Slate had an article by Amanda Marcotte during the recent shutdown describing how the Democrats could deal with the Republicans that were throwing tantrums, a little parenting advice. The problem with that is the classic response when one equal chastises another. “You’re not the boss of me!”
No, the Democrats cannot be the ones to handle the tantrums of the Republicans, nor can Republicans logically deal with a similar Democratic meltdown. We clearly can’t have government policing themselves into playing nice. That’s just more government, and we don’t need any more of that.
We need mother-ment.
An elected high council of 7 mothers, chosen from around the country not to represent any particular faction or ideology, but to give the Legislature a spanking when they won’t play nice.
Not a literal spanking, of course, but whatever punishment they deem proper for the misbehavior at hand. The legislators shut down the government, they get grounded. And not grounded to your own rooms, that’s where your toys are. You have to go sit in Grandma’s room, where there’s nothing to play with and it smells like cheese. Also, no allowances for six months – even if you fix this mess sooner than that.
The Motherment would preside over meetings between parties in order to make them get along, for the good of the American people. If they don’t play nice, then they get a time out and have to sit in the corner. Public shaming would ensue via Twitter #usgovtimeout.
They would not pass laws, exercise vetoes or rule on constitutionality, but the Motherment would achieve something, maybe not better than those exalted actions, but different. They would give a sense of satisfaction to the entire country, that while we may not always agree with the actions that our elected representatives take, we know that if they’re acting like brats, they’ll be punished like brats.
After all, a little revenge can go a long way. A nation weary of political infighting would have a chance then to say, “thanks, Mom, for making us feel a little better.”