July 22, 2011

The Longest Yard

Tom Williams/Roll Call.

Now, if I understand this right, there is a TV in the Capitol Visitor Center which was either playing with the sound off during the Speaker’s weekly news conference yesterday, or it’s somehow behind a glass wall I’m not seeing. Either that or, as wacky as the picture is, maybe “The Longest Yard” with Burt Reynolds was actually playing out loud in concert with Boehner.

Anyway, I think Roll Call and Getty have a winner with this shot — a cheeky commentary on what is happening in real life (if one would venture to use that term to describe what’s happening in D.C. now, or ever).

One first pass, it’s difficult to see how this movie — beyond the name, which is otherwise a perfect Hollywood working title for a script about the debt ceiling push-me, pull you — makes much sense juxtaposed with Capitol business. But then, when you consider that Washington ultimately exists to do Wall Street’s bidding, and the intense budget wrangling with America’s financial integrity hanging in the balance, we start to understand that the outcome is all too predictable, the theatrics otherwise serving as a seductive and distracting drama.

Beyond the title, though, perhaps the fact the Speaker is framed side-by-side with a fictional football hero who ends up in the penitentiary for point shaving is a telegraph of some kind, if not because of the fuzzy promise of tax reform in lieu of real and immediate revenue increases being seriously contemplated right now, but also for the self-serving, face-saving legislation that would raise the debt ceiling while allowing both parties to emerge without getting their uniforms dirty.

If you have more to add, please do, because I have to get back to C-SPAN now to see if today’s Obama – Boehner episode gives Reynolds and Bernadette Peters a real run for their money.

(photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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