Such a Clever Subterfuge

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

Duh, what are we going to do tonight Brain? “Pinky, we’re going to take over the world!” How are we going to do that Brain? “We’re going to oppose raising the debt ceiling! My devious plan involves putting Senator Ron Johnson in charge of the effort. What? Why do you look at me that way Pinky?” Well, I dunno know, you’re the Brain and all… but Ron Johnson? Don’t they call him wrong way Ronny, in Washington? And don’t they say he worked his way through college as a football helmet test dummy?

“Yes, yes, it’s all true, but this time will be different. This time, we are going to write it all down. The gullible fools the American people, will soak it up like a sponge. They’ll forget all about a worldwide pandemic strangling their economy once we give them the facts on our fiscal condition! The people will see after the 6.7 trillion in spending done by the Republicans under Trump, that now is the time to pull back the spending reigns!”

I dunno, you’re the Brain and all, but isn’t now the time to stimulate the economy? Not through give aways to billionaires and tax dodges, but through real investment in the economy? Won’t such a large investment actually stimulate growth and generate revenue far beyond its costs?  And aren’t these programs actually popular with the American people? “You’re not listening, Pinky …Ron Johnson!”

“Ron Johnson and his crew will show us the way and convince the American people that they don’t need their roads fixed. They don’t need help with the rent! What they need help with is sleeping at night in the face of all this debt! Sure, we spent like drunken sailors on leave for four years, but we’ve learned the error of our ways and have now regained our senses. Spending is different when the Democrats do it. When Republicans spend, we get tax cuts and new fighter jets. Really just sort of just giving rich people their money back. When Democrats spend, we get programs Pinky! Programs designed to help people!”

But isn’t that a good thing Brain, helping people?

“Exactly Pinky! Exactly! A good thing! Doing good things can make a candidate popular, that’s why we need to stamp it out! We can’t count on voter suppression alone to do all the work. We need to give America a good cold dose of reality, A good hard slap across the face. It will help the voters forget the recent Republican insurrection unpleasantness. It will divert their attention from Republican led anti-mask states, sinking into the morass of Covid-19 infections. Once the American people begin to understand what the debt level will look like seventy-five years after they are dead, they will be outraged. All this, plus Ron Johnson means a slam dunk for us Pinky.”

I think I get it; you’re trying to get people to vote against their own best interests.

“You make it sound so sordid when you say it like that Pinky. Like the voters are a bunch of ignorant drooling slobs waiting to be led around by the nose. Okay, point taken, but somebody must lead them. Somebody must convince them not to send their children to college. Plenty of good jobs in the hamburger manufacturing trade. Someone must lower their expectations about America. And Mrs. Johnson’s little boy Ronny, is just the man to do it Pinky. With his and forty-five other Republican signatures on a piece of paper, America will soon know that the Republicans are serious about controlling the debt.”

Won’t that lead to a government shutdown Brain?

“Precisely Pinky, precisely. Our principles are set in stone, and we will never compromise them.”

So, you’re going to shut down the government forever?

“No Pinky, we will shut it down just long enough for the public to see that the Democrats can’t govern. Once we cancel their unemployment and force their children into unsafe schools. Once we convince them that they need a Uzi more than they need a union. The people will rally around us! Ha, ha, ha!” (Maniacal laughter)

Why is that Brain?

“Well Pinky, it is because um, ah because ah. I never said the plan was finished Pinky. There are still a few details, I need to work out. I still need to figure out which minority groups to blame for which social aliments.”

I dunno Brain, after a year and a half of quarantines and work at home isolation. I wonder if it’s such a good idea to throw another disruption at the American people.

“Of course, this isn’t our first choice Pinky, but we’ve tried everything else. We’ve called them Communists. And said it was all the work of Satan. We’ve got to find a new way to scare the shit out of the American people! Because as long as they can look up, you can never convince them the sky is falling. So, you have to use big numbers Pinky, really big, big numbers. Nobody understands big numbers! Convince them that spending causes those big, big numbers. Scare them with forecasts of economic gloom and doom. It costs a lot of money to keep a country like this afloat you know, are you willing to make that kind of investment knowing that your grandchild’s 401K might someday suffer?”

Will it really hurt their grandchildren Brain?

“Of course not Pinky, this is a simple subterfuge to get elected. Election fraud didn’t work, Audit’s didn’t work, mental decline didn’t work. So, we will try, “They’re gonna strangle your future.” Someday long after you are dead and gone, your grandchildren will labor all day in the hot noonday sun for a nickel, groveling at the feet of their machine gun toting Chinese overlord. If we don’t balance the budget now Pinky!”

I dunno, you’re the Brain, but it sounds to me like people would have to be complete idiots to fall for that.

“Precisely Pinky, precisely! Under the commonly held principle of, “it takes one to know one,” we’ve enlisted Ron Johnson!”

But Ron Johnson, Brain?

Yes Pinky I know, but Ted Cruz said he was too busy.

But in the name of our good government, people today are seeing their own children hungry, tired, half-naked, lifting their tear-dimmed eyes into the sad faces of fathers and mothers, who cannot give them food and clothing they both need, and which is necessary to sustain them, and that goes on day after day, and night after night, when day gets into darkness and blackness, knowing those children would arise in the morning without being fed, and probably go to bed at night without being fed.”Huey Long

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