It seems to me that every so often my brain plays a funny trick on me by coming up with some idea, notion, or memory out of the blue — no warning or anything, it’s just suddenly there. The problem I face is - why this, why now?
What triggered this particular topic? Well, that’s what happened to me recently as I was lying in bed during one of those middle-of-the-night sleepless periods we older (okay, more mature) folks tend to have. I was kinda mulling over this past year when all of a sudden one of President Reagan’s favorite stories popped into my head.
One version goes something like this, “Worried that their son was overly optimistic, the parents of a little boy took him to a psychiatrist. Trying to dampen the boy’s spirits, the psychiatrist showed him into a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. Yet instead of displaying distaste, the little boy ran around excitedly, clapping his hands and shouting, ‘Where is it?’ ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ the psychiatrist asked. ‘With all this manure,’ the little boy replied, beaming, ‘there must be a pony around here somewhere.’”
It took me a bit to figure out why my mind had come up with this particular story as I was reviewing events of this waning year, but I’m pretty sure I now have it.
This is due in part to my thoughts also turning to another past President - Harry Truman. Those of us who remember Harry recall his being rather blunt and outspoken sometimes using “colorful” language. When some constituents asked Harry’s wife, Bess, if she could persuade Harry to refrain from using the term, “horse manure” in describing something he considered outlandish, unbelievable, or an outright lie, she replied, “You have no idea how long it has taken me to get him to say ‘manure’ ”. Well, let’s see what happens when we blend these two.
The year started off with the revelation of pretty big pile of horse manure - the Administration’s version of what happened at Benghazi. Our ambassador and other Americans were brutally murdered in a carefully planned and executed attack - an attack we were told was a “spontaneous demonstration” although the Administration well knew this was untrue. The extent of this heap of dung has apparently not yet been determined as members of Congress continue to probe into unanswered questions including why witnesses were kept from testifying.
Let’s see now, how about the story of the IRS (that Infernal Revenue Service) targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. No matter how officials attempted to cover up their responsibility and participation in this mess, kinda like a cat in a litter box, the stink was just too great to be ignored. By the way, the IRS is now in the process of revising their rules to make similar actions against conservative groups legal. Looks like another pile being dropped.
Remember how the Administration put up barricades around the open-air World War II memorial in Washington and posted guards to keep veterans out? The stated reason was the “sequester” which reduced funding for government agencies.
The only thing is that installing the barriers and providing guards cost lots more than simply keeping the memorial open to the public. And how about closing the U S highway in the vicinity of Mount Rushmore so sightseers couldn’t view the presidents faces carved on that mountain even from afar - again blaming the “sequester.” Closing the White House to school children’s tours? Come on. The “sequester” didn’t stop that $100 million sightseeing tour of Africa, did it? Quite a few mounds of natural, unprocessed fertilizer in this whole sorry episode.
The statements about how if you like your plan or doctor you can keep them under ObamaCare were pure unadulterated horse droppings. The Administration knew very well these were not true but kept up the pretense anyway. The claim that the cost of health care insurance will go down? Oops! Sorry ‘bout that.
Guess it would be a waste of time to list other errors of fact about the program. You know, folks, politicians are expected to exaggerate, make promises they may not be able to keep, and sometimes deliberately avoid telling the entire truth. We know that, but we are seeing what appears to be the administration’s wholesale application of what is known in political circles as “the mushroom growers” method — keep the people in the dark and feed them a lot of horse manure.
Either that or there is a whole herd of ponies out there somewhere. At least that’s how it seems to me.
Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.