I checked the quotes from the Alice in Wonderland-like tea party that masqueraded as a Congressional vote late Saturday night. According to multiple press reports, the Mad Hatters were smitten by their own omnipotence and had a few drinks to boot. One Mad Hatter House member, Rep. John Culberson of Texas couldn't restrain himself when he reportedly told his fellow Mad Hatter colleagues, "I said, like 9/11, 'let's roll!'" You have to admire an analogy that equates passengers sacrificing their lives to bring down a hijacked airplane bound for D.C. to Mad Hatters throwing a temper tantrum to shutdown government if they didn't get their way to stop millions of American the opportunity to buy health insurance. This Obamacare as terrorism is a new analogy but I suspect we will see even more creative analogies in the days ahead. Perhaps Culberson was one of those who drank too much firewater Saturday.
No, I kept searching in this Samuel Beckett theatre of the absurd for a more accurate rhetorical rendering of Mad Hatter political logic. Michele Bachmann, the Red Queen of the anti-Obamacare crusade, was giddy Sautrday night, Tweeting and saying that people would be "grateful" for this heroic stand by the Mad Hatters. "It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it,” said Bachmann who once claimed that Obamacare would kill women, children and seniors. That a lack of adequate health care coverage might kill women, children and seniors seemingly never crossed Bachmann's mind.
There was plenty of Mad Hatter talk about saving the country from the institutionalized socialism of Obamacare and other such high-minded ideals from a parallel universe -- a universe void of consequences to the shutting down of government or perhaps later, defaulting on the debt. Worrying about consequences, after all, is for the weak and feeble minded and of no concern when the world must be protected from moochers and takers. I finally found what what I was looking for not in press reports or the Congressional Record but in the Lewis Carroll catalog of cheerful delusions.
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”No, that wasn't House Speaker John Boehner, who has decided to throw in his lot with the Mad Hatters. That was Alice, a young girl lost in her imagination. But had Boehner stood up and talked about the wonders of nonsense, he would have been applauded for the speech. As it was, the Mad Hatters congratulated themselves on government funding bill that would delay Obamacare for a year, eliminate a tax to help fund health care reform, and allow employers to deny contraceptive coverage to their workers. Though it has a zero percent chance of passage, Boehner stood firm and warned that if Senate Democrats didn't pass the Mad Hatter measure it would be act "of breathtaking arrogance."
Or Boehner could have borrowed directly from the original Mad Hatter himself who famously said "You can always take more than nothing."