David Harsanyi

No. Normally used to express the negative of an alternative choice or possibility.

No. A super way to convey negation, dissent, denial or refusal.

No. Republicans -- the "Party of No" -- should embrace the glory of the word.

It is always curious to hear irascible members of one political party accuse members of the opposing political party of "playing politics" as if it were a bad thing. Can you imagine? Politics. In Washington, no less.

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

As you know, Democrats claim to be above such petty, divisive and lowbrow behavior, especially on those days they are running both houses of Congress and the White House. What this country really needs, we are reminded incessantly, are more mavericks. Well, Republican mavericks. Folks who say "yes."

How starved is the White House to unearth some imaginary bipartisanship on the health care front?

Consider that for possibly the first time in American history, a vote in a Senate committee was the lead story for news organizations across the country, simply because the ideologically bewildered Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, used her inconsequential vote to move forward a government-run health care bill.

Judging from the coverage, you might have been under the impression that Snowe had nailed her 95 Theses to the door of the Republican National Committee's headquarters. In reality, she sits in a safe seat and habitually votes with Democrats.

"Forget Sarah Palin," remarked The Associated Press. "The female maverick of the Republican Party is Sen. Olympia Snowe." CNN's resident rational, reasonable, moderate Democrat, Paul Begala, called Snowe the "last rational, reasonable, moderate Republican."

Snowe even unleashed her own cringingly absurd self-congratulatory missive, claiming, "When history calls, history calls."

You know what? History always calls. You're in the United States Senate, for goodness' sake.

"The status quo approach has produced one glaring common denominator; that is that we have a problem that is growing worse, not better," Snowe added, in a glaringly obvious false dilemma. However ghastly the status quo might be, the alternative has the potential to be far worse. Saying "no" does not equate to a "yes" vote on the status quo.

David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.