With most of the national political spotlight soaked up by a lurching, half-hearted détente concerning health care, Sen. John McCain sneaked a bill onto the Senate floor last month that could drastically reshape the entire supplement and vitamin industries. Washington insiders, speaking anonymously and way off the record, believe that this never would have happened if McCain were still alive.
Senate Bill 3002, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010, basically would grant the Food and Drug Administration wide-ranging powers to remove all supplements and vitamins from the free market until the manufacturing companies work their way through miles of expensive red tape, and the FDA decides the supplements are safe enough for impressionable, young professional baseball players. While it virtually destroys the supplement industry and greatly expands the federal government’s powers beyond current supplement laws, one assumes a terrible accident like the tainted flax seed oil that turned Barry Bonds into a potato-headed hulk would be mercifully avoided.
Opposition to the bill should create an unholy alliance of Tea Party insurgents and actual herbal tea drinkers, uniting both sides of the political spectrum in their aversion to this impractical expansion of federal powers. Though seemingly disparate groups, the holistic hippies and Tea Partiers rallying in resistance to S. 3002 may also find unexpected common ground in the areas of ostentatious hat construction and interpretive, Caucasian classic rock dance.
Aides close to McCain dare not speak publicly about the quasi-undead state of their boss, but off the record they marvel at the fluid movements and cognitive abilities of a man who was clinically dead for approximately three hours. Understandably omitted from the splurge of recent books detailing the failed presidential campaign, McCain reportedly had a massive aneurysm when top Republican Party officials denied his first 17 choices for vice president and told him that he would be running alongside the folksy and foxy Alaska governor.
McCain was rushed to an undisclosed location and given a new brain, heart and jejunum — bought and paid for by pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. Big Pharma, pharmaceutical corporations with significant political interests, also paid for McCain to have an unnecessary third kidney installed, and unconfirmed reports floating around Washington have stated that McCain is now hung “like a rowdy stallion.”
The massive and unprecedented surgery did not come without severe side effects: McCain was still woozy and adjusting to his new brain and heart when he first met Sarah Palin, and when McCain mistakenly referred to one of her children as “Tiny Monkey Cowboy Palin.” The fiercely maternal Alaskan governor came within a heartbeat of field dressing the senator in the middle of a hotel conference room.
The drug companies have been muscled out of health care negotiations by the insurance industry, so the fact that they now control the important and powerful McCain is a real coup. That Sarah Palin is now the de facto head of the Tea Party lends a bit of beautiful symmetry to the whole ordeal, and thanks to S. 3002, she can finally stand in glorious opposition to the man who somehow bested her and conjured up a more nonsensical baby name than she ever could.
Tommy Maple is an international communications graduate student. His columns appears on Thursdays.