by Frank Hill, Telemachus
A couple of weeks ago, a young woman by the name of Jocelyn Nubel from NYU boldly announced a campaign to support the full funding of Planned Parenthood in the rather desultory ‘historic’ (not) budget agreement we have recently been discussing.
Her solution? Have every woman participate in a ‘sex strike’ with Republicans who did not support Planned Parenthood.
Her reasoning? ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too!’ in a roundabout way of saying it.
She says: "There is something we all have the power to do, in order to send a real message to members of the GOP: stop having sex with them. Send Republicans a message. They can’t have their sex and restrict sexual health too."
Notwithstanding the inherent contradiction in her argument, namely, that abstinence works 100,000% of the time, and is the ultimate ‘nooclear’ solution as W would say, in the fight against unwanted pregnancies in the first place, she might be onto something very important in the way the American Republic can survive through the 21st century.
We kiddingly mentioned that perhaps one way to balance the budget was to have every spouse or girlfriend of every Congressman and Senator, from all political persuasions and background, ‘withhold’ themselves from the act of sex until and unless the federal budget is balanced. In fact, let's expand it to include every voting person in the nation regardless of where they stand on any budget issue.
We think it would take about 15 minutes to come to some sort of ‘Grand Compromise’ and save the US Republic from economic ruin.
And then one of our learned advisors happened to mention that this idea of women forcing men to do without has a historical precedent dating back to one of our ‘favorite’ wars of all time, the 30-year Peloponnesian War between Athens, Sparta and Persia.
He was referring to the wily, smart and cagey Lysistrata in the Aristophanes’ comedic play by the same name. (Kindle it and see for yourself; $0.00 and it is delivered wirelessly right to your Kindle without going to Borders or the local library)
They called it a ‘comedy’ back then. Would not be considered as such if it were to happen today, would it?
As the story goes, Lysistrata (which literally means ‘army-disbander’ in Greek) organizes the women of Athens to withhold sex from their husbands in an effort to end the unrelenting aforementioned 30-year Peloponessian War. After all, they had been fighting it for 20 years when the play came out in 411 BC and nothing else seemed to be working.
We have been fighting the same budget battles for the past 30 years, or ever since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981. After awhile, something has got to give.
But the wily and beautiful Lysistrata, through her ‘sex strike’ on the part of the women of Athens and Sparta, gets both the Athenian and Spartan ambassadors to meet to discuss a Writ of Peace. One of the tactics was to soften them up with fine wine which apparently worked: ‘This is the advice I’d give the Athenians---See our ambassadors are always drunk.’
Maybe we should consider dropping the overly restrictive ethics rules instituted by Newt Gingrich and the incoming Cardinals of the GOP Revolution of 1994. These restrictions have led to an over-polarization of emotions on Capitol Hill such that people on both sides can't stand the thought of being around their opposition from the other side, much less 'negotiate' and 'compromise' with them to get things done for our nation.
They took all the fun out of working on Capitol Hill…you can’t even play golf with a lobbyist without getting thrown into jail nowadays it seems.
No, we really think the model of Lysistrata has a lot of merit.
'Women of America: UNITE!'
Force elected male officials in Washington of all stripes, backgrounds and political philosophies to sit down with each other; come up with a budget solution that balances the budget within the next 5 years; or else ‘suffer the consequences’ of no female relations until you do.
See? There really are lots of 'worse things' that can happen than higher taxes; reductions in Social Security and Medicare; cuts in defense spending and fewer pork barrel projects like 'The Bridge to Nowhere, Alaska!'...all things that people have 'sworn on my mother's life!' not to do once elected to Congress.
‘V-E Day’ in Europe and ‘V-J Day’ in Japan had nothing over the joy that will be realized when ‘V-B Day!’ (Victory in the Budget!) is finally accomplished in Washington, DC.
(Editor's Note: Frank Hill's resumé includes working as chief of staff for Senator Elizabeth Dole and Congressman Alex McMillan, serving on the House Budget Committee and serving on the Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. He takes on politics from a fiercely independent perspective at the blog Telemachus).
Related discussion: Memeorandum, here