I'm going to keep it short today on account of the copious incoming traffic chewing on Monday's and Tuesday's posts. But we have enough time to indulge in a fun hypothetical.
Let's say that through a combination of fund-raising prowess, ideological militancy, and personal charisma, Jesse Jackson Sr. is able to assume a position of considerable behind-the-scenes power in the Democratic Party. His sway over elected Democrats is such that he manages to get 95% of the Democratic Congressional delegation, House and Senate, to sign an oath of personal loyalty to his policy goals. Specifically, they pledge that under no circumstances will they ever support cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other social welfare programs. Jackson believes that any such cuts will affect the poor and people of color disproportionately. Throughout the debate over the budget and debt ceiling, House and Senate Democrats refuse to even consider any proposal that touches any of those programs. It is a non-starter. Full stop. Because they swore an oath to Jesse Jackson that they wouldn't.
I'm sure you can see through this thin shoe-on-the-other-partisan-foot analogy to Grover Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" that currently holds sway over the GOP. I do think it's interesting to draw out the hypothetical scenario, though, to underscore a point: Can you even imagine the sheer violence of the pant-shitting that the GOP, Teatards, and Beltway media would be engaged in if the shoe really was on the other foot? If every Democrat had signed a personal oath to an interest group and private citizen that took precedence over their oath to the American people and Constitution?
When I was about 6 months old I had such horrible diarrhea one day that my mother gave up constantly diapering and re-diapering me, instead opting simply to put me in the bathtub and rinse me down at intervals until my troubles passed. This is what I imagine we would have to do with the Tea Party and House GOP – find a derelict stadium (is RFK Stadium still standing?), cover its interior with industrial strength plastic sheeting, herd them all inside to explosively shit themselves until they could pant-shit no more, and then turn the fire hoses on them.
I really don't think some of them could survive Democrats signing loyalty pledges to Jesse Jackson. Sean Hannity's pants would disintegrate under the sheer force of the onslaught, and Eric Cantor would suffer some kind of explosive decompression, rupturing into several pieces and spraying hundreds of yards in all directions like a mighty shit geyser.