Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men."
-- Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke

If you haven't heard that line, get the movie, well worth your time.

The budget talks, not so much.

Its a horror flick, with b-rated actors and there will be a climax that is bound to disappoint every viewer. Not at all commensurate with the rhetoric and dire need of reform the poor actors are portraying on screen.

The setting is grand, the legendary capital of a once mighty empire. The plot is strong, the story of a nation's leaders coming together to forge a path toward prosperity and sustainability.

I've seen this flick before, here is what happens.

The stout conservatives, led by a strong man with strong words, will back off their line in the sand and compromise with the weaker antagonist, who in the end will take credit for all the work of the protagonists.

The problem with the budget talks, but not Cool Hand Luke, is that the conservatives are many, by circumstance, not virtue and when one speaks contrary to the rhetoric of the idealogue leader, the message gets compromised. Their position weakens.

The antagonist, the liberal, can be a lone voice, portrayed as sensible and well spoken, not answerable or beholden to any other liberal suggestion.

Eventually, public opinion, which starts firmly with the conservatives, by virtue this time of the elections results, begins to wane. Ultimately a compromise will be struck somewhere between what the conservatives want and what the liberal wants.

In the end, we all lose. There is no happy ending.

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