Tim Murphy has done as good a job as I have ever seen in painting himself a brave warrior, a ferocious fighter for a holy cause. It was hard at some point in this to not believe he was an irresistible force destined for certain victory.
But it’s the House of Representatives. The quicksand of irresistible victors. They can’t pass a budget. They are chronically allergic to agreement. They are the only legislative body alive keeping the Tennessee General Assembly from winning the gold medal as the most pathetic legislative body in the United States. The big policy news this morning is that one of their members who always liked Target because he didn’t have to walk to the back of the store to use the bathroom is now boycotting them because of their recognition of transsexuals as people too.
Rep. Murphy has never realized that his bill would never see the light of day as the Murphy Commandment. As logically contradictory as it is for him he has to craft an agreement. So far he hasn’t shown he can. The IMD exclusion repeal is not flying in the current budget asylum that is the House. Much that had been divinely imparted to him will not fly in the Senate. And I have such a hard time seeing Barack Obama add this to his legacy as he leaves the White House.
Rep Murphy can pitch a tantrum and say my way or no way. He has basically been doing that for a couple of years. But in the end I believe there is no mountaintop. There are no tablets. And barring a major miracle there will be no Commandment… Murphy or otherwise.
(This is probably an inappropriate way to end this post…. I have an image in my head of Rep Murphy on the mountaintop with Moses red faced, stomping his feat loudly, madder than the dickens pointing his finger in Moses face screaming…. “Oh yes you will. Yes you will….”)
Seriously I have begun to believe nothing is happening this year in mental health reform. I hear Democrats are considering trying to get gun control in the Senate version and they can’t find the money to repeal the IMD exclusion either. In the House Murphy has Murphy. Nothing is going to happen in an election year that in the end anyone wants to take credit for.
That’s what I think. Take it with a grain of salt. The quickest way I know to make anything happen is predict it won’t. I guess we will see.