The debt ceiling talks played out like the old fairy tale “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” according to left-leaning comic Stephen Colbert.
Pointing out how weak President Barack Obama has been in negotiations with Republicans, Colbert cast him in the role of the troll who vowed that no goats should cross his bridge, while the Republicans were the goats who tricked him.
“Back in December, the smallest billy goat said, ‘Mr. Troll, let me cross your bridge so I can go to the other side and renew the Bush tax cuts or I will call you a job killer,’” said Colbert, who parodies an oafish right-wing talk show host on his Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report.”
“The troll had promised the people who had elected him bridge keeper that he wouldn’t let that specific goat cross. But keeping in mind his other trollish priorities, he made the political calculation to let the goat pass and bring this issue up again later with a bigger goat he knew was coming.
“In the spring the medium size billy goat showed up and said ‘Mr. Troll, let me cross your bridge so I can cut spending or I will shut down the government,’” he continued.
“Obamatroll said now is not the time, there is a bigger goat coming and I trust that that goat will do the right thing, so he let the medium goat pass.
“Then this summer the largest billy goat came clopping up and said ‘Mr. Troll, I will not raise the debt ceiling unless I get to gouge out your eyes and throw you off the bridge.’
“So the troll had to compromise by gouging out his own eyes and throwing himself off the bridge,” Colbert joked.
The moral of the story, he said, is that, when the first goat came along, the troll should have ripped off its head and mailed the carcass back to his brothers — making it clear what would happen if any other goats put a hoof on his bridge.
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