Throughout this whole health care reform business we’ve seen a lot of partisan game playing, heard a great deal about closed doors, and even the occasional reference to smoke and mirrors. As noted in a Caffeinated Thoughts post earlier this week, Philip Klein at the American Spectator has added another name to the mix very appropriately dubbing the reconciliation process a shell game. An excellent analogy – the shell game most accurately portrays the crafty manner in which Congress has pieced together health care legislation, as well as the lengths it is willing to go to, to enact this monster of a bill.

It’s funny with smoke and mirrors I picture a clever magician who wows his audience to their feet and leaves them enthralled, wanting more. If only we could go back to the smoke and mirrors and hope for a little magical amazement from our legislators. Yet, here we are stuck with the shell game practiced by two-bit crooks lurking in dark alleyways.

These racketeers, parading as benefactors, are smooth-talkers with just the faintest hint of snake oil on their clothes. They are always able to persuade a few to play along while robbing their victim blind. Curiously these blind victims had their eyes wide open the entire time; ignoring the wisdom of friends they jumped into the ruse hoping to beat the odds, but have come home empty-handed just the same. Sadly they were witness to the entire spectacle, minus the sleight of hand.

This sounds like the same game being played out in the halls of Congress with our Constitution? Now you see your freedoms, now you don’t.

Within our little shell scenario no one cries out. No one demands restitution, and the police are not likely to take action against the thugs who perpetrated the shakedown. After all these morally challenged individuals are just trying to make a living. Too bad for you, you took the gamble, and everybody knows you can never win against the proverbial house.

And really, these sharks aren’t considered too dangerous until they move their game into your neighborhood and raise the taxes, I mean stakes. The swindler promises a return – it’s easy really – there are only three little shells to choose from. You couldn’t possibly lose, but if you do, it’s your own fault. You weren’t smart enough, didn’t pay close enough attention, or you weren’t in on the scam to begin with.

And so it goes. History repeats itself, and then is changed to glorify the scoundrel; the shysters congratulate themselves for being more cunning than everyone else and may even think that they’ve done you a service. Surely, you won’t fall prey to one of these schemes again. In fact the future may not hold as much choice anyway, for the rogue surmises if you are too naïve to look out for your own interests or are too weak to speak up on another’s behalf you deserve his pity, ridicule, and ultimately his list of arbitrary rules. For if you won’t speak up. If you won’t speak out what right have you to speak at all?

As an individual, who’s Congressman (D-Bart Gordon 6th district TN) is currently undecided on his vote regarding the health care bill, I am urging others to call their Congressmen so that their voices too can be heard.

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