Not That You Asked: Joe Lieberman Edition
There are a lot of frustrating things about the American democracy–its relentless focus on cults of personality, its willingness to give a media platform to any know-nothing willing to make an ass out of himself in public. But probably the most irritating is the sheer disproportionality of representation in our congressional chambers. Namely, that our elected representatives are allowed to make decisions that effect the entire country without being elected by the entire country.
I’m not sure what to do about this inherent lack of justice in our political system. At first, I entertained putting forth a system in which each state would have one senator they elected themselves, and the other be elected by nationwide vote. Then I remembered the sword cuts both ways. The world in many ways would be a better place if everyone believed exactly what I do (the italics, in this case, indicating facetiousness) but unfortunately that’s not the case. So I’m afraid we’re stuck with what we’ve got.
Which brings me to Senator Joseph Lieberman of the great state of Connecticut. Specifically, his threat to filibuster any health care bill that includes the so-called “public option.”
Why pick on Joe Lieberman? He’s not the only senator that opposes comprehensive health care reform. He’s not even the only senator from a state where I can’t vote to wield an obscene amount of power on a matter of major national policy. What about Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine? What about Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska? What about the myriad of Republicans in both houses of Congress who seem convinced that neither they or their loved ones (some of whom presumably are not covered by the excellent health insurance available to members of Congress) will ever become ill or be hit by a car or have their fingers get caught in a bread slicer?
Well, I’ll tell you: neither of them has threatened to kill legislation using a parliamentary procedure they spent part of 2006 trying to convince us was childish and petty and should be done away with in the name of good governance–the sinisterly named “nuclear option.” Also, I feel it only appropriate to recuse myself from all public discourse regarding Senator Ben Nelson given the nature of our previous personal relationship; namely, that he refused to buy a raffle ticket from me at the Omaha Children’s Museum fund-raising gala in 1991, on the grounds that he had “already bought two tickets from someone else.” You guys, those raffle tickets cost three dollars. Three dollars, that’s what it would have cost to keep a ten-year-old girl from sobbing her eyes out in the ladies’ room for an hour after she had spent all evening working up the courage to approach the current governor of her home state, only to have him turn her down flat. Three fucking dollars, and Ben Nelson wouldn’t pay it. I guess that’s what he means by “fiscal responsibility.”
The reason I feel particularly qualified to talk about Lieberman, however, is because unlike a lot of people who spend a lot of time attacking the gentleman from Connecticut on the Internet, I am pretty sure I can make it through this post without once alluding ominously toward the senator’s likely membership in the Elders of Zion. If Lieberman has any kind of dual allegiance, it’s to the Republic of Assholistan, not to what many web forum commentators queasily term “the Zionist entity.” And besides, what the hell does any of that have to do with health care? I mean, sure, a lot of Jews are doctors, but so are a lot of non-Jews, like Arthur Conan Doyle and Bill Frist and Josef Mengele. (I’m sorry. The constant Nazi imagery in this debate is starting to get to me. Also, I’ll bet you a million trillion dollars Michelle Bachmann has no idea who Mengele is, despite the her being clearly the result of a grisly medical experiment in which a J.C. Penney’s mannequin was implanted with the brain of a domestic turkey.)
So my advice today is two-fold. The first is for Senator Lieberman’s consituents (what the hell, anyone in the tri-state area). If the Senator makes good on his threat to filibuster health care reform, make the Senator himself your health care provider. It’s time to hold our elected officials responsible for the state of our care. Swarm his office in D.C. and demand his inexpert medical attention. I wouldn’t suggest that this is a good idea for serious concerns, but rather the minor, the hypochondriacal, the grotesque. These should get the point across. “Senator Lieberman, is this rash on my nipple anything to worry about?” “Senator, do you think this hemerrhoid needs surgery, or can I just keep rubbing it down with witch hazel?” “Joe, I have this abscess at the base of my coccyx, just above my anus, which is inflamed and oozing pus. Could you lance it for me, please?”
And Senator Lieberman, as for you, I suggest pulling your head out of your ass and doing the right thing for your constituency and the country. Otherwise, I shall be forced to bestow on you that oldest and most beloved of Yiddish curses, which given your well-documented ties to the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies, seems particularly apropos:
Oyf doktorim zol du dos avekgebn. You should give it all away to doctors.
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