Morning Revelations With Ana Marie Cox

Slowly but surely, The Guardian‘s Ana Marie Cox is unspooling the details of what happened to her this summer. But she doesn’t talk about it in complete first-person. She uses politics to help her along.

Her latest story: “After the supercommittee, Congress needs rehab”

An excerpt: At this point, congressional Republicans’ attempts to even look like they’re trying to do something on deficit reduction remind me of my own attempts to curb bad behavior: institute some arbitrary-ish rules (no eating carbs after 5!), along with daunting (but self-imposed!) consequences for breaking my own rules (can’t watch “Jersey Shore”!). The flaw in the scheme runs deeper than you’d think. Sure, it’s easy for me (being the person who designed the whole setup) to then wiggle around the rules.

People use the metaphor of legislators being “addicted” to spending (or tax cuts) pretty casually, but thanks to Newt Gingrich’s
invocation of the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous, I wonder if there’s a more substantive comparison to be made between congressional malfeasance and compulsive behavior. The first of the Twelve Steps, after all, is to admit you’re powerless over the action you want to stop, that there’s no out-thinking yourself, no deals you can make, no
amount of willpower you can muster.

One often has to hit bottom for this to sink in, and certainly Congress is looking at their bottom – even if they think it’s a hole
in the ground.