There was a great early bit on Saturday Night Live where Chevy Chase played Vlad the Impaler's neighbor. He calls on him to complain. Vlad asks him about what?
"The Impalings. It's the noise."
"What noise — it's just a soft squishy sound," Vlad answers.
"I mean the screaming."
"Well," says Vlad, "I'm not responsible for that part."
When President Obama repeatedly claims that if you like your current health insurance you can keep it under his plan, he's being as disingenuous as Vlad. If the plan crammed through committee by his party's House leaders with his support stays, many businesses will convert to the cheaper government option and you won't keep your plan. Worse, you won't be able to buy another private one because the bill also prevents you from doing so. Obama is blowing smoke on this and other provisions.
The issue is about to morph into a bigger one. The 2010 election may transcend the current health care debate and be decided by the attitude of those debating.
The left wing of the Democratic Party combined with normal Beltway arrogance and the Chicago mentality of the current administration makes a poisonous brew. Add the moral superiority and failure to attribute to your opponents any decent motivations prevalent in modern liberalism, and you're talking suicide potion.
The best example is, unfortunately for them, an honest belief that all those tea parties and town hall attendees are "Astroturf" and brought in by "paid organizers." This stems partly from projection — when they do a "spontaneous rally," it's always planned. You can tell by the printed signs done in advance, the assigned speakers with pre-set talking points, the union T-shirts and the centralized approach. They can't do a demonstration without paid staff. Therefore neither can anybody else. Think back on the anti-Bush demonstrators of the past few years. Also recall how nasty they were.
News flash to those claiming "big pharm and insurance" are secretly behind opposition to Obamacare. Obama already sold out to big pharm by banning purchase of Canadian meds, and opposing Republican efforts to allow insurance to move over state lines. That has the insurance lobby watching and waiting. They also kinda like that "everybody has to buy it" provision.
The other part comes from arrogance and over-reach. A 53 percent win is not a mandate. It's a lot of other things that can go south in a hurry, as the GOP discovered after 2004. Obama needs to grasp that he isn't FDR, who stomped Hoover in 1932. It would also help if he grasped that FDR did not have a daily fireside chat.
Which leaves that batch of Dems called Blue Dogs, aptly described by John McCain as dogs who bark but don't bite and end up rolling over and playing dead. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is one. My wife was surprised — Kathy thought it hard to think of Gabby in terms of solid colors. "Wouldn't she be more like a pastel?"
Gabby is not holding face-to-face town halls. She gave some Mickey Mouse reason, but the real one is she can't take any heat. She's never really had anything but beachballs tossed her by the local media.
Handling unruly crowds used to be a necessary talent for a successful politician. Check question time in the Brit Parliament as an example. Gabby is no Tony Blair. And certainly no Maggie Thatcher.
Many Democrats are attacking the messengers who are their own constituents. Others, like Gabby, are avoiding them. Most are into denial about the real problem, which is a lousy health care bill.
A good medical analogy concerns illness diagnosis. When you hear hoofbeats, don't think zebras.
Hear Emil Franzi and Tom Danehy Saturdays 1-4 p.m. on KVOI 1030AM.