(Michael Steele - Talk Fast, Talk Loud - pray nobody notices)
If Michael Steele is the best the Republicans can do in explaining their somewhat maladroit attempts at shooting down Health Care reform - they're in much more trouble than anyone thought.
On NPR's Morning Edition today, Steele was asked by host Steve Inskeep about where the Republicans stood on the question of Medicare. It didn't take anytime for that particular train to skid off the tracks.
Steve Inskeep: “You warn that some of the health care proposals out there would , quote ‘create government boards that would decide what treatments would and would not be funded’, and you ‘want that decision to be between the doctor and the patient’. When a private insurance company pays now, what is your impression of who decides what that private insurance company is going to cover? Is that purely between the doctor and the patient now . . ?
Steele: “Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. It depends on the type of treatement and the medicines that are at stake and I’ve had this same experience my own self, where I needed a certain type of . .you know, medication and . .you know, the insurance company is like well, you can have it, but we’ll only pay for this amount or this portion. I don’t like that anymore than I like the government doing it. And my point is . . you know the governments gonna do it, they’ll do it ten times worse and it’s gonna be more pronounced than the private insurers. And I think that’s a feature we can fix right now. And sure, there are issues in the insurance market that we can regulate a little bit better and we can control better to maximize the benefits to the consumers. That’s something we can rightly reform and fix.
Inskeep: “ wait a minute . .you would trust the government to look into that?”
Steele: “No . .I’m talkin’ about the . . .talking about . . .
Inskeep: “Who . . .you said that’s something to be looked into. Who should look into that?
Steele: “Well . . who regulates the insurance markets?
Inskeep: “The government . . .”
Steele: “Wait a minute – hold up . . You’re doing a wonderful little dance here – you’re trying to be cute. But the reality of this is very simple; I’m not saying the government doesn’t have a role to play. I’ve never said that . . . the government has a role to play, the government has a very limited role to play . .
Iskeep: “Mister Chairman, I respect that you feel I’m doing a dance here, I just want you to know, as a citizen I’m a little confused by the positions you take, because you’re giving me a very nice, nuanced position here . .”
Steele: “It’s not nice and nuanced. I’m being very clear”.
It's pretty clear to everyone but the Republicans that the Republicans don't have a leg to stand on in the Health Care debate. But rather than attempt any kind of . . .dare I say it, bi-partisan approach, they are trotting out confusion, fear, hysteria and arrogance in rapid succession, hoping some words stick and no one will notice the others.
Hell of a way to run a barbecue.