Dear Mr. Farah,

Regarding recent actions in Congress, I was ruminating on what happened behind the scenes.

They say it takes two to tango. Well, it takes three to do the federal four-step. Let’s see how it works.

One player, let’s say his initials are P.R., makes a deal with player two. Pulling player two’s initials out of thin air, we can agree to call him M.M.

So let’s listen in as P.R. and M.M. take step one and make a deal.

P.R.: Hey, M.M. I’m up for re-election next year and I need to cover all my actions and inactions against the American people. I need to hold a vote in the House to repeal Care for Suckers, er, I mean Obamacare, and I need to pass it (Step 1).

M.M.: No problemo, P.R. We’ll make it look like a good try in the Senate before it fails (Step 2).

P.R.: How can you ensure that? My paymasters, er big donors, are worried?”

At this point, player three enters the picture; the pseudo-random initials popping into my head are J.M.

M.M: First, we need a hero. We’ll have J.M. swoop in to save the day with just enough votes to allow a vote to be taken on repealing Obamacare. Next, when we hold the vote. J.M. will be the vote that kills the repeal. He’s not up for re-election for a long time, and everyone will have forgotten about it by the time he is (Step 3).

P.R.: Sounds good. Now I can go get a deal with Trump to back my re-election if I get the Obamacare vote to repeal passed in the House. Then, I’ll finish my phony “Build the Wall” commercial so I can fool the voters in my district again and go on voting against the wall after the election. I will be a shoe-in to win! (Step 4).

M.M.: Was it P.T. Barnum who said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time …”?

P.R.: Words to get re-elected by, my friend!!

Sincere regards,

Thomas Paine

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