Thursday, February 25, 2010

A "Wash?"

Utah woman blindfolds husband,
promises him a surprise, hits
him on the head with hammer.

Happily I was not able to watch the Health Care Summit today as I was called out of town. It’s just as well because the first few minutes I saw before I left caused me to turn it off. Tonight I watched a few excerpts that only reinforced my opinion that it would go exactly nowhere. After all the discussion, all the talk, all the political maneuvering, all the hot air, the facts remain essentially the same. Republicans (1) do not want Obama to succeed at anything, (2) they do not want universal health care, and (3) I doubt very much that most of them even understand the problem of health care for ordinary Americans. They started off with a chorus of “this should be scrapped and we should start over,” that was obviously a strategy they had agreed on beforehand and they all used essentially the same phrase as if reciting a mantra. The ex-mayor of San Francisco, the brilliant Willie Brown, described this as childish. He’s right, it was. When it was obvious (it was obvious even before they started) this plea would go nowhere, they shifted to more particular remarks, as if the goal of the summit was to review all 1200 plus pages then and there, picking out individual points to object to (and generally lie about). Of course much of their objection had to do with their paranoid claim they had not been consulted, even though Obama pointed out that many of their points were actually included in the plan. Then they whined about reconciliation, as if such a thing had never occurred before. Harry Reid soon shut them up on that point. A Senator from Wyoming made a real fool of himself by obviously failing to understand the difference between himself, with a salary of $176,000 a year, plus health care, and an ordinary citizen with an income of $40,000 a year. He seemed to think they might both have an account they could draw upon in case of emergencies. John Boehner made the usual ass of himself towards the end by trying to argue that we cannot afford health insurance for everyone, we have the finest health care system in the world, and the American people (again) have rejected this plan. Republicans do not hesitate to speak for the American people even when the polls indicate the opposite of what they claim.

Anyway, the day was a wash. Obviously I am biased, but I truly believe that even objectively viewed, the Republicans came across as the obstructionists they have consistently become. It was said once or twice there are philosophical differences between the two parties. There certainly are. Democrats tend t o think health care is a right, Republicans think it is a privilege, and as they are the privileged, why should they care about anyone else. This is consistent with what they believe in general, we’ve got ours, so screw you, you lower-class, stupid, wage-earning scum, drink your six-pack a week and shut up and do your work, if you can find any (they don’t believe in minimum wages, unions, welfare, social security, Medicaid and Medicare, education, public transportation, and probably even public rest rooms, but they do apparently believe in permanent war, torture, war profiteering, assassinations, my country right or wrong, white male superiority, profits, fur coats, apple pie, and the bible). They are, in short, jingoistic, anti-humanitarian, capitalistic, imperialistic, racist war mongers, who feel entitled to rule the world by force of arms.

I am fighting against a slight tinge of optimism. It appears that Democrats are finally beginning to stand up for something, Obama is apparently finally realizing the hopelessness of trying to convince Republicans, at least some form of health care reform might be passed, there is beginning to be real pressure to do something about the terrible situation in Gaza, I think something at least semi-positive may be going on in Afghanistan, "Don’t ask, Don’t tell" may finally go, women are about to be allowed to serve on submarines, Sarah Palin is revealing herself more incompetent and uninformed every day, along with the tea-baggers, and Spring may be early this year. Things are not all bad, they just tend to seem that way, probably a hangover from the nightmare years just passed. When I tell everyone to “Be of Good Cheer,” I almost believe it. Perhaps hope is coming back to Mudville.

“The Rich always win.”
Linda Langness

Papa Byrd’s Bistro has been redecorated.

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