Tai chi chuan is a Chinese system of slow meditative physical exercise designed for relaxation, balance and fighting the common cold. It is especially effective in creating harmonious bipartisanship and balance among the state or national legislators, who are losers anyway.

Bob Kalish observes life from a placid place on the island of Arrowsic (motto: You’re not in Georgetown yet). You can reach him at [email protected]

By practicing diligently the following sequence of movements, called the Sequence of Movements, practitioners will afterward find themselves relaxed yet alert. Or, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis once described it, “I’m in the zone, man.”

We start in the WARRIOR STANCE, where we stand with one leg in front of the other, feet shoulder-width apart, weight evenly distributed to both feet, arms at sides. Begin by bending elbows and bringing hands in front pockets, pulling them inside out to show they are empty. At the same time turn head away and close eyes, allowing lobbyists to silently refill pockets.

GRASP EARMARK, REPULSE LOBBYIST: Start from the WARRIOR STANCE, bring both hands up with palms out as if rejecting yet another Democratic socialist plan. At the same time raise left hand to waist high and turn body clockwise, as if turning away but actually presenting rear for amiable caress and access to back pocket. Return hands to sides and assume facial expression called in Mandarin, “What, me worry?”

Position 3, HANGING DIRTY LAUNDRY: Bring left hand even with your chest, elbow bent as if arm is draped with wet clothes. With right hand reach out and up and clench fist as if a clothesline is in your grasp. Meanwhile shake head side to side as if claiming ignorance of past escapades, in the spirit of bipartisanship and to balance chi energy. Finish with hands at side in SELFLESS REBUKE STANCE.

Position 4, FILIBUSTER FANDANGO: Raise hands to chest level to assume SHORT GUY GRASPING PODIUM STANCE. With mouth open lean forward on front foot while at same time bring rear foot to side in REPULSE SERGEANT AT ARMS STANCE with right arm extended, palm facing out. Finish with hands crossed behind the back in SILENT MORAL DEBATE STANCE.


Position 5, SHOOT TIGER, KISS BACKSIDE: With weight on right leg, bring left knee up towards chest. With shout of HUH quickly drop left foot and shift weight while bringing right knee up to chest. Hands at sides move up to chest high with palms facing sky in WHAT HAPPENED? STANCE.

Position 6, FAIR LADY WEAVES ENIGMA: Begin in WARRIOR STANCE facing opponent in aggressive manner. Shift weight to rear leg and kick with front leg to crotch, bringing opponent to realization that enlightenment is not easy.

Position 7, GRASP OBAMA’S TAIL: Turn to face budget cuts, assume BUZZARD STANCE, weight distributed 70/30, hands outstretched forward, parallel to ground. Sweep left hand to the left, right hand to the right, until both arms are perpendicular to your body Now bring hands together quickly so palms meet at opponent’s face, in what the Mongolians call a “dope slap.”

Position 8, PINCH MCCONNELL’S NOSE: Starting from WARRIOR STANCE, bring right hand up to chest high, extend hand with index and middle fingers bent into hook shape. Grasp opponent’s nose between the two fingers and squeeze until he says “No tax cuts for the rich.”

Position 9, BRUSH KNEE, REPULSE UNIONS: With weight distributed evenly on both legs, slowly bring arms up straight to chest level while making fists with both hands. Shift weight to left foot, bring right foot forward, at the same time bring open right hand to slap forehead as if just remembering why you were elected.

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