Trawling the hallways of the capitol on Sine Die, polster and stalwart conservative Mark Rountree inveighed against the sheer bloody-minded bucket of fail that the Patient Injury Act — and its chief proponent Richard Jackson of Jackson Healthcare — perpetrated this year.
In the waning hours of the last day of the legislative session, it’s clear the proposal to send malpractice claims to an arbitration panel stocked with doctors is as dead as a 16-seed. What’s seems astonishing is the cost of failure. Jackson apparently spent $3 million pressing the case, hiring lobbyists, contributing to campaigns and running attack ads in the local papers of powerful politicians.
On the flip side, you have Moral Monday protesters winning national media coverage from the New York Times, MSNBC and other outlets for little more cost than the time it took to get arrested in the legislative galleries and at Governor Nathan Deal’s office. Granted, people can argue that these victories are … well, mostly moral victories … but they’re a bigger result than a million-dollar goose egg.
Of course, I’m biased. I’m a lefty communist pinko who’s going to hell. And I’m a Tech fan.
But after reading Creative Loafing’s Golden Sleaze Awards and Arnie’s, focused on deeds of public woe and weal, it occurs to me that there’s another set of criteria to measure the outcomes of the legislative session. Sheer Machiavellian effectiveness. Forget good deeds for a moment. Think wins over replacement player, or return on investment. Think Frank Underwood.
Who did well this round, given the resources at their disposal and the resistance they faced? Who made the best of an opportunity, or made the best high-stakes risk play? And … who screwed up? Who were the lottery winners living in a van down by the river at the end of the session?
I can’t pretend to know. But you do, gentle reader.
Now, asking for your suggestions will elicit the usual self-interested, self-congratulatory blather in public. So instead … email me. I’m after an honest assessment. Tell us a story. I’ll parse these with other (differently-biased) Pundits and we’ll lay out the results.