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Close Encounters of the Uncomfortable Kind

July 23, 2009

A long day at work this week ended with a cocktail party and dinner in Washington, DC. One of guests for dinner was Brit Hume, a “talking head,” who is on a channel that I never watch. I’m way past being star struck by anyone political, especially someone who just talks about politics. But as far as I was concerned, he’s a potential supporter of my organization, so I have to talk to him, right?

Several of us, Hume included, were talking and someone asked his opinion on what is going to happen with health care, currently being debated in Congress and with the President. He said, “I think it’s dead in the water.” Everyone else in the group, except me, lit up like Christmas morning and said things like “Thank Goodness, I’m so happy to hear you say that.” Wow.

Hume then went on to say that he didn’t think the President was going to get any reform now, and that it probably wasn’t really necessary anyway. Evidently his thoughts are: A lot of people don’t have insurance, yes. But some of them wouldn’t get it even if it were offered. This is actually true, but it doesn’t mean we don’t need reform.

The next thing he said also had to do with the number of people in this country who don’t have health insurance. He looked me right in the face and said, “Half of them are ALIENS!” If I hadn’t been at work, I probably would have said, “Did they have antenna and a big green head?” But I just zipped my mouth shut and nodded.

This is the problem. I don’t think the President’s plan is perfect. I don’t think we can get meaningful reform done in a few weeks. And I don’t know how we pay for the meaningful reform we need. But something has to be done. Politicians have been talking about this for over 60 years! I love politics, I love the game. But something can be done about health care in this country, and it can be done with out “breaking” a President, or an opposition party. But we CANNOT just push it under the rug and assume people don’t really care, and let it die a quiet death.

Chances are decent that I’ll spend some more time with Brit Hume through my job. Hopefully I’ll never actually be forced to turn on Fox News though. I’m afraid my eyes will burst into flames.

And just so you don’t think that I never criticize my own party, can I just say, why did the President answer that question about the Harvard professor and racial profiling during tonight’s press conference? I don’t particularly care about that case, or expect that the first African American President of the United States won’t talk about race. But, um, Mr. President, “STAY ON MESSAGE!” The first thing that the commentators were talking about after the press conference, was the racial profiling question. We should be talking about health care. And Rachel Maddow and Robert Gibbs are talking about some guy most of us have never heard of in Cambridge, MA. Politics 101. Message. Message. Message.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I’ve been watching old episodes of “The West Wing,” and VA’s gubernatorial race is ramping up. I’m getting in political operative mode. Dangerous.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jec permalink
    July 24, 2009 12:39 pm

    I’VE heard of him. But have to agree it was impolitic of the pres. to get into the story like that. Fuel to the flames of the conservative wingnut blabbermouths. Of course most of them are concerned right now with trying to prove that Obama is not a citizen–well, let them waste their time on that, it keeps them out of trouble.

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