Haslam's Pregnant Pause

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Pith may have been the last person to see this gem. It's the usual Haslam pablum. He lays out a problem: health care. Then he rears back, shifts his weight and pauses in meaningful and pregnant fashion. Because it's just us talkin', Bill and I, as a guitar is strummed, its inoffensive, down-home, finger-picked notes drifting in the air (not unlike Pilot's money) while the candidate grins into the camera. The pause says, "Get ready, folks — I'm about to solve your problems, and not even break a sweat."

And then he delivers his pearl: Repeal health-care reform! (That way, insurance companies can once again deny coverage to children and everyone else with pre-existing conditions and drop us all willy-nilly for absurd and specious reasons.) Without explaining, he bears down hard on the phrase "personal responsibility," since those roughly 1 million uninsured folks in Tennessee clearly brought on themselves the shaft they've been getting. And don't forget "preventive care," which you have a hard time getting if you're uninsured. That's Bill Haslam's prescription.

At times like this, watching the media performances of the two front-runners, a voter can be forgiven for thinking this gubernatorial race is a bit like choosing whether to eat crap or drink piss. Either way, it doesn't taste any better served from a silver spoon.

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