Fixing Obamacare and The Simpsons

December 22nd, 2013

Recent efforts to fix Obamacare on a day-by-day basis, just trying to stay alive till tomorrow, reminded of an episode of the Simpsons, titled Bart the Mother. In the episode, Bart nurses what he thinks are bird eggs, but in fact are the eggs of a lizard that steals a bird’s eggs and leaves her own. These lizards are a huge nuisance, and will destroy their ecoystem. Principal Skinner threatens to kill them, but Bart saves them.

However, the lizards eat the pigeons–annoying birds–so people are happy. But, soon the lizards over-populate and become a nuisance. So how to get rid of the lizards? Well Springfield will import Chinese Needle Snakes, which will eat the lizards. But what happens when the snakes become a problem? Well Springfield will import snake-eating gorillas, of course. But what about over-populated gorillas?  Well, ”when wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.”

Sometimes I feel that government’s policies mirrors this episode. Solve one problem with a second problem, and when that problem becomes too big, impose a third problem, and so on, ad infinitum. Though, we will not have some cold winter to kill the final problem. But by that point, there will be a different President, and it still won’t be Obama’s problem.

Here is the transcript of a conversation between Principal Skinner and Lisa:

Skinner: Well, I was wrong; the lizards are a godsend.
Lisa: But isn’t that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we’re overrun by lizards?
Skinner: No problem. We simply release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They’ll wipe out the lizards.
Lisa: But aren’t the snakes even worse?
Skinner: Yes, but we’re prepared for that. We’ve lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
Lisa: But then we’re stuck with gorillas!
Skinner: No, that’s the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

Update: Thanks to Greg Dolin for finding the video.