Lousy Lovers

Near the end of Jennifer Steinhauer’s semi-dadaist piece for the New York Times on the absurdity of Congress (the Senate today, the House on Sunday) racing back to Washington “to begin the business of doing nothing in particular,” there’s this unusual passage:

The Congressional impasse over how to avoid tax increases and spending cuts has left this entire city gripping Starbucks cups procured from Georgetown to Capitol Hill, bearing the message “come together,” to wait in low-grade misery for the next chapter in the drama. This would be Sunday night, when House members arrive, just ahead of New Year’s Eve at the summons of their leaders, who decided Thursday that they could not afford to be home killing time while Senate Democratic leaders took to C-Span to take shots at the absent House.

As the nation awaited news — any news! — about what would happen to the nation’s fiscal health, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist, volunteered on Twitter that lawmakers who could not compromise “probably aren’t good lovers.” That was around midday.

I can’t really tell if Steinhauer is mocking the whole spectacle along with the manufactured despair it has generated in much of the punditocracy, or sharing the frustration of those who don’t understand why the solons don’t just enact the Simpson-Bowles Report and call it a day.

But any way you slice it, this weekend is not likely to improve anyone’s approval ratings.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.