Yesterday, Maine’s house of representatives voted on whether to accept money from the federal government for the Medicaid expansion provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Before they did so, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, representing a chunk of Penobscot County, had this justification to give for not wanting the money (transcript follows).
As I listen to the debate today and earlier debate on this bill, I can’t help but think of a title of a book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. And it’s a book about the fact that men sort of think one way in their own brain, in their own world, and women think another way in their brain and their own world. And it really talks about the way that men and women can do a better job at communicating. Because if you listen to the debate today, in my mind–a man’s mind–I hear, really, two fundamental issues. From the other side of the aisle, I hear the conversation being about “free”. “This is free. We need to take it, and it’s free. And we need to do it now.” And that’s sort of the fundamental message that my brain receives. Now, my brain, being a man’s brain, sort of thinks differently, because I say, “Well, it’s not–if it’s free, is it really free?” Because I say, in my brain, “There’s a cost to this.”
Oh, Fredette’s man-brain, what have you given us? Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? You’re going to stand in the halls of government and tell us we should listen to you because you’re quoting a book by a man who received his undergraduate and masters degrees in Transcendental Meditation and his PhD by correspondence with an unaccredited university? You want us to take the word of this guy that man-brains and woman-brains are different because “everybody knows”?
Then you want to take that piece of nonsense and tell us it applies to a legislature with plenty of male Democrats and a fair number of female Republicans as an “either side of the aisle” difference? You want us to believe that your opinion of whether taking this money is good policy is a communication issue?
Finally, you want us to listen–because you have a man-brain–to your vague ramblings about how there must be a cost, even though by the day of the vote, you haven’t bothered to do anything but let your man-brain “sort of” think about the problem? You want us to listen to you over the highly conservative Heritage Foundation, whose mission is to promote limited government, who nonetheless says here that accepting these funds will save Maine almost $700 million over 10 years?
This may be the stupidest defense of not reasoning on an issue that I’ve ever seen. Dude, if this is what men’s brains are supposed to be like, you can keep them.