Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Up To No Good

So it's getting down to crunch time on health care reform, and despite the Democrat's huge margin of victory in 2008 and the overwhelming desire of the electorate to have at least a Public Option, if not actual Single-Payer health care, there seems to be serious doubt as to whether Obama can deliver on Big Issue H.

Who's at fault? Certainly the Republican party carries most of the blame. Whether it's because of hyper-partisanship or complete deference to their corporate benefactors, the idea of absolutely all Republicans voting as a bloc against everything Obama does is truly repulsive. These people are beneath contempt. They are up to no good, and have no shame or principle.

There are unfortunately enough "Blue Dog" Democrats who feel they can hold health care hostage for their few measly votes (simply because they know the Republicans will vote 40-0 against). I very much doubt if they have any actual principles at stake - Lieberman comes to mind here - aside from simply being bought and paid for by the very corporations that their voters hired them to regulate.

This Salon article about Big Issue E is both relevant and depressing.
The final storyline of criminality is the biggest of all. It is bigger than the current financial crisis. It is corporate America's complete control of our nation's elected officials, especially our Congress, through lobbying and campaign donations. Yes, the banks played this game, but the game was much bigger than just the financial industry. Coal-fired utilities have so watered down impending legislation concerning global warming that they have now come out in favor of it in the House vote. TARP money went to banking friends of Hank Paulson, although 97 percent of congressional correspondence from the American people was against it. The credit card industry took a minor slap on the wrist, but faces no limitation on the egregious interest rates it can charge its customers. Pharmaceutical and hospital corporations are fighting hard to keep Americans from having a public alternative to their healthcare, and right now are winning that fight. The transportation industry is at the government trough trying to pass a $500 billion windfall. The AARP prevents any meaningful reform of Social Security; the teachers' union does the same for education reform. Is it crazy to think that defense companies like Dick Cheney's Halliburton (which saw its stock price increase 700 percent during the Iraq war, thanks to no-bid contracts) may be promoting U.S. aggression around the world?
Basically, it amounts to the US having the worst of all worlds. There is no central authority with any ability or stomach to make long-term plans. Friedman's "China for a Day" can be tempting until you remember that China is actually a GOP capitalist paradise, with no health care, redistribution of wealth, or dissent.

Perhaps Obama should listen to Bill Maher and become George W for a day. He was "elected" by the thinnest of margins (twice!), yet claimed a mandate and managed to ram most of his degenerate agenda through Congress. Obama has way more popularity and persuasive power - it's time he used it.

If he doesn't, American will fall further into Third World status and be ripe for a takeover by an even cruder version of the idiocracy that plundered it during the last administration.


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