Snipping Off The Things They Find: The Reid/Angle Debate

Had talk radio on in the background for much of the day, as I finished up a project. Rush and Mark Levin were playing extended excerpts from the Reid/Angle debate last night with Reid breaking the sound barrier on the Unintentional Comedy scale (and probably irreparably damaging his re-election chances, at least according to his normally sympathetic friends in the media).

Don Surber has the transcript for the section (starts around the 2:10 mark) that was getting all of the airplay on Far Right Radio:
“Insurance companies don’t do things out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it out of a profit motive and they have almost destroyed our economy. We need them to be forced to do mammograms. That’s why you see Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you see the baseball players wearing pink shoes and you see the football players having pink, uhh, helmets. You detected it if you do mammograms. Colonoscopies! If you do colonoscopies, colon cancer does not come ’cause you snip off the things they find when they go up, and no more. And we need to have — have insurance companies do this. It will save money in the long run to do this.”
Reading the above doesn't do this justice. You have to hear Reid saying these words in his inimitable low-key drone. (Is that what a Nevadan accent sounds like?) Surber says he had to pull his car over, he was laughing so hard. I agree it was laugh out loud funny to hear his flailing, especially after a lifetime of "conservatives are stupid" jokes from the sophisticated Left. But, there was also something in there that was not funny at all.

Reid, as you may know, is the Senate Majority Leader, and thus one of the most important - not to mention powerful - political figures in Washington, if not the world. And yet he attacks the insurance industry for being driven by (hissss) the "profit motive." Not only that, he claims that the insurance industry "almost destroyed our economy." They did?! I read the Wall Street Journal every day, and I must have missed that. He also seems to think that nothing could happen in the health care field without government intervention. No mammograms. No colonoscopies. No Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Even football players would not be wearing "pink helmets"without the steady hand of government to lead the way. (The reality is that the pink gloves that the NFL has been rocking came about from a joint effort by the League and Reebok.)

Reid clearly has no faith whatsoever in the private market or the "profit motive." He also has no idea what happens in the supposedly Dickensian US health care system, where mammograms and colonoscopies and a million other miracles are routine procedures done by the million. He's clueless, despite having led the effort to "reform" a system that most of us didn't want reformed to begin with. Yet, we've been treated to endless stories about how Sharron Angle is "extreme" (without any specific elaboration on what about her is extreme). How can she be extreme as compared to a man who doesn't think there's a place for private initiative in any aspect of health care? That's not just extreme, it's frightening; but watch Reid droning on and on - he and many of his listeners find his attitude to be unremarkable and reasonable.

In a just world, the colorless uncharismatic Reid would be 20 points down. Instead, Angle is just a few points ahead, and there's talk that Reid might eke out a win via the unions and Hispanic voters. Indeed, one of Reid's media cheerleaders even wondered why Reid stooped to debating Angle in the first place, as if avoiding debate was a legitimate option. The fact that he was so hideously exposed makes one wonder about the wits of the rest of the Senate's Democratic caucus.

Still, Angle is starting to carry herself like a winner. And, she's beginning to go for the jugular. For one thing, she asked Reid a question at the debate that no journalist would dare to ask a liberal Democrat: how was it that Harry Reid left Searchlight, NV a poor man and became one of the richest men in the Senate on a public servant’s salary? Reid's answer, in which he claims to have been living on a "fixed income" (???) is another classic.

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