On February 3, 1994, the television show The Simpsons aired an episode in its fifth season called “Bart Gets Famous” that changed our culture. In this episode Bart Simpson committed a number of comedic and disastrous errors that resulted in the development of a catch phrase, “I didn’t do it!” Uttering this phrase got Bart out of the consequences of his actions as the audience in the show decided that Bart’s cuteness outweighed the culpability of his actions. In this episode, Bart accidentally achieved fame with the catch phrase, and he was eventually invited on the Conan O’Brien show to say it. At that point in the episode, however, Bart tired of the phrase, and the fame that resulted from it, and he was reluctant to say it.
Politicians around the country were in awe of the simplicity with which Bart managed to escape blame in the episode. The simplicity of publicly stating that one wasn’t to blame was something that hadn’t dawned on our current lot of politicians until Bart showed them the way. The episode’s writer, John Swartzwelder, had no intention of writing an episode that would influence our society in such a manner. He simply wanted to write an episode that pointed out that “really crummy things can become popular”. Swartzwelder’s intention was to write an episode that mocked the 70’s sitcom tradition of replacing quality writing with a single catch phrase, and he chose the “particularly lousy phrase” ‘I didn’t do it’ to accentuate it. He never intended to shape our political theater. He just wanted a couple simple laughs, and he wanted to point out simple hypocrisies. He had no idea that politicians around the country would take his simple joke to the national arena.
It doesn’t matter what you did, the clever catch phrase basically said to politicians, you didn’t do it. It doesn’t matter that everyone knows that you did it, you didn’t do it. It doesn’t matter when all the facts and figures point directly to you, you didn’t do it. If you say it often enough, they will believe it. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and now President of the United States and Commander in Chief Barack Obama have joined the chorus that is sweeping this nation in a manner similar to that which Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones employed when they gathered the top pop stars in the world at that time to sing the song “We are the World.”
The politicians were not dumb, however. They didn’t parrot the line completely. They developed off shoots. I’m sure they sat around sushi filled rooms trying to come up with the perfect off shoot. They wanted something that would achieve “The Simpson effect” without anyone drawing immediate comparisons. It was then that someone tossed out a simple line: “Both parties are to blame” and nobody said a word. A saucer clattered to the ground to accentuate the silence that lasted until inspirational music flared up in their background as each of them slowly turned to the guy who said it. He did it. Whether he knew it or not, he developed the catch phrase that would sweep the nation, that would end the politician’s fear of one day turning to the Buddhist bird on their shoulder to answer for the damage that they had wreaked on the nation. ‘Both parties are to blame,’ they would say to the bird. Heaven would be their reward.
Both parties are to blame, they sang when people asked them about the manner in which they acted between 2006 and 2010. When they had all three houses between 2008 and 2010, and they rubber stamped any and every spending proposal that crossed their desks, they sang ‘both parties are to blame.’
Vote for it now, they all probably told one another when they were wreaking ruin upon this country, we’ll generate something to blame the Republicans for later. Get all of these bills passed now, doesn’t matter how, push forward, to the hilt, no shame. Vote for it. Vote for it all! You’ll see! If the Republicans develop a flawed Hula Hoop we’ll tie that into the economy and see to it that they receive 50% of the blame for it. When someone mentions the damage that is done to the average citizen and their kids and their great grandkids, we’ll all sing together “Both parties are to blame!”
As we all know, now, the Democrats decided to use the delay in the spending increase that The Tea Party faction of the Republican Party caused. How did that action cause damage to the economy when the Democrats got every dime they wanted with “proposed” cuts in the future? Who knows?? Who cares??? Both parties are to blame! Look the people deep in the eyes, and sing it over and over. If it’s catchy enough, and we repeat the refrain enough times, they will begin singing it to themselves at stoplights. They will find that it makes them feel better about themselves when they don’t have to resort to name calling or casting blame. They’ll feel wonderful about themselves and their economy, and then we can go about creating jobs for them, which is what they sent us to Washington for in the first place after all.
Accredited dolphin trainers are now claiming that they can enter data into dolphin sensory receptors to greatly assist them in making correct decisions based upon repetitive instruction. This latest development in the animal kingdom is now seen as a great embarrassment by the humans in American that were thrown off the trail in their decision making process by the clever catch phrases and the minimal obfuscation.
If that catch phrase doesn’t work, he can try the time honored ‘Paying your fair share’ song. I know, I know, the song is over 50 years old in the Democrat lexicon, but if we bring in a new singer…Like a President of the United States of America and Commander in Chief Barack Obama, a Ron Howard, or a Matt Damon we can make it sound young and refreshing. All three of these humans can sprint to cameras all over the nation to sing it to us, and they can add a few lines about how they have a lot of money, and that they are wonderful people. They can sing about the fact that they don’t mind giving government officials more money to waste on political cronies like GE and Solyndra. They can let us know that it’s now considered wonderful now to give more of your money to their favorite politicians that back their favorite political agendas and philosophies as long as they have the right harmony. They can let us know that we are awful for balking at “giving back to the community” that helped pay for the roads that they drove in on, that helped build the machinery that generated the electricity that helped them see in the dark so they didn’t stub their toe and get in a bad mood. They can also let the American public know that in a circuitous manner, the glorious federal government helped fund the potato chip companies that filled the bag of chips you people ate last night, “so isn’t it a little selfish for you to get angry when you’re asked to give government officials more money to waste on political cronies like GE and Solyndra?”
Get Warren Buffet to sing it. He’s the most identifiable millionaire we know. People think he’s a Republican. Get him to sing something about how he’s not paying his fair share, and the background singers can sing, “and either are his millionaire buddies”. Will it solve anything in the economy or the debt to raise…say capital gains taxes? Well, no. So, what’s the point of bringing Buffet in then when he probably can’t sing? It will move the national discussion from the horrible Obamaconomy to the class warfare that got us elected up here in the first place. We’ll also be able to punish the Republicans that don’t sing the song so many people love, and we’ll be able to sing our versions of the ‘I didn’t do it’ song over and over again, until the American people put us back in charge for at least four more years. “Sing it with me…”