Every red blooded American knows the long history of Star Trek versus Star Wars. Each series has its devoted fans and asking the average devotee to choose between them is like picking between Letterman and Leno or Colts versus Ravens. Personally, I prefer Star Wars, Letterman, and the Colts hands down.
So when Obama said he can’t “Jedi mind meld a budget deal” on sequester today, it created the greatest collective gasp in America since the dark one uttered those fateful words, “Luke, I am your father.” More importantly, though, it blew the best thing Obama had going for him and that is that he is supposed to be the cool guy who gets it culturally and socially.
How could he say something so obtuse?
Everyone knows that a Jedi uses The Force and light sabers to wither his foe. Mr. Spock of Star Trek does the mind meld and logic routine to bring enemies to their knees. Jedi are knights—not Vulcans. Jedi fight the Evil Empire and nasty characters like Senator Palpatine who pretends to be a good guy but who is really the lord of the dark side. He really aspires to be Emperor of the Galactic Republic. Hmm . . . sounds strangely familiar.
If President Obama wanted to relate the sequester situation to a Star Wars/Star Trek metaphor (I mean we all expect the President of the United States to do something like that, don’t we? How else could we possibly understand what he’s saying?), he should have at least gotten it right. I’m sure what he was referring to was Jedi mind tricks. Everyone would have gotten that, no problem. He could have also said instead “Vulcan mind meld” which would have been accurate but honestly creepy. Can you imagine if he’d said “I can’t just do a Vulcan mind meld and get the Republicans to agree on a budget deal.” That would have been . . . well . . . weird.
I do believe, however, that we can learn a lot from Star Wars in analyzing our current dysfunctional state of government. To borrow a quote from Star Wars, “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.” These are the words of Anakin Skywalker who later becomes Darth Vader when he shifts to the dark side. I’m afraid this is also becoming a central theme of President Obama as he deals with Republicans. If he’d quoted Star Wars using that line, he wouldn’t have raised any eyebrows because essentially that appears to be his attitude towards GOP lawmakers the last four years.
Obama really isn’t going to carry the cool label much longer if he makes another colossal mistake like this again. His Galactic gaffe caused more disturbance in The Force than I’ve seen in a very long time.
Nevertheless, the tortured Star Wars metaphor did work on some level today when it would appear that the Evil Empire is winning. I have hope, however, that the Jedi will win after all, thus restoring our country to a place of order and honor once again.
Republicans simply need to stand united in their convictions on spending because there is no doubt they are right on this one. Whenever they feel discouraged or disheartened about where they stand, they should remember the words of the great Jedi philosopher, Yoda, who said, “No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Remember that House Republicans if ever President Obama dares try one of those “Jedi mind melds” on you.