Green Room

Politics Can Be Hard Too

posted at 9:14 am on November 16, 2010 by

One of the great joys for political junkies comes at this time of year. While others hit the malls to shop for bargains, we get to look forward to a huge class of congressional freshman, just off the bus from Podunk, U.S.A, arriving in Washington and finding out that the potential landmines don’t stop once the votes have all been counted. And this applies to Republicans as well as Democrats.

Today’s case in point – Andy Harris (R-MD) who showed up for freshman orientation and immediately distinguished himself by asking a question about his congressional benefits.

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Methinks somebody should have sent Andy a copy of Joe Scarborough’s Survival Guide for the Class of 2010. In particular, item number six may have been helpful.

CONSERVE YOUR WORDS

This sounds like strange advice coming from me. Having said that, I have learned from my mistakes. Never give a speech when you are angry. When your blood begins to boil, shut your mouth unless you have a prepared text in front of you. If you don’t have a speech that will help you stay measured, use gum, tobacco or duct tape to keep your mouth occupied.

Unless the lame duck session gets fired up on something truly controversial, this is the season when the beltway press corps gets bored and is constantly on the lookout for a story. Until the new members finish figuring out where the bathrooms are, it’s probably best to keep in mind the old maxim which tells us, “a closed mouth gathers no foot.”

Welcome to Washington, Congressman Harris. You’re playing in the big show now, and the cameras and microphones are never, ever turned off.

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“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

This is a ridiculous “similarity”. He’s asking his new employer if he can pay out of his own pocket to join the health plan early. It is only because his new employer is the government that the “similarity” can be concocted.

The Monster on November 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Well, you know, it takes 3-6 weeks to process the paper work.

Skandia Recluse on November 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Maybe I’m reading this wrong?

Was he intentionally making a point about O-Care or was he serious?

catmman on November 16, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Was he intentionally making a point about O-Care or was he serious?

catmman on November 16, 2010 at 12:30 PM

That’s what I was thinking. He is an M.D., after all. And according to the Politico link:

{Spokeswoman Anna] Nix said Harris, who is the father of five, wasn’t being hypocritical – he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government-run health care.

malclave on November 16, 2010 at 3:06 PM