Elliot: Seems like winter


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So it’s winter. Actually, it has been for quite a while around these parts, though we’re not saying what these parts are, because we all know what these parts are.

But winter doesn’t begin till (preferred spelling — don’t let the ludicrous Taco Bell ads, with their insane attempt at punctuation, tell you differently) Dec. 21, you say, enthralled with TV weathermen and -women (alphabetically designated, not by sex or gender, which are two different things, despite what your professors say).

Speaking of winter, there’s a budget deal afloat. Or an ice jam, depending on your point of view. Though we will point out that ice does float. (A rather great boon to us, as Kurt Vonnegut pointed out in Cat’s Cradle, because otherwise, life as we know it would not exist. This is not to say we know anything about life.)

Ah, the budget. Wouldn’t life be simpler if we just didn’t have the budget? But then, what would Republicans and Democrats have to argue about?

Oh, they’d find something. Anything, even. That’s why we call them Republicans and Democrats.
Anyway, whether we like it or not, just like winter, we have a budget. We even have a budget deal, which seems about as rare as a day in June, to steal a line from some dead poet. (We have so many; poetry must be bad for your health, said the guy who was once married to a poet.)

Naturally, the budget deal contains, as the Los Angeles Times has reported, “something for everyone to dislike.”

Well. (James Russell Lowell, by the way. The poet.)

Conservative Republicans and tea-party types (they know how to type?) don’t like the deal because it doesn’t reduce the deficit enough and, more importantly, doesn’t take a meat ax to Social Security and Medicare.

Democrats don’t like the deal because it doesn’t extend unemployment benefits. Meaning that some of the unemployed are going to see their benefits go phhitt into the night, right in the middle of the holiday, “giving” season.

Well, you know what they say about legislative deals: You don’t want to watch sausage being made, because your congressman might be  in the recipe.

Some observers — certainly not me — believe that Paul Ryan, R-Wis., one of the architects of the deal, positioning himself for a run at the presidency.

Well, you know what it takes for a Republican to win the presidency:

Buy a ranch, cut brush, and have the media photograph and videotape you doing so before you run for president — that’s what “successful” Republican candidates seem to do. George W. Bush, for example. He, of course, famously followed Ronald Reagan’s example.

Then there’s Mitt “The Hit” Romney (well, there’s another word ending in “-it” I could have used, but it didn’t seem polite in a family newspaper). Of course, the sight of Romney cutting brush on his ranch would have been more preposterous than the sight of Paul Ryan suddenly embracing Keynesian economics on the National Mall.

Though I do wonder what the sight of embracing Keynesian economics might look like (or any other economics, for that matter, especially those of the Austrian School, as skimpy as they are). Would it be a full hug, as you would give a loved one, or would it be more like a “bro hug,” in which the two males touch each other as little as possible?

And what would have Romney done once he had cut all the brush for the media? Tied it on the roof of his car and taken off for a vacation in Canada?

Well, you know what they say: A deal’s a deal until it’s not.

Wish we could say the same about winter.

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