Bobby Abtahi is a lawyer and a former City Council candidate. When he asked if FrontBurner ever accepted guest posts, I asked him what he had on his mind. When he said he’d just watched The Karate Kid, Part II and he thought it offered a lesson that Congress and the president ought to heed, I told Abtahi to start typing. Here, then:
Obama Must Meet with Congress and Watch The Karate Kid, Part II
By Bobby Abtahi
As we approach day 15 of the government shutdown and a mere 33 hours until the United States potentially defaults on its debt obligations, it’s time that our congressional leaders take serious measures to find a serious solution.
You remember the story of The Karate Kid. It was the quintessential ’80s coming-of-age movie. But a teen movie won’t cut it in this situation. These are dire times, and dire times require serious films about serious subjects.
The Karate Kid, Part II is a serious film that revolves around the very serious Mr. Sato, Mr. Miyagi’s former best friend. The two have a decades-long feud that is unbelievably bitter. You see, Sato insists that Miyagi must fight him to the death so that Sato can regain his honor. Miyagi refuses to take Sato up on such a ludicrous offer and ignores him. This angers Sato, who begins to threaten Miyagi. Miyagi continues to ignore Sato, which angers Sato more.
After weeks of fighting, Sato shows up with bulldozers, threatening to destroy their village. Held hostage by such a self-destructive threat, Miyagi agrees to fight on the condition that the village will be safe. Luckily, a typhoon almost kills Sato, and Miyagi saves his life. Even luckier, this makes Sato realize that honor fights are silly and he actually loves his village. They both end up happy in kimonos at a festival of lights, playing den-den daikos, a Japanese pellet drum.
If you’re foolish enough to think this analogy doesn’t make sense or that The Karate Kid, Part II is not a serious film, then riddle me this: our leaders — the elected representatives of the last super power, the nation with the world’s largest economy, the country with a currency that every other nation uses for global trade — have by their own delusions of grandeur created a situation in which the economy of the entire world hinges on a silly honor fight.
Step up, Congress. Put on your kimonos. Bust out your pellet drums, and don’t threaten to tear down our village. You don’t want to end up with a typhoon almost killing you.