THE BLOG
01/13/2015 04:48 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2015

Congressional Republicans Overlook Broccoli

Now controlling both houses of Congress, why have Republicans ignored the twin evils of Obamacare: broccoli and death panels? Recall their 2009 alarms that under Obamacare, government could both force you to buy broccoli and kill you. It was unclear which was the more monstrous.

I expected the first bill of 2015 to be the Home of the Free Act prohibiting the mandatory purchase of broccoli and limiting the jurisdiction of death panels to illegal immigrants and Keystone pipeline opponents. Yet the Republican's first bill regarding Obamacare changed the definition of full-time employees from 30 to 40 hours. Here I am dreading the midnight knock on my door from the health police demanding to inspect my broccoli receipts and the Republicans tinker with trifles.

(I never feared death panels, because being superbly qualified, I expected to serve on them. In retirement, I pictured myself, when not golfing or drinking, being well compensated for deciding who should die.)

In 2009, I thought the Republicans would oppose Obamacare with the question, "We have the most expensive, least efficient health care system in the world and you want to expand it?" Instead, they warned of the perils of broccoli reflecting the Republican Party's long-standing antipathy toward this cruciferous malefactor.

"I do not like broccoli," said George H.W. Bush. "And I haven't like it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. I'm President of the United States, and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli."

Bush's broccophobia is understandable. The high WASP culture of his childhood expressed its anglophilia by criminally overcooking vegetables. Later, at Andover, overcooked broccoli was laced with saltpeter before serving.

But the Republican establishment has been replaced by Tea Party and libertarian Republicans, raised in the Regan era to believe ketchup is a vegetable. In fact, ketchup was the sole vegetable consumed by Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul during their childhood. This explains why they have become squishy soft on the Cruciferae family and disregard the broccoli threat. The vitamin deficiency they suffered during these years also explains their cognitive challenges.

If the Republicans neglect broccoli, maybe they will also fail to ban death panels. I may yet get a chance to serve my country. Having worked in sports broadcasting, my list begins with NBA and NFL owners and Fox Sports executives. As I said, I am superbly qualified.