Monday, August 24, 2009

If it sounds like madness....

IN HER book, A Distant Mirror, a voluminous account of the troubled 14th Century, Barbara Tuchman writes of the collapse of French King Charles VI's mind - insanity. "Madness," she keenly observes, "was familiar in the Middle Ages in all its varieties."

In some respects, I find that consoling to those of us who have been forced to witness a total collapse of some of those weaker links who are trying to infuse the public with the evils of public health insurance. Since President Obama took office and continued to raise a subject that carried him through his election campaign, his opponents are all but resorting to the Medieval culprits of witchcraft and sorcery to deceive the public.

The vanguard of opposition includes some Medicare-eligible (!) Republican and Democratic senators who could care less about the wisdom of single payer health care than they do about putting Obama in his place. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the witless Iowa Republican, has been changing his position on health care reform by the hour, first scaring his town hall audience that you can throw your grandma under a bus, or wherever, with a provision in the bill that Sarah Palin narrowed down with the simplicity that even a moose could appreciate - death panel. Then Grassley sort of recanted by lying, asserting that it was the Obama crowd that was guilty of overplaying the "death panel" card while he was trying to play with a full deck. Finally, he insisted that when he spoke to his town hall, he was merely repeating Obama's words and meant no harm by it. The man insults himself and all mindfully alert 75-year-olds every time he sets out to explain what he last said by contradicting himself. .

Next comes Sen. Max Baucus, the conservative Montana Democrat who has a death lock on his Senate Finance Committee that's working on a bill. But he may want to check his state's latest polls. Not encouraging for his line of work.

I was beginning to enjoy some relief from the absence of Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut's hybrid contribution of a man for all seasons - Democrat, McCain supporter, Independent. A moralistic whiner, Joe was back on the tube Sunday maintaining that although health care is a serious moral concern, Obama-style health care reform should wait for a fix until after the recession, whenever that may be. But he could change his mind tomorrow.

Finally, there were John McCain and Orrin Hatch, two septuagenarians who say a health-care bill would be ready to pass if Sen. Ted kennedy were in charge of its fate. Minor problem: Back in the 90s, when Kennedy did offer a plan, McCain and Hatch voted against it.

It's maddening. Clearly not all of the farmers are in their dells these days. Back in the days of Mad King Charles all sorts of quacks came forward with their miracle potions to restore his mind. Today, the opposite is true. It's the quacks who are in need of the miracle potions.


Anonymous said...

The Republican Party of "No!" is working tirelessly to repeat 1994.
This time they have a boogey man to scare older/southern voters and a buzz word for the ignorant - "socialism". Watching seniors at these townhalls telling the government to get their hands off medicare and social security is funny and sad at the same time. I do believe that the Republicans should get behind their words and propose legislation aimed at immediately ending the socialists programs of medicare, medicaid, and social security for the seniors sake. That would put teeth behind their bark against their calls of socialism in America. I do wonder what the seniors will think of that.

Mencken said...

In regards to "if it sounds like madness" Michelle Bachmann said recently that she'll run for president if god calls on her to do so.

Rumor has it that God was heard singing to Michelle that old country tune, "If the phone don't ring, you'll know it's me".

fargo said...

It is indeed madness...and everyone shares the blame.

Republicans, for not understanding or caring that we are close to the edge on the health care bubble and when it bursts it may consume 1/2 of the Amrrican tax paying public.

Obama, for not using the power of the presidency to ram this thing home.

The Unions, for undercutting reform at every turn to maintain power with their membership.

The Democrats for being spineless and gutless.

One hero may be Congressman Tim Ryan who had a phone in town hall last night and calmly and with conviction laid out the stakes on this issue. Too bad Max Baucus was too busy counting the million plus he recieves from the insurance industry to notice.

marvkatz said...

To all members of Congress who oppose government-funded health care:

Reject the coverage you receive by virtue of your seat in Congress!

I didn't know hypocrisy could grow without fertilizer, but it is.

Grumpy Abe said...

But they do have fertilizer! It's called cash from the health insurance industry.