"Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to Senate Motors. Are we looking for a new car?"
"Hello. Well, I might be. I've got some problems with my old one. Mind if I look around?"
"Certainly. Make yourself right at home. See anything you like?"
"Well, no. Where are all the cars? I only see that one generic in the center of the floor. Is that cardboard?"
"Ahh, you mean our Conceptual Car. Yes, it is. Mostly cardboard, but quite a bit of heavy-weight construction paper is in the interior. Yessir, that's what it will look like when you drive home. Except of course, yours will be metal and in the color of your choice and with the options that you prefer. An engine and tires too, I think. We'll work out the details for you. Now, let's step into the office and get going with the paperwork."
"But, wait a minute. I'm not sure that's what I want. Haven't I got some time to look at some actual cars? What do they cost? What's the rush?"
"You never know how bad your old car is until you've got yourself in this nice new one. Here's the contract, now just sign on page 1248 at the bottom. You'll love it when it's delivered, I'm certain."
"That's an incredibly big contract and it's just for a conceptual car that you can't even tell me what it costs? Mind if I read it?"
"Migod, sir. Do you realize how long it would take you read that? Trust us we'll finish up the details for you and you'll love it. And it won't bother your home budget at all. In fact it will be practically free. You won't even notice it on the spending. Trust me."
Ridiculous? Unbelievable? An insane dream that never could occur? How about in the US Senate today over your healthcare?
Pass the Conceptual Plan and We'll Tell You How it Works Later
Those nasty obstructionist Republicans want 72 hours to post the actual law proposed on the Internet along with the CBO cost estimates before voting on healthcare reform. Outrageous! Why that might delay passage by two weeks! We'll all be dead by then if we don't act. Why would a lawmaker ever want to read a bill or know what it costs?
Is this Wonderland? Have we fallen down a rabbit hole?