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What's Up With Healthcare Reform?
Sleight Of Hand Arithmetic
Alanis Morisette is a singer-songwriter who weds catchy tunes to consequential words.
In the appropriately entitled song Ironic, she makes many wry observations, but the following one really does say it all: “Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you…When you think everything's okay and everything's going right…”
It certainly is ironic that with the healthcare reform package before us, many seem compelled to tell us that everything’s okay and everything’s going right.
Pundits and administration spokespeople appear to be reading the same talking points.
Perhaps it is simply my strong libertarian leanings coupled with an X Files distrust of government, but at the risk of being an alarmist, I wonder what might be sneaking up on us.
A line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth is fine commentary on the jigsaw puzzle of healthcare reform: “Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!”
The package has been pieced together to fit imaginary numbers with a sleight of hand that is astonishing in its brash disregard for common sense arithmetic.
Everything's Going Right?
There is nothing noble or altruistic here; watching the scripted intrigues of Nancy Pelosi and company makes me believe that the observation about football attributed to Vince Lombardi truly does apply to partisan politics: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
What chicanery will be employed for victory to be declared? I am no prophet and do not have a crystal ball, but given the litigious age in which we live, there are surely teams of lawyers ready to charge in and jam up the court system in an effort to overturn the rules of engagement.
Is that a crazy idea or actually a distinct possibility? In the present adversarial atmosphere where activist judges routinely create legislation in their own image, it is no nut-job idea.
Law has been placed in a blender and mulched into a gooey mess, then poured out to be interpreted like the ink-spots of a Rorschach test. One by one all the objective standards have been eliminated, then replaced by the shouts of special interest groups empowered by talking head celebrities. In all the confusion and chaos we are far closer to the shifting tyranny of mobocracy than we are to rule of law.
It is a tragedy that something as complex and crucial as healthcare has been transformed into a back-alley punch-out complete with nasty threats and language, but should we be surprised? Isn't it just the continuing downward spiral of the not very appealing slash and burn politics of personal destruction?
We have been on this track for awhile, so the grotesque three-ring circus should not be a surprise. Outright lies, name-calling, misrepresentations and manipulating the reasonable definition of words is how politics is practiced nowadays.
Each side contributes to the discord by deploying a plethora of linguistically skilled spin-doctors who parse phrases while lapdog litigators search for precedent to circumnavigate the law. War-rooms that devise strategies to divide and demonize opposition are now the norm, so the polarized camps are merely conforming to the established model.
Nobel Prize Winner
President Obama ought to be involved in round the clock negotiating sessions with those who oppose his agenda. Instead, he is making speeches, talking nice and playing well with others as he engages all those who agree with him, which is kind of funny given the honor recently bestowed upon him.
On October 9, 2009 he received a Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”, which caught many by surprise but likely boosted his self-esteem and ego.
Not sure which particular hotspot in the world has been cooled off because of his leadership; not sure if justification for the choice can ever be legitimatized when one glances at history: Mohandas Ghandi was never awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and he merely dismantled the British Empire’s rule in India using a remarkably well organized and disciplined program of peaceful nonresistance.
What Do I Know?
Maybe President Obama can now go out and earn the prestigious prize by applying his gifts and extraordinary efforts to bring cooperation between the peoples who make law in this country; maybe he can calm or placate the extreme voices in both parties that are clogging up the airwaves; maybe he can strengthen internal diplomacy by demonstrating genuine bipartisanship.
Will President Obama wield real influence to hammer out the differences between the far-left and far-right; will he forge a common ground centrist solution? Or will this high priority and much hyped initiative become a legislated masterpiece of confusion?
What’s up with healthcare reform is this: A slick sell-job, shouting voices and the arm-twisting politics of one-upmanship will triumph, and then according to some everything will be going right.
However, the irony is exquisitely frightful: When everything’s okay, who can guess what long-term debacle will sneak up on us?
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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