Consider the news coverage when the US Department of Statistical Stuff releases its annual report on the number of children injured while playing Mumblety Peg, a childhood game wherein children throw pocket knives at each other’s feet (made popular in the Mark Twain classic The Boy from Calaveras County with Seven Toes).
MSNBC will cover the story by blaming the Republican-controlled House for cutting the federal funds used for pocket knife awareness programs. Keith Olbermann will go so far as to make Speaker John Boehner his “Worst Person in the World” for failing to support a bill mandating a five-day waiting period on the purchase of a pocket knife.
Fox News will cover the Mumblety Peg story by interviewing Speaker Boehner, who will point out that the number of Mumblety Peg injuries were actually higher during the Carter administration. With tears welling in his eyes, Boehner will reassure viewers that his Republican-controlled House understands the mandate they had been given, when the American people went to the polls and voted that they no longer wanted any government interference in the operation of Mumblety Peg leagues.
Last year’s Mumblety Peg national champion will have a guest spot Hannity’s Great American Panel and challenge President Obama to a game of pocket knife tossing on the lawn of the White House. For that challenge, by the way, Chris Matthews will call for an immediate investigation by Homeland Security.
So, Speaker Boehner’s job in 2011 is to understand that 2011, for good or bad, will be remembered as the “Year of the GOP-Controlled House.” The whole year will be a game at “Six Degrees of John Boehner.” He can bend in the political breeze to the commentators and pundits. Or, he can remain laser sharp in his focus, moving only that legislation which he truly believes will get the nation back on the right track.
The upside is that Speaker Boehner gets to spend the next 51 weeks writing his own year in review. (Note to Speaker Boehner — the whole story will read better if you agree to give Nancy Pelosi a kidney).
Rick Robinson is the author of political thrillers which can be purchased on Amazon and at book stores everywhere. His latest novel, Manifest Destiny has won seven writing awards, including Best Fiction at the Paris Book Festival.