Mystic Mainer Blinded by Health Care Revelation
Tragedy has struck in midcoast Maine.
The Mystic Mainer, a noted local clairvoyant, was sitting out back the other day, idly watching raccoons imitating the antics of a 24/7 cable news team in his compost pile, when a brilliant light flooded his consciousness, leaving him temporarily sightless.
When found by his daughter, who is home from college on spring break, not that you'd know it from how often MM has actually seen her, he was muttering in an unknown tongue.
"Rope-a-dope," he seemed to be saying. "Rope-a-dope."
His daughter Callie, seeking to hide her distress in a fond chuckle, helped MM stumble blindly into the living room.
"Float like a butterfly," he told her cryptically, "sting like a bee." Then he collapsed onto the sofa, where he is awaiting delivery of a new iPad which he believes, according to a spokesperson, will effect a miraculous cure.
A member of the crack Down East media crew arrived on scene within days. The following is an unedited transcript of the interview that followed.
DE: What happened, dude? You look terrible.
MM: I just had a revelation.
DE: A what?
MM: I beheld a chart. And in this chart, public approval for the President's health care reform plan has drawn even with opposition, for the first time since last summer.
DE: There was just ... a chart?
MM: Numbers! I saw numbers! A poll by The Economist showed the administration's plan winning approval by 53% to 47%.
DE: Um, that's good, I guess.
MM: Good? You don't know from good. Ever since that idiot from Alaska started blathering about death panels, the public has been [garbled] about stormtroopers invading their doctor's office and euthanizing Granny. Then you had all those stupid teabaggers—
DE: Excuse me?
MM: Pass me that beverage, please. And Glenn Beck discovered some kind of Uranian conspiracy, and Olympia Snowe decided to show her independence by crawling in bed with Mitch McConnell—
DE: I'm sorry, this is a family-friendly site.
MM: And I'm a family man. Do you read your own blogs? Some sharp cookie asked months ago what kind of game Olympia was playing. Back in September she managed to get three major provisions written into the Senate bill — annual checkups for Medicare patients, a national health-care exchange, and tax credits to help small businesses cover their workers. Then in December, she voted against it anyway! "Why?" you may ask.
MM: Here's what she said. The process was moving too quickly. Too quickly! Let me tell you — birds evolved from dinosaurs more quickly than health care reform has moved through the Senate.
DE: Yet you seem strangely cheerful. For a blind man and all.
MM: Oh, that. [chuckles] It's rope-a-dope, my brother. Obama's playing it like the Champ. He's taken every punch the Right can throw, and he's still in the ring. He's toe-to-toe with them, and they've got nothing left. They've told every lie that can be uttered in conversational English. They've personally vilified their opponents. Did you see the poster of Obama waving a swastika? They've got every white person in Jesus Land stocking up on canned food and ammunition. And Barack hasn't broken a sweat. He's still got that big left hook, ready to throw.
DE: Maybe he's not going to throw it.
MM: That would be a shame. But the man's not stupid. Not even Rahm Emanuel is totally stupid.
DE: But you're talking about the Democrats. Did you hear Dennis Kucinich is now opposed to health care reform?
MM: Yeah, well, Kucinich is totally stupid. He's sponsored, what, ninety-seven pieces of legislation during his years in Congress? And how many have actually passed? Three of them. Ninety-three didn't even make it out of committee.
DE: Look, I've got to get back to the office.
MM: What for? It's spring in Maine, bro. You should get out more.
DE: You don't look like you're going anywhere yourself.
MM: They told me you were a wise guy. Let me leave you with this, then. Let's say Obama does throw the final punch. Say we get some kind of health care reform enacted. Even if the bill is flawed. All bills are flawed, aren't they? "There's a crack in everything," Leonard Cohen says — "that's how the light gets in." So let's say we win this one. Imagine what that would do to the Republicans. They've put all their eggs into this one basket: block every darn thing the administration wants to do. Put a hold on every appointment. Filibuster every piece of legislation. Suppose they've done that and it doesn't work? Who comes out looking better for the 2010 election?
DE: You're the great seer. You tell me.
MM: Where did I put that beverage?