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I've heard "what part of 'no' don't you understand?" far too many times as a sort of hip, right wing talking point.It's used in reference to Health Care Reform. I guess it's supposed to have street cred, be direct, and contain a fair amount of humor. It doesn't. It's just Palin stupid. Witness Michelle Bachmann addressing her well clad supporters last autumn, looking like a reject from the Blair Witch Project, and barking out, "What part of 'no' don't you people get?" Michelle, Michelle, Michelle, you simply aren't hip, and you certainly are not funny. There is very little comedy in a system where insurance companies prosper handsomely while millions languish.
Today's Washington Post contains the most recent uttering of this tired worn out phrase. Robert Reischauer, former chief of the allegedly non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, comments, "What part of 'no' don't you understand?" in reference to Democratic legislators side stepping the Republicans to pass reform legislation. Reischauer, your material is stale.

No matter how hard they try, Republicans aren't funny. It's hard to watch Baba O'Lielly, Glenn Wreck, and Bible Spice (Palin what's her face) desperately seeking comedy. When they maintain the status quo at the misery of others, there's no humor in that. Ergo, what's so funny about peace, love, understanding, and really being your sister and brother's keeper? I like funny people, and the Republicans aren't funny.
As some of you may know, I used to work alongside an individual by the name of Stephen Colbert. I didn't think he was funny at the time. I thought his conservatism was real. I laugh now, because I completely misread this ultra subversive's signals. We worked in an Italian restaurant in Chicago together. The management was a mixture of Puritanical and Tryannical. I guess Stephen stayed in character most of the time as a defense mechanism.
I now see the error of my assessment, and it goes without saying, the man is funny. I bring this up because I was close to comedy greatness. Not as close as the time I carried Bill Murray's golf clubs as a caddy at the Northshore Country Club in my hometown of Glenview, Illinois. Only a dork would make "Caddyshack" references in a situation like that. I refrained, and Bill tipped nicely. Enough name dropping, awlready. The point is, I've been around some funny people in my time.
Sadly, when I hear Michelle Bachmann taking shtick out for a spin, I begin to vomit up the morning's Starbucks dark roast coffee.
Besides being unfunny, the statement "What part of no don't you people get?" isn't true. It smacks of Little George Bush declaring that he had huge amounts of political capital after his 2004 victory when in fact, several powerful states, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York did not cast their electoral votes for him. His re-election was not a sweeping mandate.
In the same way, a majority of Americans support health care reform. They do not oppose it. So, the question is, "What part of reform do you undeserving fossilized ditch pigs not get?" (Let's see you get that on a t-shirt!)

Originally posted to behan on Fri Feb 26, 2010 at 04:15 AM PST.

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