The 13 Tyrants of Health Care
We do not live in a functioning democracy - republican, direct, or otherwise. You don't have to look at the 2000 election to know that - as I've discussed before, you can just look at the basic mathematics of the U.S. Senate, which gives the same representation to 600,000 people in Wyoming that it gives to tens of millions of people in California (and that says nothing of the filibuster, either). And, as my newspaper column today shows, American tyranny - that is, America's lack of democracy - is now distorting the health care debate.
Right now, we're watching six U.S. Senators (from some of the most sparsely populated states) and seven Commerce Committee Blue Dog Democrats hijack the health care debate. Together, these 13 tyrants represent just 13 million people - or 4 percent of the total population. And they are obstructing a health care bill for the other 300 million of us.
I ran the numbers on these districts and states - and there's some particularly interesting things to note.