“The Waterboarding of America”

by Roger Alford

Um, somehow I don’t think the analogy works:

The nation – its economy and political body – has been strapped down, blindfolded and hosed. A new administration, empowered by control of both houses of Congress and the most liberal president in history, is immersing us all in a torrent of debt. While we gasp for breath and try to cry “Time out!” we continue to be flooded with staggering commitments neither we nor our children have approved or will be able to fulfill….

And now, while we’re strapped down by the Democrat-controlled Congress, gasping and gulping beneath a flood of strong-arm tactics, the “health reform” bill taking shape outlines a “minimum-benefits package” that will be universal – that is, required of every American’s insurance plan, whether provided by a private firm or by the government.

But we’re not helpless yet, folks. We’re drenched and near-drowned and gasping for breath, but there’s a growing coalition of staunch Republican and “blue dog” Democrats in both houses of Congress digging in their heels and saying, “Wait! This is all too much, too fast! We need time to read and digest and consider this torrent of legislation. Mr. President, hold off!”

And that gives us debt-soaked citizens a chance to rise up and gasp and spit and shout: “MR. PRESIDENT, AND YOU, TOO, CONGRESS! YOU WORK FOR US! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! WE VOTED YOU IN! AND WE CAN TAKE YOU OUT! STOP THIS WATERBOARDING!!”


5 Responses

  1. Pat Boone, descendant of the legendary pioneer Daniel Boone, has been a top-selling recording artist, the star of his own hit TV series, a movie star, a Broadway headliner, and a best-selling author in a career that has spanned half a century. During the classic rock & roll era of the 1950s, he sold more records than any artist except Elvis Presley.

  2. Martin,

    Yes I know who he is.  The analogy still doesn’t work. 


  3. Wow, “minimum benefits package” was the scariest thing they could come up with?  I guess providing health care to the economically disadvantaged could feel like torture to the wealthy and powerful who may feel their immense privilege is being threatened (as it should be). 

  4. Indeed, a sense of entitlement enhanced by the endowment effect and blessed by unabashed belief in Malthusian Social Darwinism makes departures from the norm appear unbearable to some. The irony of course is that health care reform will still fail to address many of the underlying causes of healthy inequality:

    We have known for over 150 years than an individual’s chances of life and death are patterned according to social class: the more affluent and better educated people are, the longer and healthier their lives. These patterns persist even when there is universal access to health care—a finding quite surprising to those who think financial access to medical services is the primary determinant of health status. In fact, recent cross-national evidence suggests that the greater the degree of socio-economic inequality that exists within a society, the steeper the gradient of health inequality. As a result, middle-income groups in a more unequal society will have worse health than comparable or even poorer groups in a society with greater equality. Of course, we cannot infer causation from correlation, but there are plausible hypotheses about pathways which link social inequalities to health, and, even if more work remains to be done to clarify the exact mechanisms, it is not unreasonable to talk here [after Michael Marmot] about the social ‘determinants’ of health.
    —Norman Daniels, Bruce Kennedy, and Ichiro Kawachi

    (Cf. the titles in Health: Law, Ethics & Social Justice–A Basic Bibliography)


  5. @Roger Alford: That certainly wasn’t meant as an endorsement. I didn’t know who he was, and reading that description only made him more silly. I freely admit, that bio made me chuckle a bit.
    I’m not sure, though, why I should care what this clown thinks about anything.

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