Bill Murchison

Americans sick over Congress' "health care" outrage should be glad to sniff the generally unpolluted air of Christmas Eve in order, at last, to hear the angels sing. Because if anyone ever took a political vote-counter for one of the heavenly host, it had to be a long time ago: not in the eight or nine months we've been anguishing over plans to overhaul the way 300 million-plus Americans pay for their health care.

If men were angels, President James Madison remarked with great discernment, no government would be necessary. What does the health care outrage tell us about human nature? Nothing complimentary. We learn that, carried away by the lust for power, particular politicians are prepared to cram their particular point of view down any and all throats.

The Democrats, on health care, want very much to cram their version of "health care" down the national throat. Nor do they care even to study and debate the legislation framed to this end. It's all about winning.

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You have to want very much to win in order to justify: 1) riding down your opponents, as if they were peasants asking the right of free speech, 2) engaging in the pretense that the public understands and deeply desires you to win, 3) not least, arranging the finale for Christmas Eve -- an obscene, and very human, parody of the sacred:

"God rest you lousy Nazis now,/We've beaten you at last./You hate the sick, you hate the poor,/You creatures of the Past!/You thought to stop our Leader Bright with Warnings of Despair/Oh, now we have stuck it right to you, stuck it to you, Go away and leave Americans alone."

Or words of like import.

The child in the manger, as he grew, declined political ambitions. The amassing of power for power's sake was never his line. He sought power only over hearts and minds and, then, only to the extent that such power came of the donors' wholehearted accord. Definitely an odd duck: never swaggering about, never issuing orders of the do-this, do-that sort; inviting, instead of demanding, assent.

The world of Christmas is miles from the world of Capitol Hill and the White House, for all the architectural resemblances that Washington bears to Rome. You enter the world of Christmas with hope, with expectation. A different kind of expectation, it should be noted, than generally hangs over Washington or any other political power center. Sour rejection is the mood in places of power -- the rejection of entreaties to stop, look, listen.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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