May The Force Be With Them

Published 1:54 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Who knew?

The whole communication problem between President Obama and GOP congressional leaders is down to a deep space mix-up.

Not partisan politics.

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Not differing political philosophies.

True, President Obama and Speaker Boehner do appear to live in different galaxies, one inhabited by Captain Kirk, the other by Obi Wan Kenobi-as we thought-but there is hope because the situation is easily correctible.

The vital clue, and historians may look back on the moment as a turning point in our nation's boldly going where it has never gone before history, came when President Obama refused to perform a “Jedi mind-meld” on the two Republicans to make them agree with him.

So there you go.

There is, you see, no such thing as a Jedi mind-meld.

Only Vulcans do mind-melds.

And so we have sequestration, not the droid we were looking for, when our nation's capital should be going about its business.

No wonder Mr. Obama has been unable to reach the minds of John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell. The president has been trying to achieve the impossible. One cannot unite the world of Star Trek and Star Wars, and for obvious reasons.

First and foremost, Star Trek is in the future and any research into the star dates of the Enterprise crew's adventures will verify this crucial fact. Star Wars, on the other hand, is a record of people living a long time ago and in a galaxy far, far away.

Someone in the president's cabinet should have told him this. Washington politics is difficult enough if everyone's in the same galaxy at the same time. Successful diplomacy between different galaxies in different periods of historical time, while not unprecedented-the USS Enterprise more than once went back in time to save the future-is not within the realm of practical politics as we know it.

As a fact-check, one need only look as far as the email Leonard Nimoy sent the Associated Press when the AP sought his reaction to the president's Jedi mind-meld comment. Mr. Nimoy, a Vulcan who served on the USS Enterprise under the name of Mr. Spock, replied: “Only a Vulcan mind-meld would be effective on this Congress.”

He would know.

And Mr. Obama is president, not a mind-reader.

Clearly, both the president and the GOP could benefit the nation by pulling strands from both the Star Wars galaxy of the past and the Star Trek galaxy of the future. For example, Mr. Spock, I believe, would clearly advocate fighting the dark side, which Jedi Knights were experts in. Fighting the dark side in Washington, D.C. is paramount.

Likewise, Luke Skywalker would readily embrace the motto “live long and prosper” and whether he could make the correct splayed-finger hand signal or not.

What we have playing out in reality reminds me of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem “The Charge Of The Light Brigade”:

Phasers to the right of them,

Light sabers to the left of them,

Photon torpedoes in front of them

Volley'd and thundered;

Into sequestration

Rode the fifty United States.

Fortunately, the clash of galaxies and temporal realities mean their respective weapons are unable to destroy the other side. As any defense contractor can tell you, the light saber from the Star Wars galaxy's past is actually a laser sword, a blade of plasma projecting from its gleaming hilt.

Likewise, a phaser from Star Trek's galaxy and temporal landscape is a directed-energy weapon, as the Pentagon can attest if you catch them off the record, while photon torpedoes employ anti-matter warheads.

Light sabers, phasers, and photon torpedoes work well in their own time and place. But that time and that place are not Washington, D.C., circa 2013.

Thankfully so. Neither side can make Bantha fodder of the other.

And so may the Force be with them, the energy field created by all living things, surrounding us, penetrating us, binding these different galaxies together.

I refer, of course, to the final frontier.

Let us launch the USS Bipartisanship and boldly go where no president and congress have gone before.

Beam us all up, Scotty.