Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mike Pence not as stupid as claimed

Congressman Mike Pence is one of the leaders of the Republican Party in the House and widely understood to be a moron.

This speech might show something different though:

(If the video doesn't work, try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrp_kZ9ZL_8.)

He says his cousin 1. has cancer, 2. opposes health care reform, and 3. is awaiting approval for experimental treatment. Pence is serving the insurance industry and wingnut ideological vanity to deny health care to everyone else, while at the same time having the effect of pleading for special treatment for his cousin. Nice hat trick. Unless it's unintentional, in which case he's as stupid as believed.

In this era of performance-based outcomes, it's unclear whether Pence has successfully scored special treatment for his cousin. He failed to stop House passage, but will have another chance after a House-Senate conference committee produces a joint bill. Even if that passes though, I think he's still got a good chance of getting something for his cousin, something more like a fee-for-service model. Not that any of this would be spelled out, though, maybe not even spelled out in their own little minds.

Unrelated bonus blogging from Yglesias: "The world would be a better place if people looking for cheap thrills would stick to the black metal scene or maybe take up extreme sports rather than foreign policy punditry. "

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