Midterms, Arrogance and the Census

By Mark Levy

March 19, 2010 4 min read

Dear Mark: I am confused. Some political pundits claim if health care reform passes, the Democrats are doomed in November, while others say the Democrats are doomed if the bill fails. Please enlighten me. — Don't Know in Denison

Dear Don't: The phrase "damned if you do, damned if you don't" comes to mind. Because of parliamentary shenanigans, personal attacks and the blatant corruption during the yearlong health care debate, Democrats are in deep trouble in the midterm elections no matter how the health care vote turns out.

The seediness of the process lead by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama has tainted the entire Democrat Party and subsequently inspired the Tea Party movement, as well as major Republican victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. If the bill fails, there will be outrage from Obama's liberal base, as evidenced by the threats from MoveOn.org to run Democratic primary candidates against incumbents.

Because of the substance of the bill and the bastardization of the process, independents and those on the right will be upset with Democrats in November whether the bill passes or fails. The big question is not if the Democrats will lose seats in November, but how many.

Dear Mark: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is an arrogant son of a biscuit-eater. He basically said Americans don't care about the "process" of passing health care reform just as long as the bill gets passed. Am I wrong? — Caring in Canton

Dear Caring: You are 100 percent right. Hoyer perfectly illustrates the "holier than thou" attitude of many in Washington, hence the single digit congressional approval ratings. When referring to the actual health care bill and the ugly "process," Hoyer remarked, "I don't think that any American ... any real American out there will make the distinction between the two." What an insult.

The difference between the United States and all the other countries and empires throughout history is our "process" as described in the Constitution. Declaring a bill "deemed" as passed without an actual vote is what happens under totalitarian regimes and banana republics. "Deeming" is a fine procedure for naming post offices and bridges, but not for passing multitrillion-dollar legislation that affects every man, woman and child in our country.

Dear Mark: I just received that federal invasion of my privacy called the U.S. Census form. I know that the Constitution requires the government to count us every 10 years, but dang it I'm mad. — Count Me Out in Kansas

Dear Count: I'm mad about the Census, as well. First of all, the forms arrived in our mailboxes this week and the census is already millions of dollars over its $14.7 billion budget. If our government can't keep something as simple as counting people under budget, what makes anybody think the Democrats' health care plan will stay within its trillion-dollar budget, much less reduce the deficit?

Second, what business is it of the federal government whether I rent or own my house or my ethnicity, for that matter? If we are to have a colorblind society, then Washington should quit wasting our tax money segregating the nation by asking ridiculous questions about race. I'm surprised the Census doesn't ask questions like paper or plastic, boxers or briefs, chocolate or vanilla, Sean Connery or Roger Moore.

Although the U.S. Census describes warm and fuzzy intentions for children, the elderly and highways, the dirty little secret is that most of the data collected is used for gerrymandering congressional districts.

Dear Mark is a public platform for your enrichment and entertainment. E-mail your questions to [email protected] To find out more about Mark Levy, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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