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From Contraries to Bizarro World

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Welcome to Bizarro World, where black is white, up is down, good is bad, day is night, and right is wrong. The proverbial pickle that Speaker of the House John Boehner is in right now is a consequence of the Bizarro World zeitgeist that has mystically mesmerized those miscreants known as Tea Party Patriots. In their worldview Obama is not president, and majority rule is a quaint custom that only carries weight when a majority actually shares your point of view.

In the 1970 epic film, Little Big Man, there is a scene where Dustin Hoffman interacts with what he describes as the most dangerous kind of Cheyenne, a contrary, who does everything backward and hence drives himself crazy. The contrary in the story, Younger Bear, is mortally embarrassed over the fact that Hoffman's character, a white man, actually once saved his life.

In the House of Representatives, Boehner's number two is Eric Cantor, who comes as close to the Younger Bear character as anyone and he is the acknowledged shaman of the Tea Party acolytes. This, of course, casts as unsettling and uncomfortable a political relationship imaginable and Boehner is now torn between two worlds: an imperfect world of Reality; and a deeply flawed world of Bizarro. With Cantor tethered to the Speaker at every appearance, shadowing his every move, involved in all strategic discussions, and poised to catapult into the Speakership at the faintest hint of a misstep, Boehner is rendered powerless and paralyzed, incapable of action at a time when his country needs his participation to avoid stumbling into a fiscal abyss.

Bizarro World is a creation of a comic strip, and popularized in the immensely popular Seinfeld television series chronicling a comedian, his friends, and their collective stories about nothing. It is a comedy and supposed to be funny. The world of the contrary is portrayed in a movie film that seriously reflects upon the ironies of the mass destruction of Native American culture. The current trap that has violently clamped down its steel jaws on the Speaker requires him to either lie down helplessly or gnaw his way free. Of course this is an immensely distasteful choice, but action is required nevertheless. And until the reverse polarity that has gripped the Republican Party is actually reversed, we the people will pay a very heavy price indeed.

The Speaker is trapped, for sure, and his cries of pain echo through the political landscape. In Bizarro World they are treated as sounds of weakness. In Reality, they are seen as a cry for help. There is a course that will allow the Speaker to extract himself from the grip of miscalculation, misfortune and misery but it does not come without a political cost. That cost will benefit the country, but it will seriously damage his standing among the contraries and Bizarro characters that populate his world.

A fairly novel notion that is as old as the nation itself and relatively accepted as a prudent course of action in any democracy is to allow for a majority vote, not a majority of the majority, but a true majority of the whole. To some this may seem to be a simple solution and one steeped in common sense, concepts that spurn scorn and ire amongst the creatures of the netherworld. But we must accept the hard cold realities of the consequences that action or in this case inaction will reap upon a nation and society worn ragged by the excesses of greed and the economic inequalities that have trapped them for too long now.