Years ago, there was a Seinfeld episode where Jerry's hand cramped up from having to endorse too many residual checks from his appearance on a popular Japanese show called the Super Terrific Happy Hour. On Wednesday night, MSNDNC's favorite Daily Kos blogger, Keith Olbermoron, introduced Americans to the antithesis of this by filibustering about health care for a super horrific, almost unwatchable hour of special commentary.
Keith's special commentaries, which usually last a few minutes at the end of each show, are often amusing in a sophomoric kind of way. His grasp on liberal logic is excellent, which is to say it's completely incoherent, his points backed by nothing but unsubstantiated anecdotes, personal prejudices, non-sequiturs, and ad hominem attacks. Needless to say, a full hour of Keith shuffling papers, dramatically changing camera angles, furrowing his manicured unibrow, and lecturing viewers in his pompous, self-righteous tone was about 55 minutes too long to take sober.
Now I'm not a heavy drinker, but when Keith started quoting Tiny Tim from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and referring to progressive multi-millionaire Michael Moore's anti-capitalist film as source material, I knew I had to self-medicate or risk throwing my plasma TV at the first Austin hippie to walk past my balcony. I needed vodka.
So I am hungover today, and I'm not sure if it was the alcohol or Keith's shrieking, irrelevant pleas for "All Americans to stand up, stand up for life. Death is the issue! How can we not be unified against death?" Does Keith actually believe there are Americans out there opposing FauxbamaCare because they are in favor of dying? He sounds like Rep. Grayson, the Democratic Congressman who said Republicans wanted everyone to die quicker. I thought the narcissistic dribble Michelle Obama presented in front of the International Olympic Committee last week was the worst speech I'd ever heard, but Keith is running a close second.
We are fortunate so few actually watch MSNDNC or thousands of alcoholics would have surely fallen off the wagon after staring at Keith's mug for an hour and trying to comprehend what the heck he was saying. Many more Americans might have succumbed to drug use. I know I thought about indulging in valium as the Countdown counted down way too slowly.
At one point, Keith described his father's ordeal of lying on the floor with a failed kidney and refusing to call for help. Twenty minutes later he was bragging about how quickly he decided to euthanize his mom rather than extend her life with uncomfortable cancer treatments ("it took five seconds to decide.") Hmm. I'm beginning to see why the senior Olbermann refused to tell his son about that kidney. He might want to keep the overanxious Keith out of the hospital room less the plug be pulled.
In between these disturbing personal stories, Keith quoted Winston Churchill for being against socialized medicine as a reason why we should all be for it (?) and chastised those who used terms like death panels, referring to this as completely over-the-top rhetoric. Except when he needed to vilify private insurance companies a few sentences later, which an unapologetic Keith referred to as death panels.
If there was a modus operandi other than making a fool of himself, it was definitely attacking the insurance companies. Keith later reiterated:
"Your life is in the hands of people, insurance companies, who can still make money by betting against your good health. There is only one comfort here and it is cold indeed. Profit while you can, insurers. Sickness and death wait not just for your customer. They also wait for you. And they are double-parked."
He went on to call us all slaves of the insurance companies:
"We must recognize the enemy here: an enemy capable of perverting reform meant for you and me, into its own ATM that mandates only that more of us become the slaves to the insurance companies."
"The monied interests that have bled their customers white, and used their customers' money to buy the system, to buy the politicians, to buy the press, cannot now even be checked by the government."
Keith actually makes a good point here, but of course he has the argument backwards. Let me explain how slavery works. You have no freedom or choice. There's only one master offering health insurance and you take what they give you. There aren't thousands of health insurance companies like today competing in a free market, where profit is an incentive to provide the best service. Instead, the state controls everything. They have a monopoly and a monopsony. The government becomes the only seller of health insurance and the only buyer of medical care. We already have a way to hold companies in check, but like Obama, Olbermoron wants to eliminate private insurance completely, putting in power a single-payer, state-run entity. Who holds their power in check?
The government will make life and death decisions for you. You are only a number to them, represented by a dollar amount. If the unelected bureaucrats don't believe you can contribute to society, if the cost to save your life is greater than the benefit, then you will be denied treatment for the collective state, thank you very much. This is your death panel, similar to the Orwellian NICE Board in England. Of course, under these circumstances, it becomes more important to keep citizens alive that pay the highest taxes, so the super rich and politically connected will receive better care. Ultimately, this results in a greater gap between health care for the rich and poor, not to mention a substantial difference in life expectancy.
As it turns out, incoherent Keith has actually made a very good argument against socialized medicine. Obviously, it was accidental. Even a broken watch is right twice a day. But at least now I feel better for having viewed his super horrific health care hour.