So I wake up on Christmas Eve morning to find that Senate Democrats have managed to pass their healthcare bill right along party lines. It’s just an event I am now referring to as the Worst Christmas Gift Ever.
The fact that the bill passed without a hint of bipartisan support isn’t surprising. I would even go so far as to say the regrettable comments coming from supporters of the bill are not surprising either, however, shouldn’t they be? Shouldn’t we as a nation, be slightly horrified at the pathological giddiness displayed by Senate supporters in what Rep. Mike Pence described as, “Washington at its worst” and Rep. Roy Blunt called a “train wreck”?
The shameless elation of grown men, and a few grown women, at passing a bill that will cost America 2.5 trillion dollars, raise taxes on every legal citizen drawing a paycheck, and probably kill cute puppies (ok, ok maybe not, conjecture not supported by facts) and ultimately serve to hurt those it purports to help should at the very least give one pause. And yet, at the end of all the angry protests, failed town hall meetings, irate letters to the editors, expletives yelled at the president representatives on T.V. from the privacy of our living rooms, and the pitifully low approval rating of Congress in general, Senator Harry Reid joyfully proclaimed, “We’re going to hear an earful, but it’s going to be an earful of wonderment and happiness that people waited for a long time.”
“WHAT is he smoking?” Was the first question that came to my mind, but then I made a serious attempt at explaining Reid’s remark in a manner that does not involve illicit drug use, and I may have come up with the answer. Given that only Maya Angelou and Doug Henning use the word “wonderment,” I had to ask myself, “what kind of mental filtration system does Harry Reid’s brain have that he is able to live in this country and not know how much the majority of Americans hate his stupid bill?”
Hate is a strong word I realize, but in this case, it fits, and let me explain why. The majority of Americans fully support the idea that everyone should have access to affordable health care. We want every legal citizen to benefit from the free market principles that make this country great, Wal-Mart affordable, and our healthcare the best in the world.
If legislators would just craft healthcare reform around the same simple principles that allow me to buy 500 rolls of two-ply toilette paper for the cost of movie ticket, individuals could have health insurance for a fraction of the cost of the government plan.
To quote Andrew McCarthy out of context, it is the willful blindness to the simple fix that has Americans hating this bill. Not to put too fine a point on it, but when pressed to defend their position a Senator is reduced to channeling their inner Bacchus (Baucus?) on the Senate floor, that tells us something. Therefore, I have concluded Reid must be using some kind of mental filter, a filter I have generously dubbed the Happy Harry Thoughts Filter. It really is the only explanation left for the massive mental block prohibiting Reid from hearing the resounding disapproval coming from the American people.
The Happy Harry Thoughts Filter seems to block all incoming objectionable information or comments, simultaneously replacing it with soothing platitudes designed to increase self-esteem and possibly aid digestion. It works something like this, objectionable comment: “Senator, 88% of Americans say they would rather eat shards of glass than see your healthcare bill pass.” What Harry hears: Filtered comment: “You’re the greatest man alive. Next year, Nobel Prize.”
Or maybe, “Senator, this healthcare bill will put us trillions in the hole, bankrupt us and basically hamstring future generations until the sun explodes.” Happy Harry Filter: “I like vanilla ice cream.”
I suspect that Senator Nelson may also have had the filter installed as condition of his deal to sell out the great state of Nebraska in an impressive deal that exempts Cornhuskers from paying the new federally mandated Medicaid costs. A recent Rasmussen poll supports the theory as evidence. Polls, generally speaking are annoying and mean nothing, but these numbers should mean something to Nelson. Nebraska is overwhelmingly opposed to this healthcare legislation 64% oppose it, 54% strongly oppose it. If the election were held today Nelson would lose to Governor Dave Heineman 61% to 30%. If the Senator were to reverse his vote on this one bill only 47% of Nebraskans would vote for Heineman and 37% would vote for Nelson.
As John Fund explains in his Wall Street Journal article, “the senator’s fall in public esteem is a direct reaction to his having voted for the health care bill.” So how does Nelson respond to the outrage of his constituency? A 30-second television spot during the Holiday Bowl explaining why the majority of Nebraska is wrong and he is right. Yes that should go over swimmingly. Nelson can ruin college football and insult his voters all in one sitting. Engage the Happy Harry Thoughts Filter. Objectionable comment: “Senator you will lose your next election if you vote for this bill.” Filtered comment: “Senator you’re incredibly popular with house pets.”
Now that I’ve identified what I believe is the source of the problem, is there a solution? Yes there is, while I don’t think it is possible to extract the Filter from its hosts without killing them in the process, we do have an alternative and that is to VOTE THEM OUT the next chance we get. Our ability to swiftly and peacefully excise bad leadership with the power of our vote is a precious resource our founding fathers believed Americans would always hold dear. It is an invaluable tool to remedy harmful representation. Nothing says you stink like the sting of a humiliating loss.