Friday, February 6, 2009

True Bipartisanship: Reagan's Corpse for HHS Chair

Still smarting off his continuing repudiation by enormously powerful Republicans, we must ask ourselves, is Obama being sufficiently bipartisan? While some bloggers and other know-nothings continually scream for President-by-Grace-of-Republicans Barack Obama to act as if he resoundingly won the 2008 election, that's not the route to go.

Packing his Cabinet with Republicans is not sufficiently bipartisan. Republicans deserve more than three chairs around the table. They deserve more than the evisceration of the stimulus bill to suit GOP codewords...more than simply larding it up with tax cuts and cutting out reproductive health. It is not enough to simply enlargen and deepen George W. Bush's government-religion office. We need true bipartisanship.

With the vacancy in the position of Health and Human Services, this is truly a chance. A few dead-enders are touting remorselessly partisan, if successful, doctor and politician Howard Dean. Wrong -- partisanship is so 20th century. Some visionaries in tune with the country's mood have suggested Mitt Romney. Finer readers of today's zeitgeist offer Newt Gingrich. But these times require true bipartisanship, so I offer this advice:

Appoint Ronald Reagan's Corpse as Secretary of Health and Human Services

There are so many reasons why this is a good idea:

  • According to most Republicans, Ronald Reagan was an outstanding president, even better than Abraham Lincoln. A dead Reagan in Cabinet is better than a living Daschle, quid pro quo. We desperately need Republican support for everything Obama will do (apparently), and this really reaches out to those crucial voters.
  • It would be like having two presidents. Apply some good makeup, find a good suit, and prop Reagan up in the Oval Office with his eyes closed. Aside from the smell, having a motionless, dozing Reagan would make it feel like 1986 all over again!
  • You need someone who can take the long view. A really long view.
  • You will not find a more unique understanding of the urgency of health care than somebody for whom medical help right now is just a bit too late.

If this true outreach doesn't make Republicans like us, we're out of options. One can only hope that the GOP will quickly confirm Reagan's Body as HHS Secretary, as the last remaining hope would be to appoint Sarah Palin as VP, and have Obama resign.

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