To the relief of a worldwide audience, the final round in the American political game of Brinkmanship, known as the Debt Debacle, ended earlier in the week after a bruising month of play. Both teams in this year’s event suffered injuries and will take August off to recover.
“They really outdid themselves,” says one onlooker. “We needed an act of Congress to end the Debt Debacle.”
Brinkmanship, a sport for the inner jock that is played out in shady backrooms in Washington DC, can be confusing. Rules change depending on which team is in the lead, and the deadline for ending the game frequently shifts. Both spectators and players often lose track of which side has the most points.
Unlike other sporting events, the condition and training of the players matters little in Brinkmanship. Instead, who’s ahead at a given moment depends on how much spin a team can put on its message. The goal of the game is to convince the audience the action is real, even though everyone involved knows the outcome from the beginning. Fans say that’s what makes Brinkmanship worth watching.
“I’m looking forward to the fall playing season,” says Pnut Gallry, who kept track of the Debt Debacle from his home in the Hinterlands. “How will they top this?”