Sunday, November 3, 2013
Dealing with Democratic grief
As Congressmen and Senators, many from deep blue states, hear from voters whose health insurance policies have been cancelled denial will give way to anger. Some of the more grief stricken Democrats have already reached the anger stage. They are angry at the 36 states that told them to sell their own insurance and refused to set up exchanges. They are angry House Republicans who are not interested in any bipartisan effort to resuscitate the dying ACA. Soon they will be angry with Kathleen Sebilius who everyone knew in 2010 was tasked with an impossible task incompetence notwithstanding. It is everyone's fault but theirs. Angry voters have begun to remind them that they built this deathtrap and the Republicans don't own a bolt in it. They own it all. All the lost coverage, all the premium increases, all the broken promises and all the grief. These are the same people who applauded the Obama campaign when it blamed the death of a woman who lost her insurance on Mitt Romney. Even Democrats should be sharp enough to know that not everyone who loses coverage under Obamacare will be healthy and able to pay the exorbitant premiums created by Obamacare. Small consolation that one can keep the deadbeat kids on the policy until they are 25 when one doesn't have a policy. When dealing with grief and anger it should be remembered that public anger trumps congressional anger.
Bargaining is the third stage of grief. Usually the grief people mean that the grieving want to bargain with God. They will go to church every Sunday until their deaths if God will just restore things to their previous state. Of course Senators and Congressmen think they can deal with the Almighty on equal footing. "Hey God, have I got a deal for You. Suppose I give you the firstborn of all my constituents and three Freudian wishes and you make this Obamacare thing go away." When the Almighty is not receptive they will want to deal with mere mortals. They will soon want to delay everything until after the next election. Republicans should tell them that that ship has sailed. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee did their level best to save their careers but there are limits to what they can do for people who didn't want to help themselves.
Depression, the fourth stage of grief, is often so pervasive that every interaction with the world produces anguish. Every time one reads a Gallup poll he is sickened. The sight of Scot Rasmussen can bring tears. Thoughts of the 2014 elections can cause incontinence. Sean Hannity's voice can induce vomiting. It can be dreary.
Acceptance brings serenity. Some of the fast grievers have already reached acceptance. Senators Baucus, Harkin, Johnson, Levin, and Rockefeller have accepted the inevitable and will be spending more time with their families. Expect several congressional Democrats to follow suit. We'll hear things like, "I've promised the wife that we would spend a year touring the country in our new Winnebago" or "ever since college I really wanted to be a cocktail waitress." Be kind to them, they know the voters won't.