If you've ever been fortunate enough to visit Washington DC in August, you understand the custom of the federal government releasing all its high profile delinquents back into their home communities and calling it recess. DC was built on a swamp and walking around our Capital right now is like slogging through a sauna while wearing a lard- lined jogging suit made out of yak hair. But politicians seeking to escape the searing Beltway heat for some relative cool back home, found themselves entering a bipartisan blast furnace of half truths and misguided indignation. It's not only going to be a long hot August, it's going to be a loud one.
The scorching cacophony coming from town halls all over this great land of ours is getting hotter and shriller. Because as TV has taught us, louder is righter and Righter is Louder. And LOUDEST is RIGHTEST. They say that youth is wasted on the young, and after watching cable coverage of these staged outrages, you got to wonder if democracy might not be wasted on the dim. While the Democrats dismiss the protesters as angry out of control mobs, the GOP maintains they're just panicky citizens seeking honest discourse. So, as a compromise, we'll call them panicky mobs.
One problem is, a goodly portion of these panicky mobs is made up of conspiracy theorists convinced this is just another phase in our Kenyan born President's insidious plot to destroy the United States of America. Something liberals never accused Bush of. Even when he was trying to. As every anti war protest was distracted by gratingly sincere flippo- units dressed as giant sea turtles, legitimate concerns about health care are being hijacked by the black helicopter crowd. Those post libertarian types obsessed with getting big government not just out of their lives but out of everyone else's lives. And rain. That's no good either. Get rid of that too.
On the other hand, even stoned crazed long necked loons have genuine concerns about their physical well being. Most of us are afraid of our own doctors for crum's sake. Add in some stainless steel prods and procedures and providers and premiums and it can easily lead to combustive fasciculation. Which means blistered twitching. And now the plan is to throw a thousand plus pages of bureaucratic fixes into the mix? And our leaders still don't know why the populace is quivering like beads of water dancing across a pancake grill? Go fish.
The question is why now? Obama must have known the struggle to get a reform bill passed would make the Mideast peace talks seem as straightforward as sixth grade intramural basketball possession calls. Wasn't anybody paying attention when the Clintons tried this 16 years ago? I don't care what Teddy Kennedy was promised. Besides, he'll never know. So far, all you've managed to do is prompt the Republicans to salivate like winos at a distillery spill.
Sarah Palin warned that the developmentally disabled would be forced to appear at one of Obama's "death panels." That flies so far past dissent, it borders on terrorism. Methinks Ms. Palin's political career might have lost a death panel appeal. Virginia Foxx, (R- NC) accused the bill (that hasn't been written or committeed or voted on yet) of including provisions to kill the elderly, and come on, when you say stuff like that, you're going to freak people out. Especially the elderly. Let's not forget, the number one pre- existing condition in this country is the fear of getting old. Not to mention, the even less attractive... alternative.
Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who writes sometimes. This is one of them.