Health Care

I wish I could chalk it up to some grand confluence of life-events that have kept me from writing seriously lately, but I’ve been trapped in some strange nether region between not wanting to crank out pretentious blather and not giving a shit. Too much work at the moment, methinks. Or maybe I’ve just run out of shit to be angry about.

Well hell, we all know that’s not true.

Lets start with Republicans. This week house debate on the health care bill turned to serious issues when R’s, in their 60 second allotted slot, took issue with the size weight and number of sheets of paper used in the bill. An intelligent discussion on the merits of a public option? No we got protests on the weight of the bill. Awesome.

Republicans are making political theater of the bill’s bulk. Rep. Roy Blunt (R. Mo.) said the bill is longer than War and Peace (1,225 pages) and the King James Bible (1,291 pages). Rep. Michael Burgess (R., Texas) stood on top of a copy at a Capitol Hill rally this week to view the crowd. Rep. Steve Scalise (R., La.) uses a dolly to wheel it between Capitol Hill meetings.

Then of course, you have the whole thing coming down to a nail-biter of a vote because of, what else – abortion. I’m sorry but how the fuck can our priorities be this out of whack? I believe in a women right to choose, but I’d also like her to get good preventative care over the course of her lifetime? These are the choices we have to make? Could we work gay marriage, don’t-ask, don’t-tell, and maybe whether or not the Yankees pay their players too much into the bill as well?

About 40 moderate House Democrats say they will oppose the bill unless it ensures federal subsidies are not used to pay for abortions. Members who favor abortion rights said they will not allow the bill to exceed current restrictions on using federal money to finance abortions.

Can we please, just for a month or two, pretend like this isn’t one giant campaign and pass a meaningful law? After that we can go back to ethics investigations and congressional page scandals for as long as you guys want. Hell, bring back Ted Stevens just so you can kick him out again, but for the love of god, we really need to pass this thing.

Maybe this is a by-product of me getting most of my news off the internet and The Daily Show, but it seemed to me last year we were poised for grand intellectual debates in our houses of government, new eras of understanding, bi-partisanship, etc. Now we have the Fox News Tea Parties (I’d like to meet the evil genius behind that PR stunt), Town Hall meetings gone horribly wrong and let’s face it, a tone of Bush-era pessimism.

Maybe that’s the root of the lack of inspiration of late – it’s hard to see your hopes so horribly dashed. But at least it gives me something to be pissed about.