From time immemorial it has been conventional wisdom that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Tell that to the House Tea Party caucus. They've just introduced HB 1776 a sweeping fiscal and regulatory measure that would abolish both. While it's not news that Tea Partiers would have taxes in their sights, the other half of the target is big news and it's generating heat in Congress.
Reflecting intense concern among their rank and file, whose median age is 98, House Tea Partiers are up in arms about the “unchecked epidemic of death sweeping America.” Death unfairly targets mature Americans they claim, depriving them of their constitutional right to life. For Tea Party true believers, the clear intent of the Framers in their constitutional guarantees of life and liberty, includes freedom from death.
In a fiery speech from the House floor, Mike Pence of Indiana, recently elevated by Tea Party Potentates to Grand Panjandrum 5th Level, dismissed death as “just another word for abortion.” He claimed millions of innocent lives have been lost to it since the passage of Roe v. Wade: “We gladly protect the rights of the unborn; why don’t we do the same for the rights of the undead?” Death, argued Pence may be appropriate in cases of rape, or when a person’s life is in danger, as it is with blasphemy, sodomy, witchcraft and certain driving offenses. But not when it impacts innocent people. “The only thing we want to see dead is taxes.”
The GOP is again split by Tea Party solidarity. “The notion that death and taxes are life’s only certainties is typical liberal spinelessness” sobbed Speaker Boehner, sounding pro-life without actually being anti-death. For Boehner the law’s broad appeal has to weighed against political reality. He will be hard pressed to get moderately far-right Republicans to vote for the abolition of something so central to core business interests. Without death, how will HMOs turn a profit? Who will buy life-insurance? How would abolishing death impact the domestic firearms industry? Would it just be for seniors? Just for Republicans? What about pets?
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, the Tea Party’s only Imperial Panjandra (she is also a Capitalist She-Moose Second Class) is resisting HB1776. For Jenkins, abolishing death is Nanny-State intrusion into citizen’s private affairs. “How do we enforce a death ban on someone who wants to die? Threaten them with death?” She further points out that “death-control” is as contrary to nature as birth-control: “Just as God kills us when He likes, only He can not kill us when He likes.” Capitol Tea Party Lodge officers are furious at Jenkins’ “treason.” They claim the Congresswoman, a youthful 48, is biased and are threatening to demote her from her coveted Capitalist She-Moose status to mere Bald Kleegle Third Class.