Friday, August 14, 2009

Yup. It's Over.

posted by Armadillo Joe

It's all over but the crying on health-care reform.

Oh sure, some kind of reform may eventually puke forth from Congress, but smart money is on it being weak, weak tea -- easy for insurance behemoths and their enablers in government to eventually smother into either meek acquiesence or to hammer into irrelevance -- and the end result won't look much different than present day, except that reform opponents will have a whole new vocabulary with which to rhetorically bash the shiny new government health program that only helps people different-looking than Glenn Beck. They will seize upon the tiniest of shortcomings or any outright failures in the new system, elevate them to the level of Proof of the Existence of a Satanic Socialist Conspiracy to Destroy America and Baby Jesus and our celebrities pretending to be journalists on the Tee-Vee will slather American screens with pictures of indolent black people and their crying babies suffering and dying at the hands of overwhelmed and disillusioned medical professionals, after which the pundits and other assorted performing monkeys will dutifully tut-tut about how silly we ever were to think that a rich and prosperous nation such as ours could summon the economic resources and moral courage to fix something as nebulous, unknowable and (frankly) unimportant as the health of poor people.

We will still be a worse-off, shabbier and more decrepit nation for the want of something better.

As much as the rest of us all know the "death panels" are bullshit, enough dimwitted goobers out there (many of whom carry guns, natch) let themselves be worked into a frenzy by the same manipulators who sold us a bogus war in Iraq and impeached a president for a blowjob, that the end-of-life provision -- the nugget around which the GOP was able to spin a web of lies -- has been essentially yanked from the bill and the Dems appear to largely be running for cover.

Obama isn't necessarily toast, but we only get a chance like this once a generation or so. In the case of health-care, it's more like two generations because the last two attempts (Clinton's in '94 and Ted Kennedy's back in the 1970's) were doomed to failure from the start. Of course, we didn't know that at the time, but the perspective of history tells us that the rising tide of Rethugli-goon misrule over the Nixon-to-Bush43 era was in many ways irresistable.

This one was different. If I have to explain why, you should be reading other websites.

I think Obama will wind up a severely weakened president on the other side of this. Probably as much as Carter because failing to advance the central component of your campaign platform with the kind of Congressional majorities and general popularity he has enjoyed in his first nine months in office means that you are weak enough to get rolled by a bunch of loud-mouthed goons willing to shout lies, aided and abetted by a compliant and power-savvy media complex. The way they will talk about him after this debacle, especially if one considers how central a role Sarah Palin (who lost the election, BTW, so why is she still on my Tee-Vee?) played in blowing a hole in the bottom of the health-care boat, will cause the rest of the spineless Dems to scatter for cover.

Blame whoever you want, say the media didn't report the whole debate fairly and honestly, say that the GOP is run by a bunch of thugs and goons and cynical operators manipulating a horde of racist nit-wit sheople, say that Washington is a cozy little village hostile to reform and hard-wired to advance the interests of the monied ruling class over those of the electorate, say the Dems are a bunch of scaredy-cats who wouldn't know party discipline if it hit them like a baseball bat to the knees and act like abused housewives in the face of GOP bullying, say that Obama was too high-minded and too in thrall to the Cult of Bi-Partisanship, say that this is all super-secret triple-back-flip Obama Kung-Fu and the bestest health-care bill evah is just around the corner. Say whatever you damn well please about this awful smoldering wreck we see emerging before us, but at the end of the day it amounts to so much whining about how unfair Life is. Either Obama brought a knife to a gun fight or the Obama of the campaign trail -- Hope, Change, whatever -- is not the person we actually wound up putting in office with our votes. He's either weak or wiley but either way We The People lose.

I quote the ever astute John Cole:
I still contend health care reform is over. The GOP and the fringe right will just move on to something else they find “objectionable” like this absurd accusation that voluntary counselling amounted to a panel of experts determining who should and should not live, the senior citizens seem overwhelmingly content to suckle at the public teat in regards to medicare while giving everyone else the bird, the insurance industry is playing both sides, half the Democrats are spooked by their own shadows, and the other half are in bed with the FIRE sector.

It is just over. And the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. If the Republicans had majorities like the Democrats have right now, they would have abolished the IRS and the Department of Education, Bernie Madoff would be running social security, there would be an oil well in every backyard and off every inch of coast, we’d have mandatory prayer in schools, and the defense department budget would be doubled so we could have excellent adventures in Iran while we liberate Georgia from oppressive Russian rule. And we’d be doing it all with a top marginal rate of 3%.


Broadway Carl said...

Good post but I don't necessarily agree. Howard Dean was on Countdown last night and said that these town hall goons are the fringiest of the fringe and it's only turning off the independents, further marginalizing the GOP.

Someone at a town hall in a rural area of California asked it's Rep. "Are you gonna vote your constituency?" to which he replied, "Well I've gotten over 4,000 emails and letters to my office in favor of reform and only about 250 against it!"

We are seeing the loons. Sarah Palin's main information output is Facebook. Obama is on a health care town hall spree and looks like he's starting to get ahead of the message (if you watched the MT town hall today, he answered a couple of hard opponents' questions on health care bill.) And all of these Obama town hall/health care forums are televised, which is a good thing.

I keep thinking back to the election and how it was constant Obama bashing and "why can't he close the deal?" arm chair quarterbacking, and he blew McCain out of the water regardless.

I can't throw in the towel until the game is over.

vyccan said...

Joe, why the early funeral when the patient is still alive? Your burying the reform this early is very depressing; it is the first time I've not been able to finish one of your posts since coming to this site a few months back. Now is not the time, IMO, to discourage - after all, there is still the opportunity to write, call, visit senators/senator's office - but to make an extra push to have one's voice heard. It is just as well that the President can't hear all the doom and gloom predictions, criticisms, etc because if he were anything like me it would be enough to make him just 'give up'. Do re-release your 'positivity', Joe, so that the positive vibes can contribute to the more favourable outcome we would like to see.

Armadillo Hussein Joe said...

As I told Carl last night, I have been wrong about Obama many times before and I will be happy to be wrong about him now.

As much as I would like to dismiss the teabagging town-hell deathers as "the fringiest of the fringe" they are not just a gaggle cornpone fringe racists acting out against an uppity, citified Yankee Nee-gro and the n**ger-lovers who voted for him. That IS what they are, but that isn't ONLY what they are. They are acting on behalf of Big Medicine (insurance, pharma, AMA, etc...) who want this bill killed, or at least fatally wounded, by any means necessary.

That's why I call them Brownshirts. Like their historical antecedents who brought down the Weimar Republic, they are not a thing in-and-of themselves to be worried about because as dangerous as any one individual may be with a gun and a sign, as a group they are a loud, loutish, unruly mob standing at street corners shouting at car windows and the camera lenses of intrepid bloggers. Under normal circumstances, left to their own devices, they would disperse at sunset to go trawling for Cheetos and PBR.

But they have corporate backing. And they are egged on by powerful, monied forces who see their interests temporarily align with those of the rabble. The wealthy have no qualms about leveraging that overlap in opposition to the Dirty Fucking Hippies to get what they need. That's what makes the "deathers" Brownshirts.

Thus, vyccan, the gloom. I've seen this play out before. In fact, my whole life. So much of the ugliness and willful stupidity in our public discourse the rest of the country has seen for the last ten or fifteen years is just the way things are done in Texas and The South. Of course it failed, "government is bad" is not an effective governing strategy. Dixie itself is something of a failed state within our own borders, but rather than grow and change and catch up to the rest of the nation in the latter half of the 20th Century -- since Brown v. Board of Education, frankly -- they found a way (via Goldwater, Nixon, Saint Ronnie & Bush43 and their congressional coalitions) to instead Dixie-fy the rest of America. To those of a certain class and social milieu in the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the Left Coast, it all seems alien and hokey. Surely, I keep hearing people say, the American people will see these ruffians for what they are and recoil in horror, they will reject these people for their motives and tactics and truth and light will prevail, forever and ever amen.

The opportunity to recoil in horror and reject the deranged Konfederate Klown Kar of the modern GOP was ten years ago, twenty years ago, thirty even forty years ago. But it was too much fun bashing hippies and slandering uppity negroes and wimmin-folk who didn't want to be barefoot and pregnant -- a tendency of violence the money-changers in the GOP temple had no qualms about turning a blind eye to because it got all those meddling kids out of the way of their nefarious plans.

These people are for real and deadly serious. Even out of power they are dangerous because their ideological devotion to The Cause gives them the political wherewithal to maim any legislation they can't outright kill.

They are still arguing about the Civil War and are still polluting our discourse with their toxic mythologies 140+ years after the fact. Don't expect them to give up on killing "Obamacare" and join the 20th Century any time soon.

NowhereMan said...

Great post Joe you're 100pct right.Obama didn't even bring a weapon to the gunfight he brought an Olive Branch.He continually praised the bipartisan efforts of Chuck Grassley while he repeatedly was undermining Obama!"please sir may I have another?"The republicans like Jim Demented kept giving him the Rodney King treatment and Obama just kept saying "can't we just get along?" But the fix was in from the beginning.Obama was never serious about a public option.His first choice to be the health czar was Tom Daschle who didn't want a public option.After withdrawing his name due to IRS problems,he doesn't appoint the best man for the job who for years has and still is a staunch supporter for single payer or public option and hes a doctor!No! he appoints sebilius who doesn't know shit about health care!If you are serious about the public option,you hire the best people not political hacks!You've gotta be fucking kidding me!you've got a huge majority in the house,60 votes in the senate and you wave the white flag!Maybe he should reread the books on ML king and understand what a profile in courage really means.AS much as I hated Bush,he twisted arms when he wanted something passed.Obama wants bipartisan support thats the reason his poll numbers are down.His liberal base wants him to fight than to capitulate to the weak dead republican party.
The only way of saving the public option is for the liberals in both the house and senate to tell Obama if the public option isn't in the final bill we won't vote for it.

NowhereMan said...

The name I omitted to be the health care czar was Howard Dean