All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is Healthcare Reform Torture?

In the wake of last week’s Blair House Summit on the takeover of healthcare the question of torture really does rise to the surface. Last year around this time President Obama signed an executive order banning torture, which is the use of repetitive and unfair tactics to get a predictable result like getting information through water-boarding. When I was a kid we had this game called “Chinese water torture.” It was usually done to new kids in the neighborhood who do what all young kids want to do: Make friends and fit in. You would hold him down and drop water on his forehead until he said “okay, I give up.” We had all heard the story about a Chinese warlord who had tied up a man beneath a water faucet and drove him crazy by dropping painless, but incessant drops of water on his forehead every few seconds for days at a time. In the end the man became a babbling idiot and served as a living example of the failure to cooperate. The American people have been subjected to a similar type of incessant dropping and it raises the question of whether it is torturous for the President and the Democratic leadership to constantly drop the subject of healthcare reform onto the foreheads of the American people? They do not have the votes for the contentious package that now exists. And, truth be told, there is very little prospect for the Democratic House to pass the Democratic Senate package, because the ability to get an agreement is inversely proportionate to the number of days until election day 2010. The closer we get to Election Day the more difficult it becomes to pass a bill. Is that torture?