Our nation’s capital has been described as “68 square miles surrounded by reality.” Watching the health care goings on over the past year, that bon mot has been on the mind of citizens regardless of political persuasion. Recently, I attended a meeting at which Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) crystallized that sentiment when he opined that, “Washington DC is a pre-existing condition.” Amen!
Senator Nelson also characterized the protracted “reform” efforts as “Trying to run a 100-yard dash in a 90-yard gymnasium.” As you are reading this – or perhaps in the day or two following publication – we will know if Speaker Pelosi was able to build a 10-foot addition or if she and her minions have run smack into that wall.
Whether the bill is passed or defeated, there will be plenty of cataclysmic predictions. But that begs the question of where the legislative process goes from here and how – or perhaps if – the people’s business will get done once the deeply divisive wounds from this battle have healed.
Remarkably, Senator Nelson’s remarks were echoed later in that same meeting – but this time, from Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). Maybe it is just the plainspoken Midwestern bond both men have, but it was instructive to hear the same theme from representatives of both parties.
Pence suggested a “solution” that must prevail beyond the vote this week, when he told the audience about to go to The Hill that given the “geography,” when they visited their Members of Congress, they needed to be “ambassadors from reality.”
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