by Burt Prelutsky | Los Angeles

I am as irate as anyone at the way that Obama and Pelosi, like a pair of old-time bootleggers, strong-armed members of Congress into voting for ObamaCare.  But just because the Republicans fought back, I’m not as prepared as some to give them a pass.

Several years ago, when a current left-wing congressman was still serving in the California assembly, we were discussing the recently enacted Proposition 13, the so-called Jarvis amendment, which put a cap on property taxes.  He was bemoaning the fact that it would permanently cut state revenues, while I argued that of all the taxes on the books, property taxes were the worst.

I pointed out that a lot of homes were bought by returning GIs and other newly-married couples shortly after the end of World War II.  They were bought for seven or eight thousand dollars.  But, 30 years later, when the mortgages were finally paid off, these same people were being charged more in annual property taxes than the house had cost in the first place.  Except for maybe a paint job, a renovated kitchen and some aluminum siding, these were the same modest 1300 square-foot homes they had moved into, but now they could no longer afford to live in them.

I argued that if at some point during those three decades, the politicians had done the right thing, something as Draconian as Prop. 13 wouldn’t have been necessary.

In much the same way, I would say to GOP politicians, you had control of the House, the Senate and the Oval Office from 2001-2007, but you didn’t do a darn thing about health insurance.  It’s only now that the liberals are gobbling up one-sixth of the economy that you’re suddenly all for tort reform and allowing insurance companies to compete across state borders.  When you had the power, all that people like John McCain and the rest of you punks did was cozy up to people like Feingold and Kennedy, like a bunch of school girls hoping the liberals would ask you to the prom.

You didn’t even acknowledge that most people, excluding illegal aliens, can afford sensible health insurance, just as they can afford sensible insurance on their cars and their homes.  If people had the same absurd expectations of their home and automobile insurance that they have of their health insurance, they wouldn’t be able to afford either.  It would be as if we expected those policies to cover dust collecting on our drapes and dew collecting on our cars.  The truth is, most of us can afford to pay for antibiotics when we get the flu and vaccinations when they’re required.  It’s when catastrophe hits — when you get cancer or require a quadruple bypass — that you really need coverage.  With higher deductibles across the board, insurance companies could pool their resources and handle the really dire situations.

But instead of behaving responsibly, you cheered Bush on when he signed a blank check to cover pharmaceuticals.  You patted him on the back and took a few bows yourself, as if you or he were personally picking up the tab for granny’s meds.

Finally, why weren’t you demanding during the endless health care debate that the Democrats identify the 31 million uninsured people that Obama and Pelosi kept yakking about?  It’s my hunch that they’re young people who prefer spending their discretionary income on clothes, CDs and cocaine, and illegal aliens who have no business being here in the first place.

I’m not suggesting that I don’t despise Obama, Pelosi, Waxman and the other left-wing gnomes, but just letting you know that there’s more than enough well-deserved contempt to go around.  So don’t assume that simply because you call yourself a Republican and make nice with the Tea Party crowd that we trust you any farther than we can throw Barney Frank.

If you’re going to run in 2010, I, for one, want you to sign a written pledge regarding where you stand and how you’ll vote on everything from Iran to the 2nd amendment, and I’d like it notarized.

Frankly, if I had to choose between, say, an Arizona Democrat or a fellow like John McCain, who’s in favor of shutting down Gitmo, opposes water-boarding Islamic terrorists, opposes drilling for oil in ANWR, and, until he fell back in the polls, pushed amnesty for illegal aliens, I’d have to say, “I’m sorry, Mrs. Palin, but I’d rather stay home and alphabetize my canned goods.”

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copyright 2010 Burt Prelutsky

Television scriptwriter, former humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine.

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