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Okay, so this is just a trial balloon, something maybe slightly better than what the Magic 8-Ball told me. But throughout this whole government shutdown/debt ceiling debacle, I can’t get this one thing out of my mind: the cookie diet.

There’s an often-told story in my family about the cookie diet. According to my father, it went like this…

When he was a boy, my father LOVED cookies. He begged for cookies morning, noon, and night. Always, always, he wanted cookies. So finally, when he was maybe seven, his mother put him on the “cookie diet.” He was to only eat cookies, no matter what. First day, his brother and sister got regular breakfast, and he got a plate full of cookies. AWESOME! His lunchbox contained only cookies. COOL! That night, for dinner, everyone else had regular dinner; he had a plate of cookies. NICE!

Now, my grandmother was a smart woman, and I have to believe that she made a point of cooking extra-delicious meals for the duration of the cookie diet. And I’m guessing you can figure out how the cookie diet ended about two weeks later: with my seven-year-old father weeping and exclaiming, “No! No more cookies! I want dinner!!!”

So I’ve watched the extremist members of the House make their demands. And as I’ve thought about how, if I were John Boehner (and thank goodness, I’m not), I might try to keep my speakership and not destroy the country, the cookie diet keeps coming to mind.

Here’s what makes sense to me (and clearly, I’m not a Republican, so all bets are off). What if John Boehner, dealing with a significant portion of his caucus who are emotionally seven years old, decided to put them on a cookie diet? “Fine. You want to shut the government down? Go for it! Michele Bachmann, you’ve got everything you ever wanted! Randy Neugebauer, go out on the Mall and yell at park rangers! All of you, go for it!” Of course, all in the hopes that they would satisfy the right-wing media and somehow sate themselves on catastrophe. After all, the government shutdown, while painful for many, many Americans, is nowhere near the disaster that a government default would create. “So let the Tea Partiers eat cookies for a couple of weeks!”

Perhaps, in my vision of how the cookie diet plays out, Boehner is willing to step up before things get out of hand and discipline his wards. Much as my grandmother would never have let my father endanger his health eating cookies forever, Boehner intends to step in before a default and exert some parental control over his miscreant charges. It would certainly go a long way towards explaining the inconsistencies in his statements over the last week, where he’s first stated that there will be no default, and then backtracked, claiming that there are no guarantees. But in the meantime, he’s let his wards get the wigglies out of their system. They have gotten to posture and preen before their constituency, and maybe, just maybe, once the debt ceiling arrives, they may be a little more amenable to eating their vegetables.

Just a theory. I guess we’ll all find out in the next few weeks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    "The NRA says 'guns don't kill people, people do.' But I think that the gun helps." -- Eddie Izzard

    by babaloo on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 11:45:56 PM PDT

  •  I hope you're right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, babaloo

    But one minor difference. Your father isn't crazy!!

  •  Put them on? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Actually, the GOP has been on the cookie diet almost non-stop since Reagan: cut taxes, increase spending, especially to the military, repeat as often as they could bet away with it. Under Dumyah, it was time for the super-sized cookies: two wars off-budget, and double the tax cuts. Is is any wonder we had to elect a President who is rail-thin, starts his day with a 45 minute workout, and has carrot sticks and Saltines for lunch?


  •  It's possible, I guess. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    Maybe he's said, we'll try it your way and let you bloviate endlessly for for x amount of days and see if you can get public opinion solidly behind you but if not, I am going to step in and prevent a default. I HOPE that's what's happening.

    A second explanation is that they have his dog tied on a railroad track somewhere.

    A third explanation is that he cares more about being Speaker than he cares about the welfare of the country.

    A fourth explanation is that the Koch brothers have assured him and the other Republicans that they will be set for life on the Koch payroll and that they and their families will emerge unscathed from the smoldering economic rubble that will surround them.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 04:50:52 AM PDT

    •  Koch assurance (0+ / 0-)

      But if they trust the Koch brothers to pay them off, so that they emerge unscathed from the smoldering economic rubble, they would have to be crazy.

      Once the Koch brothers get what they want, why would they part with their precious dollars to pay off somebody who didn't get re-elected?

  •  You assume that 1) Boehner thought this through (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    and 2) he had the political ability to impose his thoughts on the Republican caucus. I haven't see evidence for either of those assumptions.

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