Tom Friedman Doesn’t Appreciate AP Style, and Other Stories

The New York Times’s columnist has recently traded taxicab confessions for amusing fantasies of how the world could improve if people start agreeing with him. Let’s be fair, sure – that’s what a lot of columnists write about. Rarely do they write fantasies in which leaders’ hearts grow three sizes, then hug it out.

Fantasy Boehner:

We have informed the president that our legislators are ready to reopen negotiations immediately on a ‘Grand Bargain’ to address all these debt issues once and for all and that everything will be on the table from our side — including tax reform that closes loopholes and eliminates wasteful subsidies, and, if need be, tax increases.

Fantasy Obama, pitching – of course! – a new commission that will bring party leaders to the rumpus room with St. Bowles of North Carolina and St. Simpson of Wyoming.

Everything will be on the table — spending cuts, tax reform and increases, a framework for restructuring the debts of Americans whose homes are under water and the investments we need to renew the primary sources of our strength — infrastructure, education and scientific research.

Friedman isn’t stupid, and that makes me wonder: Why does he keep writing this horrible nonsense? Nothing fantasy Obama has said differs from what Reality Obama has said. But Fantasy Boehner buckles on tax increases. You can draw a conclusion: “One of these actors has an unbreakable committment to something Friedman finds unreasonable, and perhaps he should focus on that.” But no! In the fantasy, everyone is at fault; everyone has to come together.

At that point, all five leaders shook hands and retreated into the Oval Office. It was exactly 9:29 a.m. One minute later, the New York Stock Exchange opened. The Dow was up 1,223 points at the open — an all-time record.

The Dow would surge because a commission was being announced? Come on. Really? He wrote that?

As I drive around Iowa I’m a little pressed for time, but I want you to help out. Write your own Tom Friedman fanfic. If you want to cast a certain mustachioed, turtlenecked columnist as your Mary Sue, fine – hilarious. Post in the comments or email to me at daveweigel at gmail. Possible topics:

- Tom Friedman convinces Jim DeMint that the gas tax needs to be doubled.

- Tom Friedman convinces members of AARP to sign up their membership for a Shirley Jackson lottery in order to drive down the number of retirees.

Go on ahead.