Free Markets, Free People

weekend at bernie’s


Vote for your favorite metaphor for the healthcare bill (with update)

I saw that the Democrats are attempting yet again to reanimate the stinking corpse known as the healthcare bill. Will another jolt of electricity do the trick? Is Obama playing Dr. Frankenstein in the lab? (“That’s Frahnkensteen.”)

Or is this more like Weekend at Bernie’s, a complex kabuki to avoid facing the reality of the bill’s death?

Or perhaps zombies give us the best metaphorical comparison.
I see two key similarities between the Democrats’ healthcare initiative and a zombie.

1. It refuses to die.

2. It apparently eats people’s brains.

Of course, no zombie comparison would be complete without Bob Hope’s famous take:

But then I’m also reminded of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch: “This healthcare bill wouldn’t vrooom if you put 12,000 volts through it.”

So what’s your take? Which of the following metaphors best fits the current state of the healthcare bill?

I really don’t know what to think. The Democrats have apparently concluded that they must pass a healthcare bill at any cost, no matter how high. And I’m not just talking about money.

The risks in pursuing this course are enormous. If current public perception trends continue, Democratic candidates will be in a hole Bill Clinton couldn’t dig out of.

They seem intent on pushing an unpopular healthcare strategy closer and closer to elections, without any assurance that they can get it through. The Blue Dogs could easily abandon them in the House, the Republicans may find various ways to throw sand in the works in the Senate, and even if their bill passes, the Republicans will almost certainly campaign on repealing it. That might provide just the issue they need to get back to majority status.

The Democrats’ entire strategy seems predicated on the idea that if they pass government-dominated healthcare, they will eventually seal their own dominance of the federal government by becoming the arbiters of who gets the goodies. Maybe. But FDR’s New Deal didn’t stop Republican strength in the 1950s, and Johnson’s New Deal didn’t keep Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan from winning big. Just because government-dominated healthcare was the irreversible gate to a welfare state in various European nations doesn’t mean it will do the same thing with we cross-grained Americans, especially when the costs kick in long before the goodies.

Can they actually pass a bill and get it to stick? Looks pretty far-fetched to me. But it’s pretty clear that they’re not prepared to give up.

**** Update Sunday, 21 Feb, 8:30 AM CST ****

Zombie Democrats is the clear favorite at this point, getting just over half the votes, though all four seem to have some support. Weekend at Bernie’s is a respectable second.

In the “Other” category, poll respondents made these suggestions:

From Princess Bride, we have an only-mostly-dead Wesley, which is a pretty good one that I wish I’d thought of.

Night of the Living Dead was also a suggestion. I had actually thought about that one, but left it off since it’s another zombie option. Still, I do sometimes feel like we’re trying to hide from zombie-like politicians who claim to be trying to help us, though they really only want brains power.

There was another suggestion for “Highway of Death”, which I presume refers to the slaughter of the Iraqi occupiers of Kuwait on the highway they used to flee. I don’t really get that one. Maybe if Scott Brown, Chris Christie, and a few other Republicans were cast in the role of A-10 Warthog pilots mowing down helpless Democratic politicians trying to flee the wreckage of their party’s over-reaching, you might be able to make it work. But I doubt this is what the poll respondent had in mind.