Here is your magical unicorn President Obama health care reform live blog—because nothing is more exciting than watching a politician sign something! And remember people, as soon as he puts the sacred Abigail Adams Wonderquill to the parchment, a million children will no longer need braces. YAY! (Refresh for hilarious true updates).
11:12am: True to its dynamic form, CSPAN has a Presidential historian arguing with old, old Republicans who call in on the telephone to complain. It really is MUST-SEE TV.
11:14am: AND WE’RE LIVE! Bunch of people milling around: a pleasant-looking middle-aged lady in a bright-blue, tent-like dress is standing up, obviously hogging the pre-prez camera time. Old white men sitting next to old black men sitting next to a few women: This is your American political class.
11:18am: There really is nothing I love more than just vamping on the silent CSPAN feed before any given political event. I actually took a course in this very thing at Canada University School of Journalism and Internet Arts; it was taught by former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who live-blogged his way to the throne of Upper Canada. See, vamping.
11:21am: Some dude just shushed the crowd, then said something, then the crowd reacted. It was just like the Continental Congress of 1781.
11:22am: A human boy! In the crowd! Or maybe it’s a robot boy who will become a human boy when Obama signs the bill! I don’t know!
11:23am: The CSPAN producer keeps switching between two still-camera angles. Like a young Sokurov. This is better than Stalker.
11:24am: Thank god, the CSPAN disembodied voice is now talking, and tells us that congresspeople like to take photos a lot, like tourists. Which is kind of upsetting to me. (Also, importantly, the voice tells us that the official parliamentarian denied last night’s Republican objections to a few reconciliation details; which is good.)
11:26am: Now everybody’s randomly running up front and posing for photos by the Presidential lectern, like a bunch of paper salesmen visiting McDonald’s “University.” This is not dignified, people.
11:28am: Pelosi, Reid, other VIPs in the house. Sorry, the HOUSE.
11:30pm: “The program is about to begin,” says a voice, like at a Broadway show… or like Michael Buffer, actually. And here they are, Barry O’Bama and his Uncle Joe the Train Hobo. Hooray.
11:31am: Lots of wooting. These people are having a good time. Wow, chanting, awesome. I suppose this really has to be an incredible stress relief for these folks. Biden: “Mr. President, I think we have a happy room here.”
11:33am: Biden talking about what history is. It is having “steel in your spine,” it is about “taking charge and changing the lives of ten millions of Americans.” Also, trains. Kidding. “You have all made history.” Uncle Joe calls Obama a leader, which prompts the audience to a standing o’. Sorry, a standing O.
11:34am: “Mr. President, you’re the guy that made [health care reform] happen.”
11:35am: Wow. Joe really is pouring it on here, telling his boss how great he is, how he’s done what Roosevelt et al haven’t been able to do. He’s probably about to ask for a raise.
11:36am: “Mr. President, you want me to stop because I’m embarrassing you… well, I’m not.” Also, little kids forever will celebrate the name Barry Soweto… And here he is, yer Preznit.
11:38am: More standing and clapping. “Thank you, Joe.” Man, he does have good comic timing. “Health insurance reform becomes law today in America.” Cool. Ooh, here’s today’s rhetorical trope: it’s spring now, so this marks a new season in America. Like, sort of, a “morning in America”?
11:40am: People be yelling up in this piece, like church (well, not the kind of church I ever went to, but the kind of church I wish I did).
11:42am: Barry’s going over the list of all the good stuff that’s going to happen really, really soon. I like this list, it makes me happy to live in this country. Or at least less sad, which is a kind of happiness. (This list.)
11:44am: God, this must be a nice, relaxing speech for him to be giving right now. The happiness and relief in the room is palpable. Well, it’s not palpable to me, but I imagine if one were there, you could touch it with your hands. Oh! The robot boy just stood up, as if to say, “When is he going to get to the part about robot boys becoming human boys?” Sorry, robot boy, it doesn’t look like that’ll be covered in reconciliation. Which is ok because robot boys don’t feel pain, like Canadians.
11:45am: “A lot of our congressmen and women have taken their lumps over this process…” And some wit yells out, “Yes we did,” which is the Democrat equivalent of yelling “baby killer,” which is why everyone thinks Democrats are wimps. Speaking of “people who are totally not wimps,” here’s a little shout-out to Fancy Nancy Pelosi. Holy shit, there’s a “Nancy” chant happening. Oh, and Harry Reid. The “Harry” chant fails immediately, which is good.
11:47am: The Prez gives a shout-out to Kathleen Sebelius; I try to start a “Kathleen Sebelius” chant in the office; it fails.
11:48am: Here come the waterworks: “I’m signing this bill today for my Mom… I’m signing this bill for this little boy (Marcellus?) who lost his mom…” He’s also signing it for a bunch of other people who’ve been screwed by a profit-driven health insurance industry… Man, this could be a real long list.
11:51am: Oh, “and I’m signing this for Ted Kennedy.” Damn, now even I’m starting to tear up, and I’m a robot Canadian boy.
11:52am: Obama calling out all the gameplaying and punditry that goes on Washington… “We are not a nation that scales back its aspiration.” And, “We don’t fall prey to fear.” Well, maybe half of us don’t.
11:55am: “THANK YOU EVERYONE.” Now it’s time for the photo-op, as everyone’s coming up behind the Prez and the bill. Uncle Joe is totally crowding out lil Marcellus. Ok, that’s better. “Let Uncle Joe just rub your shoulders here…” And……… (Oh yeah, he’s left handed). SIGNED!!!1! LONG LIVE SOCIALISM!!1!
11:57am: This is kind of awesome. Also—and don’t think me weird—but Pelosi is looking… kind of hot? Deal with the Devil maybe?
11:58am: Congratulations America, you now have health insurance reform pretty similar to the last two major Republican proposals. Welcome to Communism.
Noon: Everybody’s just milling around, saying things like, “Where’s the party?” and “Don’t tell Joe where the party is.”
12:02pm: Obama’s shaking everyone’s hand, even the sad little robot boy who is trying to shoot lasers from his eyes but cannot, for they are gummed up with robot tears.
And with that, I’m out… gonna go get me a pre-existing condition. Goodnight.