Like everyone else, we miss The West Wing. But it's okay! Democrats and Republicans are trying to put on their own community-theater version of the television program in Washington right now: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor interrupts the president! President Obama storms out of the meeting! And Donna is the victim of a hilarious misunderstanding!
Okay, well, that last one is from the show and not the ongoing, real-life "Debt Ceiling Negotiation" story arc, in which an angry populace sends a bunch of third-graders to Congress in order to make one of "the biggest and least-necessary financial mistakes in world history" by allowing the country to go into default—unless, that is, Democrats agree to dismantle the work being done in the multi-season storyline "The Welfare State." It's very exciting (and has a number of fun sub-plots like "The Struggle for Republican Congressional Leadership" and "The Oligarchs Get Restless" and "Greece").
And it got exciting-er today, with what may have been the "the most tense meeting of the week" between President Obama and guest-stars The Republican Congressional Leadership. But accusations are flying about what happened! We've pieced together two different narratives from various accounts (including Luke Russert, Dave Weigel, The Hill and Politico). See if you can guess which is the Republican story and which is the Democratic story!
Story "A": Brave and noble House Majority Leader Eric Cantor entered the nefarious Cave of Taxes, the stronghold of Muslim warlord Barack Hussein Obama. "My friend," Cantor said, "I will never betray the American people by allowing taxes to be raised on the rich. Even so, I am but a humble congressman, and wish only to do right by my constituents. Perchance we could agree on a smaller package of cuts—say, $1.5 trillion—and vote twice to raise the debt ceiling before 2012? Only if you are so disposed of course." Obama snarled, and spat upon the ground. "Would you speak to your 'Ronald Reagan' this way? I'd rather bring down my presidency than shake hands with a white person like you. Never, you dog," he said, and, rising, stormed out of the meeting with his troop of ACORN-trained Black Panther bodyguards.
Story "B": President Barack was hanging out with his buddies Joe and Nancy and Harry when all of a sudden a gang of leather jacket-wearing Republican teens burst into the room. "Nice, uh, government, you got here," said the pack's leader, Eric Cantor, interrupting the president three times as he "accidentally" knocked over a vase. "Be a shame if it went into default." But the president wasn't scared at all: "Now see here, boys," he said sternly to the group of adolescents, taking off his glasses. "I've reached my breaking point. Would this happen to Ronald Reagan?" He sighed and crossed his arms, like a tired father. "Look: I'm willing to lose my presidency over this." At this, Cantor made a face and gave Obama the finger. "Let's blow this popsicle stand," said Joe, and the Democrats left.
It's like the Rashomon of our age! Except that it's not nearly as exciting, and the characters are much less interesting, and no one dies. (Yet.) Tune in tomorrow for another 90-minute meeting about how much to cut Medicaid followed by hours and hours of ripping yarns about who was the most manly, or whatever.