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Obama's Health Scare Plan

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Editors' Note: This is Burt Prelutsky's final piece for Townhall.com. You can read his archive here and check out his Big Hollywood archive here.

If I had to explain Americans to a Martian, I would be hard-pressed. It would be especially difficult when it came to liberals. But, there are even conservatives who confound me. For instance, why would any Republican belong to AARP? They might just as well skip the middleman and send their money directly to Howard Dean and the DNC.

Judging by the organization’s enthusiastic support of ObamaCare, which should really be called ObamaDoesn’tCare, it’s obvious that the only old people AARP gives a hoot about are Robert Byrd, Arlen Specter, Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid.

Speaking of senators, I have on occasion tried to send e-mails on important issues to senators aside from California’s Boxer and Feinstein, and discovered that it can’t be done. These weasels have set it up so that they only hear from their own constituents. That being the case, I don’t want any of these human slugs introducing or voting on legislation that affects the entire nation. If they don’t want to hear from me, I sure as heck don’t want to hear from them.

Getting back to AARP, the first time I was aware of their disinterest in the elderly came some years ago when I pitched their monthly magazine, Modern Maturity, a piece about the legendary composer of movie scores, Elmer Bernstein. Because the man was still going strong in his 80s, I assumed they would jump at the opportunity. The editor’s candid response was they weren’t interested because he was too old and that they were seeking a younger audience!

Quite honestly, I don’t even understand why Democrats are supporting Obama’s health plan. Assuming they’re aware that even during the presidential campaign, Obama suggested that a reasonable option for old folks in dire need of operations was to rely on pain pills, I can’t help wondering if liberals are so busy worrying about the health and comfort of terrorists down in Gitmo that they simply don’t have the time or inclination to fret over the plight of their own parents and grandparents. Or perhaps they’re simply eager to collect their inheritances.

The idea that any sane person would be in favor of the government’s running the health industry simply doesn’t compute. Leaving such important matters in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats is beyond mind-boggling; it’s lunacy. Have they all so quickly forgotten what life is like at the post office and at the DMV? For my part, I’m still having flashbacks from a decade ago when I had to deal with a representative of the IRS, and that was after we were told that this was a kinder and gentler IRS. Frankly, for that to have been anyone’s idea of kinder and gentler, in its prior existence it must have been run by the Marquis de Sade. In my experience, the only difference between dealing with the Internal Revenue Service and the Mafia is that the thugs who collect for the Mob dress nattier.

What’s more, please keep in mind that when the IRS screws you over, it’s only about money; it isn’t your life or the lives of your loved ones.

A friend reminded me that back in 1940, Americans were able to choose between not only FDR and Wendell Willkie, but a third candidate, Gracie Allen. Her party was the Surprise Party and her slogan was “Down with common sense. Vote for Gracie.”

She proposed that Congress would get a 10% bonus, but only when the country prospered. She also favored extending Civil Service to all branches of government because “a little politeness goes a long way.”

Gracie had no vice-president on her ticket because, she vowed, she would tolerate no vice in her administration.

About the national debt, she suggested, “It’s something to be proud of; it’s the biggest in the world, isn’t it?”

On foreign relations: “They’re all right with me, but when they come, they’ve got to bring their own bedding.”

When asked with which party she was affiliated, she replied, “I may take a drink now and then, but I never get affiliated.” And when asked if she would recognize Russia, she said, “I don’t know. I meet so many people.”

She actually had a campaign song, with one of its lines being “If the country’s going Gracie, so can you.”

Gracie even received the endorsement of Harvard University, but of course that was back when Harvard still had standards and weren’t employing racist numbskulls like Professor Henry Gates.

By the time the ballots were counted, Gracie only got a few hundred votes, but she’d gotten a lot of laughs.

In 2008, Obama just kept repeating “Hope and Change” and got 64 million votes, and now, with unemployment over 10%, inflation going through the roof while the dollar sinks like a stone, and a health care plan straight out of “Brave New World,” nobody’s laughing.

My question is: Where is Gracie Allen when you really need her?

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