Italian prodigy, Raphael, once painted two angels in the Sistine Chapel. One chubby cherub wears a mischievous expression as he rests his chin on his hand. The other looks wide-eyed and innocent. This angelic pair has celebrity status if you consider how often they have been reproduced. Political historians like myself surmise that these cherubs are also known as "Stupid Cupid" and "Smart Cupid." Ideally, you want to be hit by Smart Cupid on Valentine's Day. This will be difficult, since Stupid Cupid had a red hot winter.
If there are trophies for bad romance, then Stupid Cupid has a shelf full of hardware. I'm proud to announce that I discovered Stupid Cupid's top five trophies, or victories, from the winter of 2014-2015. I thought you might like me to line them up neatly in the trophy case for you to see:
- Jonathan Gruber. The ObamaCare strategist’s reckless lust to rebuild the healthcare industry - without regard for consumers or the marketplace – overwhelmed his common sense and caused him to claim on camera that the “stupidity of the American voter” was “really, really critical to getting the thing [ObamaCare] to pass.” He boasted that the administration’s “lack of transparency” was key because American voters are “too stupid to understand the difference” between reality and fantasy.
Powerline Blog unearthed yet another sage comment from Gruber last week, wherein he suggests that we help pay for ObamaCare by taxing fat people. No word yet on how Michael Moore feels about being discriminated against by his own ideological ally.
- Kathleen Sebelius: The former Health and Human Services secretary stuck her foot in her mouth in 2013 when she tried to explain away inconsistencies in the new healthcare law on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.After her segment, Stewart told his audience: "I still don't understand why individuals have to sign up and businesses don't... I think to myself, well, maybe she's just lying to me?"
Sebelius threw another punch at her own lagging reputation in late 2014, telling USA TODAY that she pretty much had no idea who Gruber was: “He didn’t influence the members of Congress who actually wrote the legislation” and “in terms of small meetings, discussing policy, that never happened.” Her comments contradict her own admission that he was “an architect” of RomneyCare and well-documented records that Gruber was a consultant to the administration who visited the White House at least 10 times and also personally met with the President.
- Brian Williams: The NBC News anchor told actor Alec Baldwin on an interview for WNYC’s Hear’s The Thing that “I guess I do say to myself and to others—I’ve got this—and I don’t know where that unbridled confidence comes from. …And I’ve done some ridiculously stupid things under that banner…”
The problem is that some of the “stupid things” he claims to have done never even happened. Such as “being in a helicopter …in Iraq with [RPG and AK-47] rounds coming into the airframe;” glancing out his “hotel window in the French Quarter and watch[ing] a man float by face down,” and “accidentally ingest[ing] some of the floodwater. I became very sick with dysentery.”
In truth, his bird was between 30 minutes and an hour behind the helicopter he claims to have been in when it was shot down in Iraq and the French Quarter was not flooding when he was there. Williams was right in one regard: reporting his fantasies as facts is indeed “ridiculously stupid.”
- Joe Biden: ABC recently asked the 72-year-old Vice President whether he could see himself challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. He responded: “There is a chance. I haven’t made my mind up about that. ”
Biden’s odds of making it through an election cycle gaffe-free are slim-to-none. However perhaps Mr. Biden takes the same approach to life as the protagonist of “Dumb and Dumber.” One of the most famous exchanges from the 1994 movie is between Mary Swanson and Lloyd Christmas. After Swanson tells Christmas that he has a “one out of a million” chance of dating her, he responds ecstatically: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”
- The Dingells: The John Dingell family is living proof of the need for term limits. They have held the same House seat representing the state of Michigan since 1932. John Dingell relinquished the seat to his son, John D. Dingell, Jr. who then held it for almost 60 years. Dingell, Jr.’s wife Debbie Dingell (28 years his junior) is now taking over the seat.
Debbie is a former Republican who became a Democrat after marrying Dingell, Jr. She is also an ex-lobbyist for General Motors, the company that her grandfather founded. A spokesperson for the advocacy group Public Citizen recently told the New York Times: “The Dingells have long had a very serious and substantial conflict of interest with regard to the auto industry.”
The American people deserve fresh blood in both the Democratic and Republican parties. If the same family can monopolize a congressional seat for over 80 years, then our country is either susceptible to nepotism or we have a bad case of Stupid Cupid.
If you are concerned that Stupid Cupid might hit you with his arrow this Valentine's Day, know this: espousing transparency and free market principles will help shield you from Stupid Cupid's arrow.