The Washington Post reports that House Democrats went back to school Monday afternoon, sitting still, without talking or interrupting, while congressional staff led a tutorial on what's in the 1,000-page overhaul of the American health care system that's been floating around the chamber for weeks.
This way, when they're home for August recess, members can speak coherently about the bill -- almost as if they understand it.
Explains the Post:
"The rough draft of the bill ("America's Health Choices Act") runs more than 1,000 pages, with amendments yet to come. Last week the Democrats decided that they needed to know more about the legislation before they go back to their constituents for the August recess. Hence the teach-in, an unusual basement seminar that lasted five hours with one break for procedural votes on the House floor."
But shouldn't members of the majority party have undergone this tutorial before, rather than after, the bill was written and introduced? And what does this say about the cluelessness (and sheer recklessness) of the people ostensibly in charge; and about the power wielded by unelected staff (and the lobbyists they're chummy with), who draw-up legislation first and educate their bosses about the details later, weeks after the bill is introduced?
More from the Post:
"Some members had a printout of the entire bill. Others used a 34-page cheat sheet . . . . To make matters somewhat easier for members, the packet of information handed out at the door included a glossary of health-care terms, including:
What a scary story. What an alarming situation. The county is being run by a gang of morons -- and their nameless assistants. Congress is about to attempt an overhaul of the American health care system -- based on a "cheat sheet."
Time to head for the lifeboats.