Two policy wonks standing outside the Senate Office Building, just to be safe, after a small earthquake hits Washington, D.C. They strike up a conversation about what might have caused it:
DC Wonk 1: What was that shaking?!
DC Wonk 2: Maybe Obama's okayed the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
DC Wonk 1: Maybe Mitch McConnell agreed with him.
DC Wonk 2: Maybe a Republican has come out against SOPA.
DC Wonk 1: Man, people are bailing on that right and left, not enough to move the earth. ... Although Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida, who co-sponsored it, actually has bailed.
DC Wonk 2: Yah, I saw that. Said he didn't understand the bill, when he signed onto it. That sure isn't surprising enough to move the earth around here.
DC Wonk 1: Well now even Orrin Hatch, who never saw a pro-business bill he didn't like, and Roy Blunt from Missouri, both Republicans, are backing away from the bill. Pretty soon only Democrats will support it. That's a pretty seismic shift.
DC Wonk 2: Republicans changing their position based on a shift in public attitude? That's positively anti-seismic. Even Scott Brown and Jim DeMint are against it now. Seems like the only way to get a majority is when there is a bill that someone introduced that is actually so stupid that everyone abandons it. It sure is the only time Republicans and Democrats agree these days. And now Harry Reid is going to bring it to the floor to force Republicans to vote against corporations.
DC Wonk 1: That and the $3.5 million he got in campaign donations from the MPAA and the RIAA, for starters. That type of contribution sure won't cause the earth to shift around this town. Look at Ron Paul. He just took a slam at the clause in NDAA that would allow indefinite detention of American citizens, and took a swipe at Lindsey Graham for saying on the floor: 'When they say 'I want my lawyer,' you tell them, 'Shut up. You don't get a lawyer.' It's conservative Republican against conservative Republican out there. If that doesn't cause a quake, I don't know.
DC Wonk 1: Oh please. Paul is, you know, a radical. Graham is a real Republican. Anyway, that little spat isn't enough to cause the earth to move around here.
DC Wonk 2: Yeah. It's not like Graham is one of those strict constructionist lawyers...
DC Wonk 1: Actually he is.
DC Wonk 2: Ok, so he wants to change the constitution. You think that might be enough?
DC Wonk 1: Not likely, who listens to Graham?
DC Wonk 2: You think it might have to do with Huntsman dropping out?
DC Wonk 1: Not even if Perry drops out, and that's way bigger.
DC Wonk 2: There's only one more thing I can think of that's happened lately in D.C. that might be the cause of it.
DC Wonk 1: Not...
DC Wonk 2: Yeah...The Colbert super PAC.
DC Wonk 1: You're right, but he's a comic. No chance at all.
DC Wonk 2: Did you ever hear of Bedtime for Bonzo? That was a comedy. And that actor ended up a president.