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Kooky Kabuki terrain - Will Durst

This health-care thing has driven people crazier than Johnny Depp in a Max Fleischer cartoon on acid. Pro or con, your rhetoric better be cranked up to eleven and soaring past the outer orbit of Neptune, or you're going to be as invisible as a tax collector with a soggy paper plate full of Swedish meatballs sitting next to the deceased at a wake.

Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh jumped into this peculiar March Madness feet-first, threatening to leave the U.S. should health-care reform pass. He must realize for a lot of people, that's a big win-win. And if the prospect of his permanently playing ex-pat doesn't motivate progressives, nothing will. He even mentioned Costa Rica as a possible destination. Where they have universal heath care. Just like every industrialized country in the world. Although your access to Oxycontin may vary.

Eric Massa, the New York Democrat who admitted grabbing a staffer's staff, embarked on a media-based whining tour, charging he was hounded out of office by the White House and smeared because of his opposition to health-care reform. But even though he was willing to speak ill of the administration, Glenn Beck washed his hands of Tickle-Me Eric, after the former Congressman trotted out some intra-personal top-bunk Naval snorkeling documentation. When a teed-off Democrat is too far gone for Glenn Beck, things truly have escalated into kooky Kabuki terrain.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, Sen. Orrin Hatch railed that if Democrats try to jam a health-care bill through Congress, it will destroy bipartisanship. Oh, no. Not that! They're killing the dodo. Apparently, this guy is more worried about a dead fantasy than sick Americans. Then, Sen. Mitch McConnell ratcheted up the exponential wackiness by warning Democrats they face Electoral Armageddon in the fall, which isn't fair; like regaling 6-year-old girls with tales of the hairy spiders that live under their bed before saying "sleep tight."

Obama, his own self, can be found careening around the country like an over-caffeinated Chihuahua engaged in a last-ditch effort to sell the bill to what you might call his hesitant posse. Yeah. Recalcitrant Democrats. What are the odds? Like calling a flash flood irksome. At this point, Obama would be happy to pass anything. Health care. The jobs bill. A hook pattern. Kidney stone. Toyota Prius.

The overwhelming discombobulating apprehension is the president isn't just piloting his own kamikaze fighter into the carrier of health care, he's sending vulnerable troops on the same suicide mission. One that will make Gallipoli look like a weekend pass at an Istanbul brothel. After all, it's not his butt on the re-election line this fall, and the GOP strategy to stall proceedings has frothed Democratic incumbents into such a lather, the sweat dripping off their faces is shorting out microphones all across this great land of ours.

Now, we're hearing the target passage date might be a bit more elastic than the waistband of a RINO's tutu. The good news is sooner or later, this bill will either become law or not become law and everybody can settle back down to their normal routine of accusation, obfuscation, and procrastination until Election Day. But until then, keep taking your vitamins; this health care debate seems to be making a lot of people sick.

Will Durst is a San Francisco-based political comic who writes sometimes. This is an example. Will has performed around the world and is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail him at durst@caglecartoons.com.