Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone and it seems like you're talking right past each other? It happened to me last night.
I'm talking to a liberal friend of mine -- yes, I have a few -- about this whole health care law. He's ribbing me about this latest triumphant news. Says it must be killing me, because it's working.
I ask him, "How do you know it's working?"
He says, "7.1 million, baby! That's working!"
I try to explain to him that a lot of those folks already had insurance, still more didn't even pay for that insurance yet they're counted in that number and no one says a thing.
Neither does he. He says I'm just a hater. Says he can't believe I'd be against providing health care to folks who don't have it. I say I'm not. I'm just against dumping all the costs on the folks who do and can't afford it.
He just keeps talking. Claims if I have a problem covering folks with pre-existing conditions then I don't have a heart. I counter that I'm all for covering folks with pre-existing conditions, but if he doesn't think it's going to cost a bundle then he doesn't have a brain.
And so it goes. Back and forth, back and back. ObamaCare good; me bad.
Who can blame my friend who, by the way, works for the government and doesn't see the problem and needn't worry about footing the bill or the 3.8 percent investment surtax to pay for all this or the additional 9-tenths of a percent Medicare tax to fund way beyond this.
His tax deductions aren't being phased out. No, his government-funded care looks pretty much locked in. So he can feel free to debate a health care law that for him has been pretty much free. And just as free to take a president at his word.
So, when the president bashes Republicans for spending millions on ads to bad mouth the health care law, who can blame my friend for forgetting the White House spent millions more on ads featuring everyone from LeBron James to Lady Gaga to promote it?
He hears what he wants to hear. Down to a president who says Republicans bash but have no alternative of their own. When in fact, they have four very good ones, but Harry Reid won't even give them the time of day.
No, Republicans are heartless. Never, some Democrats are clueless.
Republicans are the ones who are fooling the American people. Certainly not the folks who said you could keep your doctor and your health plan to the American people. No, they're virtuous. Republicans? They're insidious.
So, I ask my friend if he could at least acknowledge all the millions of Americans who've lost their coverage or are paying more for their coverage and the millions of uninsured Americans themselves who want no part of this coverage -- the folks for whom we upended our entire health care system who now don't even want any part of this. What does he make of that?
Not a word.
It's at this point in the conversation when I swear we're both reliving that scene in "The Wizard of Oz." I'm pointing out the great wizard is just a dude behind a curtain pulling a crank. And my friend can't even fathom all this time, the wizard's just been pulling his chain.