Belaboring the Obvious

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No, I'm not surprised by...

... the sudden "rally around the President" tone in the rather pathetic attempts to get Dem skeptics to sign on to a very bad health "reform" bill.

Ah, well, the Dems were destined to shoot themselves in the foot. That's their nature.

We wanted a brand-new shiny 60 mpg hybrid, and we got a smoking, wheezing 1961 Nash Rambler with bad ball joints and rusted rocker panels and a busted exhaust.

And it's gonna cost us more than that spiffy new hybrid, because the salesmen were all in cahoots with each other.

I don't see much to be happy about, and I have a lot of company. And, sorry, but I don't buy a lot of the rhetoric coming out of Congress at the moment, especially the "OMG, if we don't do it now, we won't do anything on health care for another forty years" argument. They could, if they wanted, admit that they've created a monster, pitch it in the wastebasket, and start over with the best possible plan tomorrow.

But, that would also mean that young Mr. Obama would have to admit to himself that the Repugs don't want to play nice and don't want to be his friends, and Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi would have to do their jobs and kick out the lobbyists and get their troops in line.

As it is, persistent reminders of the elections coming up are supposed to rally the troops and cut the internecine warfare, which--at this stage of the game--is pretty much pointless. The Dems fucked themselves the moment they embarked on this corrupted process, the moment they started letting the Repugs and the for-profit system own them, the moment that Obama started making back-room deals with the very people who created the health care crisis in this country. The public understands this, even if Rahm Emanuel doesn't, and the public will make the Dems pay for it, even if the alternative is worse. This is, after all, a nation of people who have consistently voted against their own best interests time and time again, often out of ignorance and prejudice, but just as frequently out of hot-headed revenge.

When polls were saying, two years ago, that a nominal 65% of the country was in favor of a single-payer system, the Dems could have said to themselves, "hey, we might get more votes than we can buy with corporate advertising dollars if we give the people what they want!" They didn't. Through their leadership, they said, "sorry, citizens, no single-payer for you. It's off the table." Then, there was the "robust public option," which was quickly watered down to the weak public option, and then, thanks to the collusion between the White House and the for-profits, there was no public option at all, but, the individual mandate language remained. At each one of these steps, the Repugs gained power. At each one of these steps, public polling indicated that fewer and fewer people were in favor of the reform plan as written.

And the worse the plan got, the more that was revealed of Obama's dirty dealings, the more that progressives tried to hold firm against a very bad bill, the more that the Dem leadership engaged in "rally around the President" cheerleading, the more that this has come to be seen as a do-or-die moment for Obama's presidency.

As if getting this piece of ripe shit passed and signed is a real accomplishment.... Nevertheless, we'll be able to count on much flag-waving and back-slapping and press releases describing the passage as "historic," when the only thing historic about it will be the money made off of it by people with entirely too much money already.

Enjoy that Rambler, y'hear, America? And, no, we don't warrant that it will get you to the polls in November....


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