Thursday, December 24, 2009

Reid, Greed, and the Status Quo

Frustration doesn't even begin to describe my reaction to Senator Harry Reid's latest comments regarding the pending heathcare legislation.

Shocked? No, politicians have been greasing their own palms for years.

Angry? No, I'm way past mere anger when it comes to the shameless duplicity and vapid rhetoric of Washington.

As if the current healthcare debate isn't nerve-wracking enough, on Monday, Senator Reid casually acknowledged the key problem with Washington today. He wasn't even trying to; as if he realizes it's way too late to try and cover up anything anymore.

When asked by an NBC reporter if the buy-out of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson (in which Senate Democrats bribed Nelson by paying for Nebraska's medicare costs) was an ethical way of doing business, Reid brushed off the question by saying he wasn't going to go through the bill and address all of the other parts of the legislation that were cobbled together through bribes, pay-offs, and downright pork.

It's as if Reid didn't even recognize that pork is one of Washington's most destructive habits. He could have answered, "Well, we've got a ton of pork in this thing, and it would take too long to go over it with you item by item. Besides, the pork is really what this bill is all about. This is another opportunity for us to bring the bacon home to our individual constituents - in other words, sleazy lobbyists. The fact that President Obama has allowed us to cloak all of this garbage in the guise of fixing healthcare for all really helps us obscure what we're really up to in these closed-door arm-twisting sessions. But as I said, we really don't have time to get into that right now. Besides, most of the media won't report it anyway, so we'd be wasting each other's time, wouldn't we? There's a good lap-dog, right, boy?"

By wilfully stating that the Senate's healthcare bill is full of pork and other gratuitous spending, Reid both confirms the fallacy of this and other recent legislation, and also the entrenched modus operandi of people elected to Washington. To read more, check out this article from the New York Times, whose writers also seem taken aback by Reid's brazenness.

Obviously, this bill is about more than healthcare. It's more than the hollow platitudes of insurance for all and reduced healthcare costs. It's even more than trying to achieve a historic decision that will become a keystone to American society, grander than Social Security and Medicare. It's more than anything good that even the most altruistic optimist could ever hope for in this bill.

It's about greed.

And with greed as the centerpiece of this grand initiative, how can it possibly benefit anybody else but the players in the game, the people who have "crafted" this legislation to serve their own ends? How can the senators who held out for the biggest pork payout say they're working for the common good? How will all of this pork save taxpayers - who are also healthcare customers - any money?

For shame, Harry Reid.

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