I'm on Twitter as smitty_one_each (military supply unit of issue, as in pencils, box, dozen), if you care to suffer the tweets.
Tonight I had two hours of pure sunshine blown up an unusual location about the joys of single payer, which Jim Moran, my tool, supports. Had about a hundred tweets in two hours, which I will summarize here.
Going in 0:
Going in 1:
It was 2500-3000 people in a high-school gym, 99% European extraction, roughly 2/3 supporting the Longevity Abatement Legislation.
Howard Dean was there to answer Really Hard Questions.
There was some chanting. "Healthcare! Now!" Those against the madness were dropping the "w" to form "No". Guy behind me says "I guess we're sitting in the insurance company section." (The insurance companies were the Ultimate Scapegoat tonight. If you are an insurance company, we are now informed that you pray to Moloch and don't take care of your lawn.)
I replied, "No, Constitution supporter". He said, "F*** you". I replied "I love you too, sir." It's these more complex arguments you get from the left that baffle me.
Moran respects dissent, and said we were as American as apple pie for dissenting. Thanks, sir. He also assured us that the mythical death panels that didn't exist but were removed from the bill were not in the bill. Gotta save something for the signing statement. The way he circumlocuted the name "Palin" was fun.
Dean said "There is no industrialized country that has given over patient care to private companies". Like the private sector is somehow...unclean.
The Q&A was rigged and shameful. No one in the bleachers was aware of how to submit questions, which were binned for/against/moderate. One person was chewed for launching into a question that was not on the card, and therefore unscreened. I'll note that the words Federalism, Constitution, and 10th Amendment went unused by Moran.
Dean espoused comparative effectiveness methods. This is sort of like the medical equivalent of a Procrustean bargain, in a way. As long as the problem belongs to someone else, it's OK. I'm not an expert, so take this criticism with a grain of salt.
Howard Dean did seem to have heard of the Constitution, when that trick "Tort Reform" question came up. Seems that the bill would have reached a "too big" threshold. I guess big enough to kill a chihuahua when dropped from table height is OK, but a but a greyhound is right out. No, everyone has a right to a trial, that's in the Constitution (Dean's sole use of the 'C' word) but if you threaten the Sharks then the Shark (Judiciary) Committee takes a bite. Moran chipped in that the Judiciary Committee is 'partisan'. I do not know what that word means in this context.
The second hardest question was: When does reform become more important than cooperation? Moran punted. He said he didn't grasp the question. I admit it was slightly abstract, but I should think my Congresstool, as a tool, should know that we're asking how much you're willing to torque something that doesn't care to budge. Shear genius, since I pun when I'm tired.
Overall, I'm terrified. The righteousness of destroying liberty in the name of health care was a religious affirmation for the supporters. Down the road, we have to drive for something like the Federalism Amendment, and we may have to push for a historically unprecedented Article V suppository to plug the sucking pelvis wound marked by the Beltway.
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