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    You got me feeling crazy ’bout my body

    E.J. Dionne is such a reliable defender of interventionist government that it’s hardly a surprise that he cares more about whether a health-care bill is passed than about trivialities such as what it will force us to do, but it’s still astonishing for him to say so quite this directly (via Hit and Run):

    The whole plan got discredited in the, in the minds of some people because the legislative process looks really awful. And the more the focus was on the legislative process, the more people said, “What’s going on here?” Once they pass a plan, you can actually talk about a plan.

    I guess it’s kind of the reverse-Foucault model of legislation: through coming into being, it allows you to start articulating it in language.

    Seriously, what next? Does the United States Congress propose to start passing bills that consist of nothing but titles identifying what they’ll be regulating, with all actual stipulations to be worked out at leisure when things aren’t so busy? One wouldn’t want to (ahem) tax such self-abnegating public servants, who are already gracious enough to boss us around for our own good in so many other areas of American life, with the necessity of being transparent about what the new health-care machine consists of before they vote on it. As Reason‘s Nick Gillespie says:

    The legislative process in this case “looks really awful” because it is really awful, filled with special deals, obfuscatory language, shady cost estimates, and worse. Barack Obama, fer chrissakes, gave a whole big talk about the need for reform a few months back, where he resolutely refused to make anything clear other than whatever happens will both taste great and be less filling.

    Gillespie snidely notes that “celebrity plagiarist and historian” Doris Kearns Goodwin was on the panel also, but I think his tone is altogether too unsympathetic: when a woman professes to be unable to figure out which note cards were her own lightning bolts of inspiration and which were copied from published sources, you can’t exactly blame her for scrupling to criticize a bill consisting of a bunch of crap of unknown provenance.

    Added after a restful night’s sleep: Here‘s the title reference, to put us all in a better mood:

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