Jon Kyl just can't not embarrass himself and everyone in this state who voted for him. He's so lame, he even embarrasses those of us who didn't vote for him, just because he has that R-AZ tag after his name whenever he's in the news.
His latest act of genius occurred this morning on Meet the Press. Host David Gregory said that while Kyl and other Republicans complain that health care reform will add to the budget deficit (although not if you believe the nonpartisan CBO study), they never make the same argument about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kyl said: "No country can afford to scrimp and save, or try to win a war on the cheap. The president himself has said the war in Afghanistan, against these terrorists who killed over 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11 2001, is a war of necessity. You have to win it."
And yes, no one denies that the deaths of 3,000 Americans is a very bad thing. Gregory went on to the logical next question: "And is it a necessity to tackle the fact that there are more and more Americans who die because they don't have access to health insurance?"
To which the genius Sen. Kyl said, "I'm not sure that it's a fact that more and more people die because they don't have health insurance. But because they don't have health insurance, the care is not delivered in the best and most efficient way."
He's not sure it's a fact. He's not sure.
Shouldn't he find out? If he was doing what he is paid to do, he might have read the Harvard study on precisely this topic. Surely he's heard it by now. Surely, having heard it, he would consider it his duty to follow up, to see what the study really says. If he hasn't read it, is it because he doesn't care about the 45,000 Americans who die each year because they don't have health insurance? And why is 3,000 American deaths, tragic though it is, worse than even 4,500 American deaths, much less 45,000? If these deaths--if even 10% of these deaths--are preventable, isn't it incumbent upon him, as a senior United States senator, to do whatever is necessary to prevent them?
His last word on insurance reform, delivered with a smarmy grin, was this semi-coherent statement: "In my, in my state this Oliver Wyman study, not the one that Chris criticized--or that you criticized earlier, in my state increased premiums for a family under this bill, $7,400. That's not the kind of reform that Arizona families are looking for."
To which nobody bothered to shake him by the lapels and say, "That's why we need a public option, to create competition for the insurance companies that are already planning to raise their premiums, because only real competition will result in lower prices!"
Had I been the one shaking him by the lapels, I would probably have added "You moron!" after that. Because it seems like a guy who can be elected and reelected to the Senate should be pretty bright, but Kyl certainly gives no public indication that he is.