Why the Democrats Should Call It 'KennedyCare'
Politicizing Senator Kennedy's death by renaming the sinking health care bill in his honor seems to be an excellent way to memorialize the man, and I hope the Democrats do just that. The health care legislation, now heavy with miseries like the public option, Medicare cuts for the elderly, and invasive information gathering on American citizens, will either be:
1) Eviscerated to appease moderates, which will make the bill simply about saving President Obama's bacon -- something that Senator Kennedy would do if still alive.
2) Pushed through the House and Senate with its current language to satisfy the statist progressive impulse which certainly drove Teddy Kennedy. Only problem? Because of a law that Senator Kennedy made specifically to benefit Democrats in Massachusetts, there won't be a 60th senator to overcome filibusters in the Senate because a quick Democrat fill-in won't be appointed. There has to be a special election. If the Democrats still want to pass this turd of a law, they'll have to fool with rules to do it. How fitting!
Or the legislation might not pass at all, and this newly named Kennedy bill will stand as a monument to the free-market desires of the American people. It will also signal an end of the advancement of the state. That is, if it fails.
All in all, no matter how this legislation ends up in terms of content or fate, it's a towering pile of doo-doo and it will be decided in the Senate. Why not name it for Senator Kennedy? Either way, pass or fail, the bill symbolizes everything that Senator Kennedy represented.
It should also be noted that Senator Kennedy, like all fabulously wealthy people, had nothing to gain or lose with this legislation. This law, should it pass, will be for the great unwashed masses subjected to government-run health care because their businesses will save money with the public option. Senators, as the Democrats voted in committee, will still get their own special plan.
Senator Kennedy would not have been beholden to his namesake legislation. He would still have gone to the best hospitals for care -- maybe on some Caribbean island at some point as doctors and innovative health care providers look for cheaper, less regulated ways to deliver stellar care. No one likes to be sick and in the hospital now. It would be abominably insulting for a bigwig to be a number in a line in a hallway in a crumbling hospital with an imported doctor, waiting for eight hours to eight days. A rich person can go to prison for that kind of care today. Under KennedyCare, he would get on a private jet and go find the care he's accustomed to receiving.
The Democrats seem to feel that Senator Kennedy is so beloved that Americans would feel horrible about a health care overhaul bill with his name being voted down or ignored. One distressed leftist wrote on Twitter Thursday:
@mattizcoop It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha's Vineyard. End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy.
Ah, yes -- to mattizcoop, the loss of Ted Kennedy is like 9/11 all over again. To normal people, Senator Kennedy's passing is sad but expected. He had a brain tumor. He had lived a full life and he died. That's what happens to people. On the other hand, 9/11 was a national tragedy of life-altering proportions. The comparison is vile. While a leftist might equate one old, sick, accomplished man dying to thousands of innocents killed in the most startling terrorist attack in the nation's history, the average American most certainly does not see it that way. All the pomp and attention already feels excessive.
Does any senator hold enough emotional sway with the American people that his name attached to bad legislation will give it the catalyst it needs for passage? I don't think so. In fact, in this case, the name association might make things worse. Again, Twitter serves as a bellwether: Mary Jo Kopechne was a bigger trending topic than the dearly departed senator.
A liberal might wonder how that could be. What Americans saw in Senator Kennedy was what makes them angry about health care: privilege, superiority, and elitist exclusion from consequences of decisions. No average guy could get away with leaving a young lady to drown in a car. And so, while Massachusetts saw fit to reelect this man and liberals lionized him, regular folks watched his antics with bemusement. Those Kennedys! They sure are an interesting family. Tragic.
Attaching Senator Kennedy's name to the health care bill might be just what the doctor ordered. This bill, should it pass, will represent what's worst about American politics today. Those in government believe they know what's best for the American people -- so much so, they'll defy even their own constituents' will to forward their statist agenda. Should the legislation fail, it will be because the American people have rejected the notion that the government should solve all problems from cradle to grave. And so it will be laid to rest, along with the man who represented it most, an ideology whose time has past.