Very Junior Senators

In Great Britain, the most junior member in a parliamentary house receives the informal title “Baby of the House.” Sometimes the Baby of the House is not an actual baby, but rather a toddler who isn’t potty-trained. More often, the baby is a young man or woman who is quite exciting to the other members because he or she is barely legal. That is, just old enough to serve in the house in question. “Baby of the House” is not commonly used in America, but by definition it can refer to the most junior member of any house in any nation of the world. For example, it could refer to Michelle Tanner on “Full House,” or to the youngest person on the show “House.” It also might refer to the youngest person in a house of Congress, such as the House of Representatives.

In the 111th Congress, 28-year-old Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) is the baby of the House of Representatives. Or he was, until Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) decided to take the belt from Schock and give it to an adorable little baby named Maddie.

To protest the many injustices written into the Democratic version of the healthcare bill, Shadegg brandished the little tyke at his colleagues, and then allowed her to speak against the bill. Maddie hasn’t yet learned how to manipulate her tongue and lips to produce recognizable words, but that didn’t stop her from waggling her little glottis. Say what you will, but that girl can phonate. Surely, in time, this baby of the House will be able to speak to us loudly and clearly, with a message other than: “Goooeeeaaaaa.”

Shadegg, interpreting for the infant, told us that one of her complaints was that she “doesn’t want government to take over healthcare.” This complaint makes reference to the inclusion in the bill of the “public option,” which would be administered by the government. Public option? To Maddie that sounds a lot like “state socialism.” Literally. She can’t distinguish between words.

But she knows that “if this bill passes, then no more health care for her mom.” She’s just interested in fairness. So she has to speak (through the mouth of an old man) on behalf of the millions of Americans who aren’t cute enough (or tiny enough) to be waved in the air by a member of Congress. She “doesn’t want her mom’s taxes to go up by 730 billion dollars.” It’s a good point. It would be unfair, and downright un-American, for Congress to make one woman pay for the entire health care overhaul simply because her cherubic daughter had the courage to criticize the government.

That’s injustice. And, in the words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Maddie is not going to stand for injustice anywhere, let alone everywhere. And that’s not just because her squishy little legs can’t support the weight of her body.

No, she’s going to not stand (she’ll sit, if you will) for this injustice. Instead, she will wail, piercingly, until the nation wakes up to what’s going on, probably five times in one night. Maddie’s a modern American dissident. Because she knows dissent is patriotic. That’s why Dissent is our nation’s favorite publication, and why dysentery is our nation’s favorite intestinal malady. Maddie’s not going to turn a blind eye to the coming tyranny. She’ll call a spade a spade, and then use it to build a sandcastle.

She certainly won’t settle for government-run health-care. As Shadegg told us, “She wants America’s health insurance companies to have to compete with each other.” Competition is good. Imagine, if you will, the current healthcare system through the lens of professional football (this is how Maddie, a lifelong Cardinals fan, sees it). In professional football, there is plenty of competition. That’s what makes football, like healthcare, so entertaining. The only joy that can compare to following the bitter rivalry between the Vikings and the Packers is the joy of observing Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor compete with Merck’s Zenia! For fun, I often sit back and watch the triglycerides drop like a rock.

Sure, sometimes competition can lead to brutal, debilitating injuries. Like when Lawrence Taylor snapped Joe Thiesmann’s leg like a toothpick, or when no insurance company will sell a man a policy because he has diabetes! Hits like these sting for a while, but aren’t they what make life so exciting?

John Shadegg loves competition. And so does our wee free-market-lovin’ friend Maddie. For the sake of this country, we need to defeat this sinister health-care plot. Otherwise, an emboldened Democratic Party might just decide to nationalize professional football. Their scheme of a Nationalized Football League would have no competition. And it would tear this country apart. They may say, “Are you ready for some football.” But they’ll mean, “Are you ready to have your organs stolen by government doctors?”

Defeat this government plan. Don’t let the Feds break Maddie’s heart. And don’t let them take it either.