WASHINGTON, D.C.— Breaking his half-a-millennium media silence from eternal damnation, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor joined a chorus of presumed conservatives to endorse President Obama’s health care reforms.
Resplendently stooped beneath a banner reading “Enslave, But Feed Us!” the Grand Inquisitor commenced with a veiled shot at former President Bush: “The present fate of men may be summed up in three words: unrest, confusion, and misery! The bulk of humanity could never be happy under the old system, it is not for them.”
Inspired that Obama has made government capable of “saving mankind a millennium of useless suffering on earth,” the Grand Inquisitor averred that “only now has it become possible to us, for the first time, to give a serious thought to human happiness.”
Not renowned as an expert in wellness, the Grand Inquisitor is best remembered for last appearing as the heavy in The Brothers Karamazov and for fighting food insecurity with his “Bread for Souls” program. He was compelled to endorse the Obama plan because it matches his core principles for social justice: “There are three Powers upon earth, capable of conquering the conscience of these weak rebels—men—for their own good; and these forces are Miracle, Mystery, and Authority.”
Legendary as a master of abstruse statutory interpretation, the Grand Inquisitor praised the Obama plan’s specifics. “Receiving their bread from us, they will clearly see that we take the bread from them, the bread made by their own hands, but to give it back to them in equal shares. They will be only too glad to have it so.”
Regarding the dicey issue of patients’ choices, the Grand Inquisitor was dismissive. “Oh, never, never, will they learn to feed themselves without our help! No science will ever give them bread so long as they remain free, so long as they refuse to lay that freedom at our feet.” The goal, he said, was to find a universal health care plan “all others will believe in, and consent to bow down to in a mass.”
He said he empathized with the burden Obama selflessly carries upon his strapping shoulders. He urged critics to find common ground, but the grizzled visage lashed out at a Fox News reporter: “You have no right to add one syllable to that which was already uttered before!” The wizened wag then subtly positioned Republicans as the party of “no” in the health care debate by deriding its plans for patient-centered health care: “They have saved but themselves while we have saved all.”
Impishly, he turned to the assembled press corps and posed a Jesuitical query: “Would you go into the world empty-handed? Would you venture thither with [the GOP’s] vague and undefined promise of freedom?” Those assembled erupted in laughter and agreement.
Acknowledging that Republicans were being publicly smeared on the health care issue, the polished proselytizer outlined the left’s political strategy with refreshing honesty: “We will deceive them once more and lie to them once again…for we must lie eternally, and never cease to lie!”
Pressed on the morality of such an approach, the Grand Inquisitor launched a volley of verbal pyrotechnics: “Who can rule mankind better than those who have possessed themselves of man’s conscience, and hold in their hand man’s daily bread? Did we not show our great love for humanity, by realizing in such a humble spirit its helplessness, by so mercifully lightening its great burden?”
Ultimately, the anile prelate proclaimed the left would bring “reform” to Americans’ health care: “Know then, that now, and only now, people feel fully sure and satisfied of their freedom; and that only since they have themselves, and of their own free will, delivered that freedom unto our hands by placing it submissively at our feet.”
Ever the cool, detached problem solver, the Grand Inquisitor ended on a note of hope: “Our work is but in its incipient stage, but it is nevertheless started. We may have long to wait until its culmination, and mankind have to suffer much, but we shall reach the goal some day, and become sole Caesars.”