You can call it ‘follow the lady,’ ‘bola, bola, bola,’ or ‘three card monte;’ but no matter what it is called it is a con. Gather around some guy who appears to be on the look-out for the ‘heat,’ watch him throw down three cards on the top of his easily removable box/desk and then bet on which card is the Queen. The guy next to you is betting and appears to have won, so why shouldn’t you? Well, you shouldn’t because the guy doing the betting is the shill in the con with the dealer. He really wins nothing, nor does the dealer lose when the shill wins; it is just a part of the con. The only real loser is you, because when you bet, you cannot in the wildest imagination beat the dealer. If you should pick the Queen, the dealer will simply allow the other guy to thrown down a higher bet and then tell you that he only pays the highest bet.
Keep this game in mind when President Obama steps up to the table to tell us all where the Queen is in the game of Fiscal Cliff Slope. Watch very carefully because there is a history on the part of player Obama to indicate that he has played with this dealer before. In fact, when Boehner last dealt, player Obama laid out such a wad that had the Dealer been able to get his House to back him, he would have taken the shill for a real roll. The shill would not have been the loser though. We would have lost in terms of Social Security and Medicare. Fortunately for us the last time that Dealer and that player huddled in what appeared to be a game we could benefit from, the Dealer’s House said, “Fold your cardboard and leave immediately!” We were lucky to get out of that one unscathed.
Unless player Obama is really more your friend now that he was the last time he looked at Boehner’s three curved cards in front of him, you won’t want to step up and lay anything on his hunches. Unless and until the President steps up to the table with the courage to say, “I’m no longer going to be the shill in this con game to make Republicans happy,” we will be as poorly served in his second term as we were in his first.
Oh, I know there were lots of things he accomplished, and I appreciate every one. But what he has yet to accomplish is to recognize that he is the one who is the Dealer and it is our turn to be the backer of a Dealer who plays the game to our benefit.