American politics has officially moved from the realm of being "vaguely depressing" and asking questions like, "What could they possibly thinking?" and has established its citizenship in the country of "cartoonish lunacy."
As my astute readers who watch "The Daily Show," CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and virtually every media outlet that boasts its own brand of talking-head fear-mongering already know, President Barack Obama invited the GOP to a televised, transparent summit at which to discuss the issue of health care.
This would seem to be right up Republicans' alley, as their main complaint with the process has seemed to be that Obama and the Democrats have been attempting to shove universal health care down America's throat, with no regard to the way it will taste (perhaps if they coated it in chocolate the debate would be smoother?).
No, say Republicans. It's a trap! According to Minority Leader John Boehner (pronounced "Bayner" … Minds out of the gutter, people!) the Democrats expect him and other Republicans to "walk into some setup … who knows what."
Sit back and think about this for a moment. I'm going to disregard the obvious observations about kindergarten students getting along with more tact and diplomacy and the possible reference to barnacles being more open-minded and simply let the immaturity of the Republican sentiment sink in a bit.
Here are elected leaders, supposedly the best that their states can dish out, responsible for representing literally millions of people, and they're afraid that they can't go to a summit about one of our country's most pressing issues because the Democrats will somehow dupe them into signing away their souls in the name of insuring people? Are the Republicans imbeciles? It seems like they're admitting it.
"No," they're saying. "We will not attend your summit, Obama. We're afraid you and your Democrat cronies will be such eloquent speakers that we simply won't be able to help ourselves and will completely lose track of our own ideals and deeply held beliefs, because of the verve with which you speak to us. No siree bob, this one here is a trap and we won't fall for it!"
It's terribly sad, I think, that the minority party in our government is so insecure, so jealously closed-minded - and dare I say pathetic - that they simply will not take part in a discussion that could advance the precedents and well-being of the entire country for years to come. The reasons that they offer are nothing if not flimsy; the real reason is spite. If they can't get their own way, they're simply not going to compromise.
Never mind that the American people have apparently elected the Democrats ahead of the Republicans because a majority of us prefer the Democrats' way of thinking. Never mind the processes of democracy and tact, never mind that Obama actually seems to value Republican input into his agenda (which he doesn't necessarily have to seek).
No, the important thing here is that the Republicans get their way. They would also like an extra juice box and a warmer blanket for naptime, please.