Captain Obama and Starship America
In his press conference of April 30th, 2009, President Obama was asked what many called a "softball" question. It was a 4-part question from Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times: "Since becoming president, what has surpised, troubled, enchanted, and humbled you the most." It was a humorous moment that brought laughter from the White House Press Corps, and the unusual nature of the question was more widely discussed than Obama's answers.
When Obama got to the part about what has humbled him, he first fumbled around looking for an answer suggesting perhaps that little has humbled him. But then, in a rather telling moment he said that what has humbled him most is that: "I just can't press a button and suddenly have the bankers do what I want... or turn on a switch and suddenly Congress falls in line." Apparently Obama had the "audacity" to think that the mere power of his presence in the Oval Office would make things happen. He thought it would be as easy as pressing a button or turning on a switch.
Like Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise, Obama ordered the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and said, "Make it so." But to Obama's surprise, it has not happened. Obama thought he could get the Republicans to work in a bipartisan manner simply by ordering: "Engage." But the Republicans have not engaged. They have fought him almost every step of the way. He thought he could reform healthcare simply with a word: "Proceed". But there is no healthcare bill on his desk.
Like James T. Kirk, Obama calls down to engineering and asks, "Scotty, where's that stimulus? Stimulus would be good right about now." But Scotty replies, "I'm doin' the best I can, Captain. I'm tryin' to pick up the pieces down here." And like a starship that is being sucked slowly into the black hole of a giant recession, Captain Obama orders more power to the engines: "Warp 4... Warp 5." And as Starship America thrusts billions of dollars into the black hole, Captain Obama says, "There are glimmers of hope. We're not being sucked in as fast now as we were before."
Captain Obama ignores the fact that half of his crew is mutinous, and the other half is confused and in disarray. They are getting anxious about his lack of a sound plan. Captain Obama orders: "Warp 7... Warp 8." Yet, he seems oblivious to the fact that he is reaching the maximum capacity of his engines. "The auto industry on the starboard nacelle is starting to break-up Captain!", a voice on the com-link shouts. "Bring it to my ready room and I'll fix it myself," orders Obama. "I'll make it more energy efficient, and it will be able to pull us out of here," he states confidently.
But there are still dangers ahead. If Captain Obama goes past Warp 9 and Starship America somehow manages to break free from the black hole, there is a real possibility that the sling-shot effect will cause the vessel to go out of control and leave the space-time continuum altogether. It will then enter another dimension known as Hyperinflation. And then the real problems begin. Slowing down the starship to get out of Hyperinflation will cause gravity to kick back in and the ship will be dragged back to the black hole. But staying in Hyperinflation is like an endless feedback loop which drains the ship of energy. Eventually, Captain Obama will have to divert power from the life support systems to keep the ship running, but the crew will die a slow agonizing death.
And then more bad news: "Hull-breach on Decks California, New York and New Jersey!" The ship is starting to break apart. Now is the time for one of those unbelievable Star-Trek™ moments, when the Captain realizes the predicament he is in and orders the ship to turn around and head directly into the black hole. "But sir! We'll all be killed!", say the incredulous crew members. "Not if we divert all power to the shields," says the Captain. "It'll be a rough ride, but we'll end up on the other side of the black hole in one piece."
Will Captain Obama give the order? Or will the ship be destroyed?
To be continued...