Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Scorpion and the Frog: A Republican Retelling

I’m sure we all recall the fable misattributed to Aesop of the scorpion and the frog. The story goes that the scorpion had to get to the other side of a river but couldn’t navigate the current. He happens across a frog and he asks the amphibian, “Can I get on your back and cross the river with you?” The frog, understandably, had reservations and asked the scorpion, “If I let you get on my back, you’ll sting me.” “No, I won’t,” claimed the scorpion. “Why would I do that and kill us both?”

The scorpion’s logic was good enough for the frog so he let the insect get on his back. About halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog. As they both began to sink, the frog asked, “Why did you break your promise and sting me? Now we’re both going to drown!” The scorpion said just before they sank into the water,

“I’m sorry. I’m a scorpion. It’s my nature.”

Well, I’ve been thinking of this parable often when recalling what the Republican party has done to this country just since the Nixon era, particularly after the last seven and a half-plus years.

Here’s the Republican rewriting of the ending:

“Why did you break your promise and sting me? Now we’re both going to drown!”

“Uh, no,” says the scorpion. “Just you. First off, I’m a Republican scorpion. This is what we do. Secondly, you see that branch next to us? While my sting has paralyzed you, rendering you unable to grasp it, I’m going to hop on that branch, which is a metaphor for a cushy lobbyist or private industry job. The branch is also highly symbolic of a criminal justice system that largely is afraid to indict and convict Republicans and allows them to get off scot-free while the victims of their self-interested policies drown in a sink-or-swim economy.”

“But, but… I voted for you!” the frog wails just before its mouth submerges beneath the raging current.

The scorpion says as it hops onto the branch, “Caveat emptor, asshole. We’re Republicans! This is what we do! Adios, stupid!”

Looking at all the policies of George W. Bush and his own scorpion army in Congress (mostly red scorpions but with some blue ones thrown in for bipartisan flavor), looking at the two lemons sold to us as two fronts in a war on terror that thus far has achieved opposite its stated goals, I keep waiting for Bush to stand before a podium in the Rose Garden and ask, “Are you scared? Well, you shouldn’t be… You’re on Scare Tactics!”

Then Bush and his so-called co-conspirators in Congress take off their jackets, undo their neckties and we share a good laugh while we’re handed a bottle of spring water and told it was all an act. The footage of mutilated bodies in Iraq was recycled from Operation Desert Storm, the war stories planted, the 4600+ war dead just a cruel joke.

The economy is actually robust, the deficit nonexistent and the extra money gouged from us at the pump since last spring will be cheerfully refunded back to us. No one’s losing their home, we can still file for bankruptcy if we need to but we’ll never have to since we’re all financially solvent and actually able to support our families without having to work 80 hours a week.

The Iranian nuclear threat was just a good-natured hoax (better hand a bottle of water to Ahmadinejad because he, too, was a victim of this colossal hoax) and North Korea didn’t actually get workable nukes under Bush’s and John Bolton’s watch. Infragard prowling the streets of America during a pre-announced martial law and killing us with complete impunity? How could we fall for that?

We keep waiting and waiting for that admission so we can all breath again but the fact is we’re not on a nationally televised cable access show and the punking is for real. The scorpion stung us because we let it after eight years of relative peace and prosperity. Because the scorpion told us that he could get us to the Promised Side of the River faster and more efficiently and that we’d get there faster and more efficiently with the aid of a soulless private industry.

We all deserve to get punked, to get stung because we could’ve and should've told the scorpion to go fuck himself, to find some other poor dumb bastard to give him a lift across that river, for enough of us voting for him so that a theft of the last two elections seemed like a plausible outcome.

Like I’ve been saying all this time, we deserve what we had coming to us just as we deserve what we will have coming to us if we elect McCain and the resurrected zombie who’ll likely be his president-in-waiting.


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