The Definition of Insanity

For anyone who doesn’t known someone in 12-step recovery or who doesn’t have a folk-wisdom-spouting Bubbe (or Nona or Grammy or Nana, etc.), “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” This perhaps-overused aphorism has so many useful applications, I won’t bore you with too many. (Let’s just say in our house, it applies to everything from why I don’t keep Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the house, to our current search for an alarm clock guaranteed to wake a 17-year-old boy.)

In politics, however, very few people seem to follow this wisdom. I imagine it’s partially because everyone is “preaching to the choir” (another folk aphorism, although not one I ever heard from any Bubbe, which is Yiddish for Grandma, but I digress). That is, public figures mostly give speeches to please the people who already agree with them, which makes sense – constituents or fans know what to expect, and it also makes life much easier for political comedy writers who all start salivating whenever Donald Trump says he’s going to make any kind of announcement.

The insanity of repetition gets a bit out of control when it comes to legislation. It’s one thing for gun control advocates to come up with a variety of new laws, or for abortion foes to get creative in how they make it difficult for clinics to stay open – whether you agree or disagree, at least those groups are trying to adapt to reality instead of doing the same thing over and over. But what’s with the 40 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act? On top of the fact that it’s getting to be a punch line, and these repeal votes are clearly fruitless, it does seem somewhat hypocritical for a supposedly fiscal conservative bunch to be wasting so much time and taxpayer money. (According to a CBS estimate, based on nonpartisan data about the cost of a congressional work week, each repeal vote costs $1.45 million, which makes the total over $50 million so far.) I don’t even want to think about how $50 million compares to my financial situation”¦but at least, on the brighter side, it makes the expenses for my college-bound son seem pretty reasonable by comparison.

At a certain point, it’s prudent to give up fighting and “surrender, Dorothy” – so to help the GOP get unstuck, here’s a musical reminder that “Obamacare Isn’t Scary!”

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