You know how I told you that we'd be able to get you that hip replacement just as soon as the Preznit got this health care mess all sorted out?
Well, maybe not... on account of I'm reading in the Blogtubes that the Preznit is about to sell us out and let the Republicans kill the public option in exchange for 0 votes. I know, it's a pretty steep bargain there, but hopefully all those Republican ideas that get worked into the legislation will make it so great that it will TOTALLY ROCK and we will forget all about that poor public option in the woozy aftermath of realizing how awesome tiny little toothless co-ops are. They sure are cute, especially when they try to gum an acorn. Squee!
But I got to thinking, Spot -- oh yes, I know I've been told not to do that but it sometimes still happens... sort of like ghost limb pain after an amputation, except in this case my head is still mostly there. But anyway, with a head full of hurt and a heart full of sadness, I thought this:
Back before Obama was a Senator, he said we needed single payer health care in this country. Said it wouldn't be easy, and might take place in small steps over a couple of decades, but that's what we really need to fix us up. Single Payer, baby. It's what's for dinner. In 2027.
Well later, after being a Senator and all, when he was a Prez-o-dential candidate -- he said that any meaningful health care reform must contain a public option large and big and huge enough to have sufficient clout to bargain down costs and keep the insurance industry honest -- otherwise the whole dang thing wouldn't work. Sure did. You can look it up.
Nowadays, Preznit Obama is telling us that a public option is important, but not that important.... except that it is, but it's really just a sliver, and definitely isn't the thing we should be focused on to the exclusion of all others in our debate -- like, for instance, the 'Don't Eat So Much' provisions that will help us not eat so much, and the 'Death Panels', which actually look pretty great when you tack them to the side of an Econoline van -- on account of they are all Heironymus Bosch type of spooky! Then Obama says, "Wait -- this isn't even the public option you were looking for!" while kind of wiggling his hand around. And we go, "Wait, what? Yes it is, it's exactly the one we were looking for." Then he starts talking about how good the soup is.
Well, even though the soup really is pretty dang good, the poor public option has clearly now fallen on hard times, status wise. It's sort of lying on the ground right now, not moving at all. Kind of like a potato. Or that ball lying there, which has a bell inside and is pink and smells like peanut butter.
I have another wave of painful thought, and say, "We must ask ourselves a few questions about this potato, Spot. For the good of the country, and for potato(e)s everywhere. First, let me ask you one:
Me: Why would a prezit want to turn the public option into a pink ball... potato?
Spot Licks his chops and whines a little bit.
Me: Right. He could just be hungry.
Spot: Growls at the floor, and picks up the ball in his mouth and thrashes his head side to side for a little bit, and drools on my shoe.
Me: Right again. He might just hate that potato now! Er, public option. Maybe it tastes bad?
Spot: Lies on floor and ogles the ball wistfully with dreamy eyes, every so often nudging it a bit closer to me.
Me: Reaches down and picks up the ball.
Spot: Howls a keening cry of loss and woe!
Me Oh. Oh right. I squint and my mouth moves a little. Hey! Maybe he loves it so much, he's afraid to lose it. Hmm. So maybe by not being all handsy and kissyface with it in public he's hoping nobody else will want to pick it up one night when he pops out for a burrito, or something. Maybe he was hoping that by the time everything needed to be put all together nobody would even know that ball... er, potato was even there. I mean look at it! It's small and pink and round and it has a bell in. Plus it smells like Skippy. Who would be afraid of that?
Spot: Makes a complicated series of facial gestures that I take to mean, 'Well, either that or he sold out all of his principles for a couple of votes!
Me: That is ridiculous! He has a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and a huge majority in the House!
Spot: Grabs a pen, and writes this:
"Rahm says we still don't have the votes."
Us, in unison: Rahm is going to steal the potato!!!
Later on, after I beat Spot repeatedly at UNO, Spot writes a final note:
"Hip still hurts"
Me: There, there, Spot. I'll just sell some more plasma. Only 223 pints to go! I pass out.
Spot hides the ball... potato... public option under the sofa, then limps out to find a torpid squirrel.
Meanwhile.... I dream. I dream of pie. Sweet potato pie. And there's plenty for everybody.
The potato under the couch that is actually a ball but is really the public option is oddly quiet. But under the couch is a pretty safe place to be around here, as places go. Maybe it'll be safe there. Who knows?