For as long as they've existed, politicians have bent language to avoid saying things that sound unpleasant. Once upon a time, the players in the major league of Washington, D.C. politics at least told their versions of truth with eloquence and style. My, how things have changed!
With countless examples of the media ignoring news that might damage Democrats, it seems this practice has bred a sense of security among the party's leaders. They even appear emboldened by their media allies as they get closer than ever to something they've craved for decades: complete control of the health care industry. To wit, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her band of Pelosheviks are compelled to tell us that things are not what we know they are. Last week, Pelosi said with a straight face (I've been waiting to use that line) that the expiration of the Bush tax cuts next year will not be a tax increase, but rather the "eliminating a tax decrease that was there." This would be funny stuff if she were not in charge of our nation's fiscal health. Don't hold your breath waiting for that kind of health reform.
Galling disrespect for the electorate is the only explanation for the absurd twists of facts and phrases coming from the Democrats. While that does not surprise those of us who have watched them closely for years, others can now see their antics in the raw. For example, we are treated to a budget-busting "stimulus" that the White House admitted has stimulated just about all it can. Likewise, we get a defense funding bill that includes anti-gay hate crimes legislation buried deep within it. With Republicans in Washington now irrelevant even to their constituents (Senator Lindsay Graham [R-S.C.] doesn't even know where the health care bills are being written), cries of GOP obstructionism sound cynical even to the politically clueless. Lacking a credible bogeyman to blame for the ugly legislative process and its unpopular consequences, however, the Democrats do not even pretend to talk frankly about their plans to control one sixth of the economy.
With unquenchable avarice for control over every health care decision in America, Democrats have ramped up their assault on transparency by writing the health care bill in total secrecy. They have used accounting ploys to camouflage Medicare payments to doctors in return for support of health care reform. As if nobody knew the history of fraud and waste in other entitlement programs, they insist that healthcare reform will not cost $2 trillion, but only $847 billion. Instead of acknowledging obvious funding problems in existing federal healthcare programs, we get the likes of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) telling Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett that Medicare is not headed toward insolvency, at least not before she turns eighty. I wonder what Ms. Wasserman Schultz would say about my own state of Tennessee's near-bankruptcy from its attempt at universal healthcare coverage known as TennCare. And of course, we recently saw the stammering, stuttering Nancy Pelosi suddenly changing the name of a public option to a "consumer option" or "competitive option" or whatever they may call it tomorrow.
Not to be upstaged in the realm of the absurd, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) this week broke from his own party, at least publicly, with a proposal allowing states to "opt into" a public option, but that was before he floated the trial balloon that the bill would allow states to "opt out" of the plan. Of course, no state would be allowed to "opt out" of the taxes, excuse me, fees imposed on everyone to pay for their healthcare reform. Is there something about the letters O, P, and T that brings smiles to the faces of Democrat focus groups? By now everyone knows of the rumored procedural vote that will allow certain "blue dog" Democrat senators to vote for healthcare reform before they vote against it. No doubt that would make John Kerry proud.
So is this the change you voted for America, a party of amateur David Copperfields with complete disregard for their audience? Yes, we are watching one of the worst shows of hocus-pocus this side of a travelling carnival, courtesy of the Democrats. We can even see the trapdoor in the back of the disappearing booth, but we cannot get to an exit.
Clumsy and shameless Democrat legerdemain is the political equivalent of someone saying, "Hey, look over there!" before swiping the sandwich away from his friend. Their trickery is immediately obvious, but they do not care how it looks. With help from their lackeys in the media, Democrats believe they can repair their image before the next midterm elections, at least enough to avoid a Republican rout. That explains their rush to pass the healthcare bill as soon as possible. They may even hope to benefit from the confusing messages and rumors aided by conferencing in locked rooms. As long as polls tell them that Americans prefer Democrats to Republicans, they may be right: "Hey, we're all rascals, but there are bad ones (Republicans) and less bad ones (Democrats). At least we're compassionate." Moreover, the confusion helps take the public's attention away from the serious rifts in their own party over the public option talisman.
Has America grown tired of the Democrats' utter disrespect for the electorate? Whatever the outcomes of gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey next week, we will know the answer with certainty in about a year. Democrats in Congress might think they will not suffer dire consequences for their recent shenanigans. Or maybe they know they will, and that is the cause of their desperate rush to pass healthcare reform regardless of how bad it makes them look.