81-year old Alan Simpson, former Senator from Wyoming, and the eponymous co-chairman of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, is noted for his straight talk and elfin sense of humor. But both of these qualities may have gone beyond their freshness date.
Simpson appeared on the Today Show this morning to reprimand both political parties for playing chicken at the edge of the fiscal cliff. He also tried to explain his appearance in a bizarre video callled "The Can Kicks Back."
In the video Simpson dances Gangnam Style along side a guy dressed like a grocery store can. The dance was easy, Simpson said. All he had to do was pretend he was riding a horse and whirling a lasso. A cinch for a guy from Wyoming. But after a few distressing moments of watching what Jon Stewart would call a 'Moment of Zen', it is clear that Simpson has finally squandered the last of his gravitas inheritance.
The point of the video was to reach out to the younger social media crowd, to alert them to the dangers of falling off the fiscal cliff, and to motivate them to exert political pressure on Washington.
More easily said than done though, considering how Simpson in the same breath scolds those he wants to recruit: "Stop instagramming your breakfast and tweeting your first world problems, getting on YouTube so you can see Gangnam Style."
But, good intentions aside, Simpson may be cutting off his nose to spite his face. Like when he called senior citizens the "greediest generation' when their support was needed to rid Medicare. of waste and fraud. It's clear in his video, Simpson is mocking the Millennials by holding up to derision a harmless and ephemeral cultural fad . His serious message gets lost in the weeds of its silliness. The young are smarter than Mr. Simpson seems to think.
As for who's to blame for the fiscal cliff fiasco, Simpson---despite his libertarian views---betrays his allegiance to the Tea Party-controlled Republicans. If Simpson were an honest broker, he would recognize that President Obama has offered a balanced $4 trillion deficit reduction plan while the Republicans have remained intransigent and obstructionist. Stuck on supply-side economics. Entrenched in the nonsense of the trickle-down of wealth from those so-called 'job creators': the top 1%.
And that's something Simpson's Psy-che doesn't seem to understand.
Filed under: politics