Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to abort national health care

I don't know what role the sinister Senator Grassley thinks he should play in deciding what kind of national health care this country should have, but Dog In The Manger is probably not it. The arguments have been laid out for seven decades. It's time for at least this one "ranking member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee (and twice former Chairman)" to get out of the way of history.

It's odd. Grassley never was an idiot, but he always got elected in Iowa by playing the role of Mortimer Snerd and grabbing H. R. Gross' eponym (at least according to Republicans) of "conscience of the Congress."

In practice, Grassley's majority-style politics when Republicans held the Senate have been a strangler's grip on the carotid arteries of the poor and downtrodden — bankruptcy reform, a change few voters were clamoring for. Watching Grassley slog gleefully through the details of that process was disconcerting, like watching Hannibal Lecter toning up.

I don't know how vulnerable Grassley will be if he continues in this jugular vein when national health care comes to the floor, if it ever does. If it dies a-borning, Grassley will certainly get full credit for the abortion in most quarters.

Iowans love that Hickenlooper style, though. It's one Tom Harkin shares. We're a bunch of rubes out here in caucus country, bobbing for ethanol and Adam's apples where the tall potatoes grow.



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