Thursday, December 24, 2009

Health Reform Corruption -Yes, Senators, There Is A Santa Claus

December 24, 2009 – Everywhere I go these days – to Staples, the Post Office, the Convenience Store, the Supermarket – people are expressing outrage at the deal Senate Leader Harry Reid cut with Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Reid agreed to pay for Nebraska Medicaid patients out of federal funds forever. In the minds of ordinary citizens, Reid’s other deals - multibillion dollar gifts to Senator Landrieu of Louisiana, Senator Dodd of Connecticut, Senator Saunders of Vermont, and God knows how many other Senators – pale compared to the unlimited largess Reid bestowed upon the Senator and people of Nebraska. Even the other Nebraska Senator, a Republican, is outraged.

The rest of the country feels husked and hustled.

Be not angry, you people of this great nation. Be astonished. You are witnessing a miracle – the transformation of a wiry and wily Senator leader, known derisively to his critics as Dirty or Dinghy Harry because of evasive tactics and miniscule legislative record to a magnanimous Bingey Santa Claus.

Diminutive, sad-sack, looked-down-upon Harry has suddenly become the esteemed jolly red giant of the Senate. OPM, Other People’s Money, viz, taxpayer money, has become his money for re-distribution to Democratic Senators.

Harry is on a spending binge of unprecedented scale. He is applying skills he may have learned at the Roulette Wheels in Vegas and Dealings at crap and card tables to the backrooms of Washington. He is practicing Wheeling and Dealing as a high art form.

Do not worry about the scruples of it all. As they say in Moscow, when you have the rubles you don’t need the scruples. Harry may not be a bundle of charisma, but he has the position and wherewithal to buy votes to do Obama’s bidding while the President levitates above it all.

Do not concern yourself about Harry’s ultimate fate. He may lose his Senate seat come November. But no matter. His family members are already well-known and established Washington lobbyists, and he can simply join the family firm.

Who knows? Reid may go down in history as a masterful legislative strategist and tactician, how far down no one knows. Maybe Reid's deals will be declared unconstitutional. And maybe history will judge the moral noble ends - 31 million more insured and coverage for pre-existing conditions - as justifying the immoral ignoble means.

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