Any moment, you expect Andy Griffith to intone, "Aunt Bee, this is gooo-oood !"
Griffith, one of the most beloved television stars in American history, has recently cut a commercial espousing the benefits of Washington's new health-care reform law.
Owing to his role as a benevolent and often befuddled small-town North Carolina sheriff on the old Andy Griffith Show , and later as a kindly but deadly effective down-home defense attorney in Matlock , federal officials tapped Griffith to increase "Obamacare's" popularity, particularly among wary seniors.
"With the new health care law, more good things are coming," Griffith says to the camera. "I think you're going to like it."
We have no doubt it will be effective.
And that's quite unfortunate, because it appears Mr. Griffith has been snookered, and is passing along the dubious privilege to all those who have trusted him for so long.
The truth is that the health care law cuts Medicare by over $500 billion; it's hard to see how the benefits Mr. Griffith so blithely touts in his ad can't be curtailed.
Moreover, you might wonder: If it is so impressed with itself and the new health care law, why didn't the government have new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief Donald Berwick in the TV ad? Maybe because he is an unabashed supporter of health-care rationing -- which can only hurt senior citizens, as resources are shifted to younger patients in the name of cost-effectiveness.
The long-term picture for those younger patients isn't much brighter: The CMS's own report says the health care law will actually increase expenditures -- after the president sold reform as a cost-cutting measure. In 2009, Mr. Obama called health-care spending a threat to the economy, a "ticking time bomb" and "unsustainable." Yet, the law he pushed for will increase those expenditures.
The government that hired Griffith to shill for its new health care law cynically timed it to coincide with the 45th anniversary of Medicare -- making it seem like a celebration rather than a political pitch.
Back in the fictional town of Mayberry, there was a sheriff who could have sniffed out such nonsense.
Sadly, there's a new sheriff in town.
But we're not sure he has the consent of the governed.
On Tuesday, an astounding 71 percent of voters in Missouri rejected Obamacare's keystone requirement that everyone be required to buy health insurance or pay a fine. That's an amazing consensus. And while the vote is largely symbolic, the sentiment is not: Americans will fight this unprecedented intrusion of federal power in every way possible.
It won't be symbolic in Arizona and Oklahoma in November, either, when voters decide whether to bar the federal requirement in their state constitutions. Lawmakers in Georgia, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana and Virginia also have passed laws against it.
In addition, 19 other states have joined in a lawsuit against the law in Florida, and Virginia's lawsuit was allowed by a judge to go forward this week.
Sheriff Taylor's sweet-talk notwithstanding, this is becoming the Obama Rebellion.
A woman who questioned Congressman Pete Stark, D-Calif., at a town hall recently asked of the new health-care mandates, "If they can do this, what can't they?"
The answer will determine what kind of country we're left with.