I was watching the President's big healthcare speech the other night and I was struck by how many good ideas the President seems to think John McCain has about healthcare. It seemed as though the President was trying to pander to the sane wing of the Republican Party and attempting to quarantine the bat sh*t crazies. The president still, after all that we have been through this summer, wants a bipartisan plan.
As he stood at the lectern he told the Democrats in the chamber, I am a strong believer in the public option. Then he turned to Republicans and said, I'm going to put the public option in sub basement C, down in the bowels of a building where no more than 5% of Americans can find it. I'm going to make it hard to find and even harder to apply, with a host of other options they must go through first and then, my friends, I love the public option so much that I'm going to wait four years to implement it.
Barack Obama is no longer a mystery to the American public and you can begin to see a pattern in his speeches. Touch all the necessary bases; throw in a little human interest. Bring out Ted Kennedy's last letter and read it like a Father Flannigan story. When the speech was over I turned to "Countdown" to see what Keith Olbermann would say about it. I would call it restrained praise. The President told a circular story about what you're not getting and why that's really better than what you wanted.
Remember that recently Congress instituted reforms on the banking industry? It reined in interest rates and changed the way the bank could charge interest on your accounts. The banking industry, with a big smile on their face and contrite hearts, then changed the fee schedule that banks charge, to make up for any and all losses suffered during banking reform. When I lived in Alabama the utilities were regulated by the Public Service Commission. A commissioner left court one day after losing a case to the Power Company and in a moment of candor said, "They (The Power Company) have more attorneys on staff than we have employees."
Do you remember that little kid that was always wearing the baseball hat and going into restricted areas despite adults standing everywhere? In my movie that kid was Barack Obama, and just like his Japanese counterpart he was trying to explain to the adults that Godzilla and Gamera really loved children. That when Godzilla tromps through downtown Tokyo stomping down office buildings he means well and he's just misunderstood. When he picks up a commuter train and bites it in two Godzilla is trying to tell us something important, and we humans fail to grasp the depth of meaning in his message.
So, in the movie when Japanese officials and generals developed a plan to drop a new super secret weapon on Godzilla, little Barack offers an alternative. "What if everyone gave money to Godzilla? We could call it the I Love Godzilla Fan Club!"
But little Barack persisted and broke into Tokyo's main TV station and broadcast his message to all the children of Japan. "If everyone sends Godzilla $100 a month he will know that we love him and that we want to be his friend. Then we will gain his trust and perhaps we can talk him into staying out of downtown!"
As the money poured into the I Love Godzilla Fan Club, the lizard was quick to buy into the political leadership and start his own political action committee (Zilpac). He used his burgeoning power along with automotive interests to defund mass transit projects, because giant rubber-suited lizards just hate mass transit.
Soon he was a celebrity, getting his picture taken at movie premiers and being interviewed on Fox News. Godzilla had it going on. Millions paid into the "I Love Godzilla Fan Club" every month because they truly loved this giant, ugly, repulsive monster that did nothing for them except promise to stay out of the way. But then a tipping point began where people started to ask, "Do we really love this monster? Or are we just buying him off?
Why are we listening to the little kid when we can see with our own eyes how this giant rubber-suited lizard is destroying our economy? How he's killing and maiming innocents regardless of whether they are members of the I Love Godzilla Fan Club or not." The crowd began to grow as the contributions fell and so the marketing people began a new ad campaign with Godzilla sitting in a bathtub in the countryside. "Godzilla is Neat!" (If lizard attacks last for more than four hours seek professional assistance.)
As the ranks of dissenters grew they began to demand the single option. Under the single option the generals would attempt to destroy the lizard with a super, super secret weapon.
At that moment the general puts down his binoculars and yells "Fire!" as the giant rubber-suited lizard steps on the twelve-year-old Barack. All that was left was his little baseball hat, and the general yelled "Fire!" again. In an especially badly dubbed section of the film the subordinates answer, "We cannot fire for at least four years, sir!"
The general, in a profound moment, then looks at the submissive female reporter who smiles a lot but speaks only when spoken to and laments sadly, "You cannot make deals with the monsters of this world because in the end they will only step on you to get what they want!"