Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's with the Republicans?

I was listening to the talking heads on the news last night, sniping at each other over the proposed health care bill which is currently trying to overcome its last hurdle in the Senate. Gone is the public option, as good as gone is the Medicare buy-in for people who are old enough to worry that their retirement portfolio might not be big enough yet. In place is the government forcing us to buy into insurance that may or may not be more affordable. So while I was listening to this bit of news being debated, and mulling it over, a question cropped up in my mind, and kept nagging and nagging at me -- because the question makes so much sense, and I don't hear anybody else asking it. Could it be that, as usual, I'm the only one to have thought the whole damned thing through? Well, maybe not, but I'm starting to think I've thought it over far better than the folks in the Senate have.

Here's the question that's been bugging me, and you tell me if it makes sense: With this new version of the bill, why are Republicans not overwhelmingly in favor of it?

Seriously! Imagine, just for a moment, the Republicans were in charge, and drafted a health care reform bill. What would it look like? I think the answer you'd come up with is -- EXACTLY LIKE THE HEALTH CARE BILL WE HAVE NOW!!!

I mean, no public option, no expansion of any role for government, government mandated customers for insurance companies... Is this not exactly the way Rush Limbaugh would have drafted a bill? So why on earth are Republicans not for this? Why are they still universally opposed to what the Democrats are doing? What's gotten into this topsy-turvey, bass-ackward world we're living in?

The best answer I can come up with is that Republicans are doing this for the humor value. It must be all they can do to sit on the Senate floor and not bust out laughing their asses off at how they've got the Dems doing their dirty work for them like a bunch of goddamned marionettes! And, I've gotta admit, it's pretty funny. I'd laugh, except the whole thing makes me feel sick.

(Crap, I hope I don't need a doctor, or I'm fucked.)

It could also be that they realize that if they do a 180 degree turn-around, that Democrats would snap out of their zombie-like trance and realize that they've been following the pied piper right out of town like a pack of rats. Besides, as long as they stay firmly opposed to whatever Democrats do, the perception will always be that Democrats are socializing healthcare (because that's what Democrats DO, isn't it?). So tea-parties continue to protest the handing over of healthcare to a communist agenda, oblivious to the fact that it's being clearly sacrificed to Almighty Indemnity.

L'avante garde!

Or maybe they're opposed to it because they're afraid that any bill that gets past the Senate, even something that merely guarantees bananas for monkeys, is likely to get a public option re-introduced to it when it's reconciled with the House bill.

Do we dare hope for that kind of a last-second touchdown? Given how this has gone so far, I'm not counting on it.

Eric

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