Monday, December 21, 2009

Republican Wonderland

Man dressed in a barrel and
Santa Claus hat, arrested
for defacing Las Vegas sign.

Alice’s bizarre adventures in Wonderland would seem to have nothing on the Republican adventures in politics. Republicans announced months ago, after Obama was elected to the Presidency, they wanted him to fail. They also promised they were not going to cooperate and were, in fact, proud to be the party of “No.” They have voted NO religiously every since, to a person (except for one vote by Olympia Snow). Now that the Democrats have managed to pass a Senate health care bill against the overwhelming opposition from Republicans, these latter are now complaining it was not a bipartisan bill. If that does not one up Alice in Wonderland I wonder what would? Republican refusal to cooperate on health care (and everything else) has meant Democrats have been forced to give outrageous concessions to a few Democratic shills for the Insurance companies, like lifetime Medicaid expenses to the state of Nebraska, and other concessions to Lieberman to get their required 60 votes. And now the Republicans have the gall to criticize this. But I think all this pales into insignificance when you consider what Republicans are actually doing, deliberating killing health care reform if they possibly can. Put simply, Republicans do not want American citizens to enjoy universal health care. Put even more basically, they want Americans to continue to suffer illnesses and deaths and misery, to say nothing of bankruptcies caused by health related expenses. They apparently want this to continue so badly they even pray for it to happen. Apparently many Americans do not understand that Republicans are their deadly enemies who want them to die and go bankrupt, presumably because the Insurance and Pharmaceutical industries have pumped so many billions of dollars into outright lies and misinformation about health care and the ability of the government to manage it.

If it is not bad enough that Republicans in general are opposed to health care reform, they have forced the Democrats to have to deal with a pair of Democratic Senators who are being paid by the Insurance industries to help kill any reform. Joe Lieberman has refused to vote even on things he himself once proposed for health care, piously claiming he is ideologically opposed (all of the sudden). Ben Nelson is using the excuse that he does not believe abortion should be funded by government money, but he is himself an old Insurance man and obviously is in the pockets of the Insurance giants, piously claiming his reasons for opposing health care have to do with how abortions are being paid for. These two hypocrites having been bribed to vote for cloture are now threatening to vote against the combined bill when it finally materializes out of the House and Senate. In short, they are going to keep millions of Americans without health care because of their claimed personal beliefs. We are apparently supposed to accept the fact that Ben Nelson’s private beliefs about abortion are so strong he is going to allow hundreds of thousands to die from other causes, while Lieberman will let them die because his beliefs about government programs is stronger than the lives of others. What hypocrisy, what bullshit, what unconscionable and unbelievable positions, all for money.

The Republican Party has done something I believe is completely unprecedented in American political affairs – they have taken their ball and gone home, refusing to play. Given what is at stake for the United States, when it comes to all of our current problems, two “wars,” a recession, unemployment, global warming, a dysfunctional health care system, and so on, this petulant infantilism simply cannot be permitted. They have no right to desert our country in its time of need, even desperate need. Republicans have abandoned any pretense of being interested in the welfare of our country or our citizens, they seek only to regain power so they can continue to loot the taxpayers and give even more to those who already have far too much. Make no mistake about it, these are evil, greedy people who will apparently do anything to achieve their goal of autocracy, where a few at the top will apparently be able to fulfill their desire to build a new paradise for the wealthy while the rest of us, having lost our homes, can live once again in mud huts and tenements and work for the Lords who own everything.

It is not at all obvious that the Democrats are going to prevent this from happening, for they, too, with a few remarkable exceptions, seem to be willing to do the corporate bidding. We have come dangerously close to a one party system that is going to separate us into haves and have-nots, the super wealthy and the poor, the Rulers and the ruled, the “Divine Rights of the Rich,” against the piteous cries of the peasants. What is even more threatening in this situation is that unless Obama changes course and begins to act as he said he would, or some new truly remarkable leader emerges, we could end up with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, representing the growing body of tea baggers, full of sound and fury, but so ignorant, inept, and incompetent they would be totally unable to govern.

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide,
For both our oars with little skill
By little arms are plied
While little hands make vain pretense
Our wanderings to guide.
Lewis Carroll

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