Benjamin Reeves | March 1 2013 4:39 EST
Sadly, the Force is not strong with President Obama, and it seems that there is no hope for preventing the impending sequester which will automatically cut $86 billion in government spending at the end of the day Friday unless Congress acts to avert it. President Obama, channeling some Star Wars lore, told reporters midday Friday that like it or not, he could not force Congress to prevent the sequester from taking place.
"Even though most people agree that I'm being reasonable -- that most people agree I'm presenting a fair deal, the fact that they [Congress} don't take it means that I should somehow ... do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right," President Obama said midday Friday.
Setting aside the fact that the Commander-in-Chief probably meant to say "Jedi mind trick" rather than "mind meld" (a mind meld is a communication technique practiced by the Vulcan's in the TV show Star Trek), we should probably be glad that, Jedi or not, the President is now using force powers to control Congress. Here's three reasons why:
1: If the President (or anyone else) used Jedi mind tricks to control Congress, it would mean one of two things. Either the Congress would be controlled by Hutt crime lords (remember that Luke Skywalker attempted to use Jedi mind tricks on Jabba the Hutt) or the President would be a Sith Lord. Using mind control techniques on a democratically elected body would almost surely violate the Jedi code. In the Star Wars saga, Senator Palpatine manipulates the Republic government to gain control and found the Galactic Empire.
2: Having President or any government official in possession of Jedi powers would almost certainly trigger another Cold War. To have any chance of being successful in diplomatic negotiations, every major super-power would be forced to develop their own Jedi training programs to avoid having their negotiators manipulated at the bargaining table. Nations would either have to agree to cooperatively fund the Jedi through an organization like the United Nations in a similar way to the Jedi Academy in the Star Wars movies, or they would have to compete to develop their own domestic programs.
3: If the President was a Jedi, he would most likely institute crippling austerity measures due to the vow of poverty required of all Jedi. According to Wookieepedia, "In accordance with their philosophies of non-attachment, clothing was viewed as quite disposable. Indeed, possession itself was seen as forbidden as another form of attachment, and most Jedi lived out their lives of material poverty, though the Order's infrastructure and the support of the Republic meant the Jedi did not lack for food, housing, or clothing." While it is clear that a Jedi President would see the need for government to provide basic necessities to citizens, many programs which are considered fundamental to the federal government might be eliminated for purposes of simplicity.
Of course, this might mean that a Jedi president would implement many social safety net programs while eliminating spending in other areas, potentially pleasing both Democrats and Republicans. Either way, the massive spending cuts in defense and infrastructure could cripple the economy in the short-term.