Code Ted

David Harsanyi writes, “You know what Americans could really use these days? A high-quality, five-tiered, color-coded warning-system to caution us about the threat level coming out of Washington”:


One of the more ridiculed schemes to emerge from the Bush administration was the color-coded terror alert system. But the idea isn’t totally useless.

First implemented in March 2002 as a “readiness measure,” it has been criticized for its wide-ranging ineffectiveness and susceptibility to political manipulation.

Now, really, if we didn’t believe in wide-ranging ineffectiveness and susceptibility to political manipulation, we wouldn’t bother voting. So, in the spirit of sustainability, there must be some way to retrofit this alert system for a more practical purpose.

You know what Americans could really use these days? A high-quality, five-tiered, color-coded warning-system to caution us about the threat level coming out of Washington. As one of those clueless, frothing-at-the-mouth, slack-jawed yokel extremists, I know I certainly could use a color scheme to help me get a handle on such a complex issue.

Of course, Washington has been on a fiscal Code Red footing since the fall of 2008, even before President Obama took office. But any attempts to use Senator Kennedy’s death to ram through socialized medicine should definitely qualify as a Code Red alert under David’s system. Or as Kim Priestap at Wizbang asks, “Will Kennedy’s Death Bring About a Wellstone Spectacle for Health Care?”


Update: James Pethokoukis requests no “No trillion-dollar healthcare tribute for Kennedy”:

The pleas for politicos and pundits to refrain from politicizing the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy are actually quite charming in their naivete. The so-called Last Lion of the U.S. Senate was not even dead half of a day when the politicking began. Proponents of Democratic efforts to reform overhaul America’s troubled healthcare system quickly began urging passage as a tribute to Kennedy’s lifelong efforts on the issue.

Just a small sampling: Sen. Robert Byrd, Democrat from West Virginia, said he hoped that when legislation has been signed into law, it “will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.” Andy Stern, president of the giant Service Employees International Union, noted Kennedy introduced his first healthcare reform bill 39 years ago: “Let us continue his cause. Let us take action this year to pass healthcare reform.” And in the Twitterverse, influential liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas used 58 characters this way: “Honor Kennedy’s legacy by passing real health care reform.”

Maybe they could even call it the Trillion Dollar Tribute for Teddy. But it will take more than nostalgia and sentiment to get healthcare reform passed. A new survey from Public Opinion Strategies finds that just 25 percent of Americans favor President Obama’s proposals, comparable to the scant 23 percent who favored Bill Clinton’s healthcare plan in 1994 as it imploded. Betting markets put the odds of passage of a public option at just one in three. And in its lead editorial today, the Washington Post said the new budget deficit numbers mean the Obamacrats should start from scratch and develop a more affordable approach.


Responding to the treacle from DC, Stacy McCain pulls no punches.


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