Anime conventions are fun events where attendees dresses up like anime cartoon characters, role-play those characters and even talk like the character they're portraying. But it's all performative. Attendees are just play-acting.
Meaning that anime conventions are a lot like the extremist wing of the Republican Party in the U.S. House of Representatives — minus the fun part. These radical members of the House majority dress up like lawmakers, talk like lawmakers and play the part of lawmakers, but they don't do actual lawmaking. Instead, they're all about theatrics designed to "own" their political opposition, grab media attention and drive political donations while ignoring legislation that might solve problems, or improve people's lives.
Witness the fight to avoid a government shutdown in which the performative wing of the Republican Party is threatening to let the federal government come to a screeching halt on Sept. 30 unless they get the draconian spending cuts they demand. Cuts that would be dead on arrival in a U.S. Senate under Democratic control, and the House radicals know it. Oh, and they're also insisting that construction be resumed on a border wall with Mexico, a symbolic barrier that's proven to be an "expensive failure."
Politics is the art of compromise, as any serious lawmaker knows and as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy seems to realize. But McCarthy can't even convince the radicals in his party to agree to debate legislation to extend defense spending — a longtime pet cause for Republicans. Attending to the mundane details of keeping the government running without any manufactured drama doesn't attract TV cameras.
Another similarity between anime conventions and the radical Republican fringe in the House? Anime conventions are also referred to as "cons."
Twitter — I mean X — has been abuzz with some interesting takes on a potential government shutdown: