by Barack Obama
My fellow Americans,
I alone cannot avert the crisis that will be sparked if we don’t raise the debt ceiling and prevent a default. Many of you want me to assert more presidential authority and raise the ceiling on my own. Some of you would like me to strongarm the Republican party into submission. Many Republicans themselves say I alone can prevent a default and the tide of ill effects that will follow. The truth is, I can do none of these things, for I am not a god.
I am a mere demigod.
When I was first elected in 2008, I made three solemn vows. The first was to catch Osama bin Laden. The second was pass a law ensuring that all Americans receive affordable health care. My third vow was to not let my semi-divine birth get politicized.
It’s true that my mother was a water goddess, a nymph if you prefer, who took as a lover my father, a mere mortal who had swum too close to her sea bed. Thus I was conceived half-god, half-man. Don’t be too impressed. In reality, being a demigod gives you scant powers in complex political matters, particularly about a touchy subject like the debt ceiling.
Yet if we don’t raise our debt ceiling by Thursday, the consequences will be very grave. We will default on payments and our credit rating will be downgraded. The subsequent panic will send shockwaves throughout the global economy. The value of the dollar will plummet and we’ll see the stock market crash. These will result in major job losses, a critically-weakened economy and permanent damage to our ability to borrow money.
The American people might wonder why, if I am a demigod, I don’t simply unleash a pack of three-headed hellhounds to ravage the GOP and cause Ted Cruz to shout for his mama. That is impossible. There is but one hellhound, Cerberus, and anyway it’s very rare to have all the Republican members of the House in the same place at the same time.
Some of you have said, “Mr. President, why don’t you ask Persephone, the goddess of flowers, to eat a handful of quarters so that she may yield a harvest of trillions of dollars to pay off our debtors?” My friends, as a demigod, I have very little sway with full gods. They see me as a distant cousin, if anything. Plus, flooding the world with trillions of more dollars will simply cause inflation.
Even some Republicans desire to see me use my special powers to mitigate the most harmful effects of a default. As a demigod, my powers only go so far. While I could certainly destroy the major rating agencies with fearsome lightning bolts shaped like tridents, I couldn’t destroy them all. There are too many and their offices are spread across the world.
A close friend asked me why I don’t simply transform myself into Speaker of the House John Boehner. That way, I could corral the Tea Party and agree to raise the debt ceiling, thereby avoiding a default. It’s true that as a demigod, I have the power to transform myself into other beings, whether that’s a fearsome bull intent on savaging a delicate swan, or a fire-breathing chimera to destroy the Lycians in Anatolia. However, Speaker Boehner is also a shape-shifting demigod, born of a mortal mother and a minor-god father whom Zeus had punished and condemned to Cincinnati. Thus, I am prevented from transforming into Speaker Boehner. There are limits.
I implore you, the American people, to put pressure on Congress to break out of the Tea Party’s grip. Enough is enough. We must raise our debt ceiling. We must pay our debts. We must to avoid a default. If not, there’s nothing I’ll be able to do to save us — even if I am a demigod.