Sunday, January 14, 2007

Straightening Out Washington

What with the situation in Iraq and the new crisis in Washington (the Democrat majority in Congress) I decided that I could best serve my country by traveling to our nation’s capital and being close to where the crime and misfeasance is actually being carried out. So I called the kids in from college, packed up the car and the four of us headed east (and a little bit north). I also figured that since my older daughters and their families lived nearby it would be convenient to take out time from my country-saving activities to say hello to them, especially since we hadn’t yet visited with them to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

My first exercise was to read Saturday's edition of The Washington Post, sure to contain much propaganda needing refutation. There on the Editorial Page was a prime example of the reasoning that has the U.S. in such a domestic swamp: “The Wrong Prescription – Government should not negotiate drug prices in Medicare.”

What? Wait a minute: That actually makes sense. Did my eyes deceive me? Have I mistakenly misunderstood the Post’s editorial position all these years?

My heart began to palpitate, my pulse quickened, my face flushed, and hyperventilation set in. Well, I managed to take a few deep breaths and down a glass of water, and I was able to read on, discovering references to market forces in the Post’s argument against government intervention, and a blatant criticism of the Democrat’s overly optimistic faith in government solutions to all problems.

Oh, Lord, it was starting up again: More deep breaths and another glass of water.

Then there was this: “These private insurers stand to profit if they can secure discounts and cut premiums and thus attract more customers …” Here was a cogent reference to common sense economics and a statement not condemning drug company profits in the same sentence. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wondered if I had died and gone to Heaven. And then this: “The Democrats’ stance is troubling because it suggests an excessively government-led view of health-care reform.”

Well, at that point I finally realized something had happened. Either it was a trick, or I was reading a column that resulted from an editorial coup at The Washington Post pulled off by people like William F. Buckley, Jr., and George Will.

The piece went on to poke holes in the Democrat’s theory and ended with “The better approach is to let each insurer offer its own version of the right balance [of available drugs through Medicare], see whether it attracts customers—and then adapt flexibly.”

I began to think that things were well in hand with Bill and George in control of the Post, and that I wasn’t needed after all. Then, like a flash of lightning, it dawned on me what was really going on. Bill and George hadn’t really taken over; the Left was still in charge of the Post. No, what had happened was that this almost perfectly reasonable and imminently sensible economic argument against the Democrats’ foolish proposal had been made from a typical liberal false and unconstitutional assumption: That government has any business whatsoever meddling in the health care of Americans, and that includes creating a Medicare program to begin with.

Well, it sure was a relief to realize that my faith in the Post to get it wrong was not misplaced and that the country still needs my services here in Washington. However, this ordeal has left me too fatigued to provide any help for a couple of days. I guess I’ll just rest up today, and head back to God’s country tomorrow and get back to work pushing back the frontiers of ignorance from the comfort of my desk.

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