"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance"

--James Madison--

"The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries, but between authoritarians and libertarians"

--George Orwell--

Alternate Realities--President Kucinich and the Great Healthcare Debacle

In a parallel universe, the following really happened:

Dennis Kucinich,starting in the summer of 2007, got serious about launching a real Presidential campaign.  He started by using the free e-mail lists that the Democratic Party provides to send out e-mail blasts to raise money and raise his profile as well.

This resulted in two big developments.  First off, he was able to raise over $500k by January 2008, instead of the 200K that he raised in our reality.  He also tried to raise awareness of his existence outside of Cleveland and the liberal blogosphere by going on late night talk shows, where he played the banjo badly while the hosts made fun of him.  Of course,  "independent progressives" immediately dismissed him as "Just another Democrat who serves his corporate masters".

In the meantime, Karl Rove and James Carville were both upset about the cold shoulders that they got from their respective parties.  So, they secretly joined forces, and kept planting false stories about Obama and Clinton both killing puppies for fun and secretly visiting Goldman Sachs headquarters to masturbate in the executive washroom.  Then Rove hired a sportswriter to spread the word about Clinton and Obama's involvement with GS, which apparently goes back to when GS caused the Dutch tulip bulb bubble to pop.

The misinformation campaign was a rousing success, and Democrats across the country found themselves voting to give Kucinich the nomination, even though most of them didn't even know why.  They just knew that a lot of people were pissed at Hillary and Barack, and they didn't want people to hate them too.

Then they voted him into the Oval Office.  Even most conservatives were scared of McCain because of his choice of running mate and apparent onset of Alzheimer's.  Kucinich decided to look to the Great White North for a running mate as well.  It was interesting watching the clueless Palin debate a confused-looking Gravel.

At the inauguration, people suddenly realized that Kucinich was short and skinny.  Many Democrats started regretting their choice.  After all, Senator Obama was tall and pretty well cut.  They knew that they really didn't want to see Kucinich in a bathing suit.  His wife, hell yeah!  Dennis, no way, man!

Progressives then waited for the amazing first 100 days that they had been expecting.

First off, of course, was introducing a single payer health care bill to the House.  Entitled the "Free Health Care For Everybody Paid For By Goldman Sachs Act", it was quickly labeled "KucinichCare" by Republican PR folks, eager to sabotage the bill with a nice old fashioned scare campaign.

Still, President Kucinich gave a very rousing speech to introduce the bill to a waiting country.  When interviewed afterward, most people said that the most remarkable thing about the President's speech was that they didn't know he was so short.  "He looks like a really old creepy looking kid" said one of those interviewed.  Another one observed "Not only is he short, but he's a commie, too.  A short commie".

 After giving Republicans some time to run negative ads against it, the House approved the now highly altered bill (hey, it's still single payer if your insurance company pays your claims to a government agency instead of your doctor, and the government agency cuts the checks to your doctors--right?), and sent it to the Senate, where Max Baucus nearly busted a gut when Harry Reid told him to take the bill to committee.  "What, Harry, you're serious?  You really want me to take 'KucinichCare'  into the committee room?  I guess that's OK.  There's a shredder in there".

President Kucinich gave another speech, this time begging the Senate to pass something.  Anything.  Even a bandage subsidy.


Baucus gave the Republicans several weeks to run more scare ads:

"Good evening, folks, my name is Karl Will Jr., President of the National Association of Smart Conservatives and Republicans (NASCR).  I'm here to repeat a few scary talking points about KucinichCare.  Listen closely folks.  It is very important that the following misinformation scares you shitless. 
First, "KucinichCare" will lead to a government takeover of health care.  That can't be good.
Socialist Democrats will force you to turn over lots of your hard earned money to the government, who will waste it by providing coverage to "illegals" and other people with brown skin. You'll even have to pay extra taxes so your asshole neighbor can get a nose job. 
There's even a provision to allow medical students to take your Grandma out of the nursing home to vivisect her in front of a cheering audience. 
Does that sound far fetched?  Does it sound like somebody made it up?  Tell me--do you want to take the chance?  Would you like to be the test case for KucinichCare?  Probably not.
Call your Representative and Senators today, and tell them that you don't want the American health care system taken over by Mexican drug lords.  Tell them that if they vote for KucinichCare, you'll organize a lynch mob. 
This is Karl Will, Jr, and I hope that I've given you something to think about. "

Meanwhile, the Senate rewrote the bill completely, adopting many of the provisions of the McCain plan.  The Senate bill, entitled "The This Is What You're Gonna Get, Like It Or Not, Compassionately Conservative Health Care Act" passed handily.  Also known as KucinichCare, it created a system that:

* Denied care or coverage to "illegals", people with "foreign sounding names", any non-white US residents or citizens, "dirty hippies", Jews,  marijuana users, gays, Muslims, Mormons, atheists, atheist hippie marijuana users, independent voters, and most Democrats.

* Forces everyone to buy health insurance, except if you really don't want to.  Then you have to sign a form that states:
"I don't wanna, and you can't make me buy it if I don't want to.  Unless I get sick."

* Denies coverage for abortions, prenatal care, postnatal care or contraception of any kind.  Not even the rhythm method.

* Only covers physicals if your next door neighbor will do it for a $20 Chili's gift card.

* Doesn't cover cancer treatments, because they're really darn expensive.

*Guarantees the pharmaceutical companies that they could sell their drugs in the US at the world's highest prices.

Of course, it sailed right through Congress. 

Remembering LBJ's words about compromise, and how you can always go back later for more, the President went ahead and signed it.  So, of course, progressives from Alaska to Rhode Island immediately denounced him as a "fascist" and mocked him for "bending over" for Big Pharma and the insurance companies.

It was only March 2010, and there was already quite a buzz developing.  Would Kucinich face a primary challenge in 2012?...

...Meanwhile, in yet a different alternate universe,  John Edwards was somehow elected President, which caused every Republican and Blue Dog Senator and Representative to die of sudden and unexpected heart attacks.  

Health care legislation was passed on January 27th, 2009. Entitled the "Free Health Care Act", and authored by James PB, it created a single payer system that paid for anything you could think of.  Even free tattoos and piercings.  All paid for by Goldman Sachs.