I thought maybe it would be a good idea to have threads for individual POTUS 2012 candidates, so their positions, pledges, promises and gaffes could be easily tracked, and since a story on Herman Cain popped up today, I noticed we don’t have a thread about him.
Today he was talking about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (TN) after a speech he gave there, and he indicated he did not approve of the mosque (and by extension, I believe, he indicates he does not believe in religious freedom, YMMV).
Personally, I’ve seen the guy speak once (and even recorded part of it because I couldn’t believe some of what I was hearing) and I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance in hell of even getting the nomination, but then again Sharron Angle made similar statements and came close to being elected here in Nevada. And like her, Cain does get media attention, so who knows how much of what he says will make it into regular political discourse between now and November 2012?
The small bills thing was really all I needed to hear. Understandable legislation is fine but the idea that the problem with the government is that the laws are too long is the most putrid proposal I’ve ever heard from anybody claiming to be a serious presidential candidate. Apparently Cain’s plan is to set up a government of the morons, for the morons, by the morons. Everybody wants the idiot vote, but that’s a bridge too far.
When I first heard Cain speak I was intrigued enough to want to learn more. I soon wished I hadn’t. He occasionally gets a good soundbite across but the man is out of his depth in the campaign and would drown in office. He may know business but he doesn’t understand politics at all.
That 1600 page health care bill distils down to about 150 pages once you shrink the font to Ariel 10 and get rid of the double spacing and the extra wide margins. That’s about 30 seconds hard graft. You could read it in a day if you really cared.
Of course, 150 pages still makes for a large bill, and it’s largely written in legalese, but when what else would a health care reform bill look like? By necessity, it was always going to be large and wordy, with reference to precedent and existing laws and regulations with which the layman wouldn’t be familiar. But that’s why we have executive summaries. Whining about the word count of the bill is just an excuse not to even bother trying to understand it. The PPACA is one of the most discussed and debated bills in American history, and there are countless free and impartial websites devoted to breaking it down into laymans terms. Anyone with an internet connection, half a brain, and a free Saturday can learn everything they need to about the bill’s contents, as well as how and when they will be affected.
Tell me, what bill worth passing could possibly be squeezed onto three measly pages? Shit, you couldn’t fit the Godfather’s Pizza employee code of conduct onto three pages.
Did you miss the part where Pelosi said we had to pass it before we knew what was in it?
And if the bill is so well crafted, why has “the One” had to grant 1372 exemptions from it?
Now, you see, here’s a subject I would agree with him over. I was essentially let go from my last job because I ran up too many medical bills in 2007 and their policy was to “shoot the wounded” when things started to go south. So, yeah, I see the problems with employee insurance and why real reform was needed.
But instead of coming up with a clearly written plan anyone could understand and advocating for it, he simply let the process get away from him, and then jammed a deformed version down everyone’s throat when voters in MASSACHUSETTS rebelled and put Scott Brown in Ted Kennedy’s seat. Backroom deals, kickbacks for Senators who were forced to step down when their own voters started egging them.
IANAL or Lawmaker, and my knowledge how bills like healthcare reform is limited. But could the 1600 pages (or 150 “distilled pages,” as someone called it), be further reduced? Perhaps healthcare reform could be passed in 20 smaller, seperate pieces of legislation, rather than one large one. It’s not like they’re working at high speeds as it is (of course, in saying that I realize that it would open you up to the possiblity of, say, twenty seperate filibusters…)
But any rate, I thought that was the most intriguing idea Herman Cain has. Ineloquently phrased, perhaps, and maybe not three pages. But what about 50? or 75? Or a word count? I seem to recall reading that some government agencies use the Flesch-Kincaid readability test for documents they publish. Why not use that? Jon Stewart can snicker about Herman Cain not liking to read all he wants, but I think imposing some sort of restraint on the language or wording of bills is a good idea.
How about a graphic novel (we can tell Conservatives it’s a Chick Tract)? But seriously, shorter is not better. I’d rather see them restricted to a single topic: no tacking on an anti-abortion amendment on to a defense appropriations bill for example.
Hey, I’ll give the devil it’s due, Medicare is actually better run that most private insurance. There are abuses, and you could tighten up a few things, but why not just say, “If you don’t have insurance from your employer, you can apply for medicare.”