Here's a handy window into the incestuous relationship between the D.C. press corps and Capitol Hill: Someone in Michele Bachmann's office recently passed along a copy of her "Declaration of Health Care Independence" to Politico's Glenn Thrush, along with the oddly contradictory and irony-free request that it not be shared with anyone. Being the good journalist that he is, Thrush went right ahead and made it public anyway.
It's a win-win, as they say - at least in the self-promotion department. Thrush scores with a little scoop about our controversial congresswoman and draws some audience share for a news cycle or two. Bachmann scores with some buzz for her "Declaration of Health Care Independence " press conference today. Maybe she'll even steal a little limelight away from President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech later tonight before Congress.
She does know how to seize the SOTU moment. Remember the video of her pawing of George W. Bush?
Bachmann's been fact-checked over and over on her assertions about what the current health care reform package contains - and been found wanting in her credibility. She's also been mocked:
Never the less, she's tapped into a deep vein of American anger and paranoia with her position on health care. Here's the "declaration."
Declaration of Health Care Independence
In order to retain the Blessings of Liberty as secured to us by our Founding Fathers and as expressed in our Constitution, We the People reject the imposition upon us of a new, Washington-controlled system of government-run health care. We demand Constitutional protection of the right to make our own health decisions and our own health care choices free of government denials, bureaucratic red-tape, and greater intergenerational debt.
A Washington takeover of American health care will
1) Deny fundamental personal and economic liberties and indisputably violate the Principle of Limited Government as established by the Constitution; 2) Impose increased costs and taxes upon individuals, families, and businesses, as well as taxpayers at the federal, state, and local levels; 3) Irreparably cripple the American economy, at the cost of jobs, businesses, productivity, and quality of life; 4) Create an inescapable new tax by imposing individual and employer mandates; 5) Institutionalize a massive, ever-expanding federal bureaucracy that is impersonal and impractical; 6) Empower bureaucrats to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, undermine the quality of care, limit choice, and increase the cost of health care.
We have appealed to the decency of the elected majority to respect the rights of all Americans, but their leaders have been deaf to the Voice of the People. We are appalled by their cavalier disregard of the Constitution and of the demands of the People. We are repulsed by their blatant political bribes and kickbacks. We, therefore, the People and Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, do solemnly Publish and Declare that health care reform, as a matter of principle must
1) Protect as inviolate the vital doctor-patient relationship; 2) Reject any addition to the crushing national debt heaped upon all Americans; 3) Improve, rather than diminish, the quality of care that Americans enjoy; 4) Be negotiated publically, transparently, with genuine accountability and oversight, and be free from political favoritism; 5) Treat private citizens at least as well as political officials; 6) Protect taxpayers from compulsory funding of abortion; 7) Reject all new mandates on patients, employers, individuals, or states; 8) Prohibit expansion of taxpayer funded health care to those unlawfully present in the United States; 9) Guarantee Equal Protection under the law and the Constitution; 10) Empower, rather than limit, an open and accessible marketplace of health care choice and opportunity.