt ceiling can be raised, we need to abrogate the Citizen's United Ruling by the Supreme Court early last year before the national elections where all that corporate money did a good job of drowning out private free speech. Supreme Court Ruling, pshaw! What's good for ACA is even better for ALEC.

That's for starters, Sir; I'm just getting warmed up. Then we can dismantle the unconscionable decision and indefensible logic behind Vance vs Ball State. But don't schedule that debt ceiling vote yet because we're still not done. What?

All of this has been decided by courts already? I know. I'm as interested in that as your Toilet Paper Parrots are in the legality of the Affordable Care Act. Let me know when you want to rebuild the Voting Rights Act that the Supremes (albeit without Diana Ross) gutted this past judicial session.

I know, my machine can call your machine and do lunch. And while we're at it, let me know when Antonin ('You Talkin' to Me?') Scalia will announce, with regret (of course), his resignation from the bench and take Clarence Not Exactly Darrow, but the other one, with him.

And let's be clear-I've adopted this approach because you've insisted on it. As a matter of fact, I'm demanding it out of self-defense. I could thank you, I suppose, for showing me the light, or I could add that to the list non-negotiables the next time we're not negotiating-which should be in about an hour or so.

Anyway. You shouldn't be proud or happy about everything you've taught me though I wouldn't blame you for being grateful that I can only NOT vote for your kind once. If it helps, I will-early and often, Brother John, early and often.
-bill kenny

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