Adrienne BoettingerFriday,18 October 2013

The Snap:

I have an idea that will make me scads of money and help politicians and other entrenched lunatics listen to each other and even govern. My idea is an app that takes awful things people want to say and un-fucks them. In more genteel terms, an app that helps you access your better self to facilitate discussion with differing parties rather than making the other person want to bitchslap you.

The Download:

Start the clock now. We’ll be back in the eye of government self-destruction come 15 January 2014 if Congress doesn’t get their committees together on another Continuing Resolution — or dare we hope for — an actual budget. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the debt ceiling deal only lasts until 7 February 2014.

While pondering this, I had the misfortune of hearing insane post mortems on the shutdown where the people who are supposed to actually speak with and listen to each other were busy scoring cheap points off their “adversaries” to 24-hour noose cycle shit-stirrers. It suddenly came to me: if these bastards can’t manage some kind of civil discourse, we’ll find ourselves in the midst of another shutdown shitshow. Since the past one cost us an estimated $24 billion and the remaining brain cells of Fox “News” and CNN reporters, we must turn the trash-talking into productive conversations. Enter App ProRepeat.

Here’s how it will work: unreasonable person #1 will go off in a spittle-flinging rant about unreasonable person #2. But before this infantile quote can be received by #2 or reported on by pretend journalists traipsing about cable news, the app would un-fuck it. Let’s look at a few real world examples!

Before: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” (Rep. Stutzman , R-Ind.)

After: “In the heated discussions over the past few weeks, I fear we may have lost sight of what we were sent here to do: represent our constituents and responsibly legislate. Let’s all go for pumpkin lattes and chat!”

Before: “So when you were on the jihad against Americans’ access to health care, shutting down the parks wasn’t a problem. Shutting down NIH wasn’t a problem.”  (Rep. Miller, D-Calif).

After: “I hear your unhappiness with the impact the shutdown has had on real people. Let’s discuss the full breadth of that and find ways to make this system work better! Plus, I made you all cupcakes!”

Before: “I really think Boehner needs to get some courage. Maybe he needs to take an afternoon off and golf and contemplate it and come back.” (Sen. McCaskill, D-MO)

After: “I’m concerned about the toll this shutdown has had on Speaker Boehner and think we could all benefit from a break from bad-mouthing each other. Let’s form a trust circle!”

Before: “My focus is on stopping Harry Reid’s shutdown, ensuring that vital government priorities are funded, and preventing the enormous harms that Obamacare is inflicting on millions of Americans.” (Sen. Cruz, R-TX)

After: “I realize now that my actions have damaged public trust in government and for this, I’m truly sorry. I’m now focused on working with my colleagues to get this country up-and-running and address the many glitches that the roll-out of the SCOTUS-ruled constitutional Affordable Care Act seems to have had, in order to improve access to quality health care. And let’s find a bar! First round is on me!”

Before: “This is about the happiest I’ve seen members in a long time.” (Rep. Bachmann, R-Minn.)

After: “Members of both parties are remorseful that we’ve let the situation escalate and hurt so many people. We vow to work together to address the problems we have caused. Peace, I’m out.”

Before: “Democratic leaders in Congress finally have their prize, a government shutdown that no one seems to want but them.” (Senate Minority Leader McConnell)

After: “We made this mess. It’s not a game. We’ve all lost, as has the American public. Congress and the President agree to give up our salaries for the enormous burden we’ve unnecessarily placed on the economy. Our bad.”

Before: “They’ve [House Republicans] lost their minds.” (Senate Majority Leader Reid)

After: “I worry the passionate responses of both houses have led to unhealthy levels of stress. We need to try some yoga. Oh, and mental health is a serious issue and one that we’ve fallen down on the job in addressing.”

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Hat Tips:

PoliticoCNNTime Swampland, Image Credit: Flickr

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