On Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi gave the following explanation of the importance of health care reform to an august gathering of San Francisco Democrats:
”It’s like the back of the refrigerator. You see all these wires and the rest,” said Pelosi. “All you need to know is, you open the door. The light goes on. You open this door, you go through a whole different path, in terms of access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.”
I was inspired to imagine: “A Conversation with Nancy Pelosi”
Me: Madam Speaker, let me begin by thanking you for taking time from your busy schedule to speak with me. I understand you have a botox top-up appointment in half an hour, so I’ll get right to it: You recently compared the health care bill to a refrigerator. I quote, “It’s like the back of the refrigerator. You see all these wires and the rest. All you need to know is, you open the door. The light goes on. You open this door, you go through a whole different path, in terms of access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.”
My first question is, How do you know the light goes off when you close the door?
Pelosi: All scientists and economists agree that the light goes off when you close the door, and I personally know because when I opened the door and went down the path, I closed the door behind me. I had to go back for a flashlight.
Me: Madam Speaker, speaking of being inside a refrigerator, you are old enough to remember the 1960s elephant joke fad. There was one that asked, “How can you tell if there is an elephant in your refrigerator? Answer – You can smell the peanuts on his breath.” How can we tell if there’s a
n ass donkey in our refrigerator.
Pelosi: First of all, you would never find a Republican in the health care fridge, although it would be just like a Republican to endanger those with peanut allergies by breathing noxious fumes at them and burdening our health care system with unnecessary costs. As the President has said, it would probably be done by a doctor… who is also a Republican.
As to a Democrat in the fridge: Except for a few fringe refrigerator repair fanatics the American people do not see health care in partisan terms. The better question is “How can you tell if there’s a Fed in your fridge?” There are several indicators, 1) the 25 watt incandescent light has been replaced with a 5 watt delayed-start CFL, 2) the maraschino cherries have been individually micro-laser engraved with nutrition data, and 3) aside from the cherries the only food in the fridge is groats.
And none of that is a joke.
Me: Groats. That reminds me that some disagree with your contention that the light goes off when you close the door. For example, at least one refrigerator model has been described thusly, “Two shelves where none are needed and, close the door and the light stays ON!“* Isn’t that actually more like your health care bill?
Pelosi: Well, if any such refrigerators exist it is an affront to all right thinking Americans and is probably a conspiracy between power companies and refrigerator manufacturers. Sounds like Congressman Waxman will need to hold hearings and bring General Electric on the carpet.
Me: What other appliances resonate with your legislative agenda?
Pelosi: Before I answer that, let me flesh out the refrigerator analogy a bit more. In addition to not needing to know how a fridge works, you don’t need to know what’s in it. Further, health care reform is also like the back of the inside of a refrigerator; You know, where old food goes to die.
Finally, the freezer section – have you ever noticed the expression of permanent surprise on a whole frozen trout – can be compared to the “freezing” of flesh through botox treatments that I am proud to have secured as a right for working-class Americans.
So, to your question: Upright Freezers are like “Cap and Trade”. And chest freezers are like immigration reform.
Me: Aren’t freezers much the same as refrigerators? How can they represent such different bills? And how can upright freezers differ so drastically from chest freezers?
Pelosi: Simple, all freezers are very cold, and as we all know that’s a sign of global warming. Also, General Electric makes freezers and they are one of the biggest rent seekers in promoting carbon trading.
Chest freezers, while similar to uprights, do make it more difficult to find things as they migrate to the bottom. Just ask my good friend former Congressman William Jefferson. In this way, the chest freezer represents jobs Americans won’t do and the undocumented immigrants lost at the bottom of our society.
Me: OK, but when you open the freezer door, what path are you taking?
Pelosi: The path of access to quality, affordable, carbon-offset, frozen Mexican-grown groats for all Americans.
Me: Getting back to the refrigerator analogy, why mention the back of the refrigerator? You’d have to be in front to open the door, wouldn’t you? And what fridge has wires all over the back of it? Did you mean cooling coils? They haven’t made fridges like that in decades.
Pelosi: The back of the refrigerator is where the dust bunnies of neglect accumulate, it’s the hidden tragedy perpetuated by Republicans, but finally ended with the vacuum of our new bill. And, look, anything that you don’t understand could serve as analogy for most all of our legislation. I just needed some common household object with a bunch of extraneous stuff that made it seem complicated to turn a light on and off.
As to wires and stuff, I already told you you didn’t need to know how it works. That goes for my analogy, too.
Me: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Your insights on these matters are truly a reflection of Congressional diligence.
*Apologies to George Leroy Tirebiter.
H/T James Taranto, Best of the Web Today. You can subscribe to his column via email, free.