No, I’m not referring to the health insurance reform bill that passed last night. I do have to say, as an aside, that I didn’t appreciate being put in the uncomfortable position of being glued to C-SPAN for 10 hours, rooting for a shitty bill to pass because the alternative is much shittier.
I’m hopeful because of this.
I’m hopeful because David Frum and I don’t have much in common and yet, I find myself agreeing with everything that he said. Not most of what he said, but ALL of what he said. He’s exactly right. Republicans should have participated in the crafting of this legislation. Health insurance reform was a forgone conclusion, given the huge majority that democrats have in the house and senate. In the seven months between now and the midterm elections, republicans will have lost the vote of every senior that WON’T hit the prescription donut hole this year (that would be all of them). They will have lost the vote of every parent of a college student who, thanks to this legislation, will now have that child on their insurance plan. That’s a lot of votes to walk away from.
The republicans lost far more than they gained last night. They cemented the batshit crazy base that weren’t big enough to stop landslide victories for democrats in the last 2 elections. Good for you, Boehner! Your crazy base can now guzzle down the lithium they so badly need without fear of hitting the donut hole, so that they can live to fight another day to keep you in the minority.
Let me take a moment to go off on Boehner. Did you see him last night? He came off as the raving lunatic that he is. He was drunk, angry, and almost incoherent. America doesn’t relate to angry white (okay, burnt sienna) middle aged men anymore. He fundamentally believes that democrats have NO right to be involved in the legislative process. His disdain for democrats is irrational and impossible for most people to relate to. He and Mitch McConnell are both arrogant pieces of shit that have displayed nothing short of contempt for Americans, who voted overwhelmingly for democrats. When they talk about what the American people want, they’re forgetting the fact that they represent the MINORITY of Americans that voted for them. Hey Boehner, there’s a reminder right there in your title; house MINORITY leader! You bow down to Nancy Pelosi because WE THE PEOPLE say that you do. You would do well to remember that.
But getting back to Frum’s point, I wish that republicans had actively participated in the crafting of this bill. Look, if I had my way, we would have a system that allows every American to buy into medicare. Don’t go ape shit republicans, I said BUY IN meaning that I pay for my share of the premium cost of participating in medicare. I’m not so big on welfare programs that aren’t necessary. And as hard as I work to craft opinions that result from careful analysis of the facts, I’m acutely aware that as a human being, I am susceptible to ideologically driven tunnel vision. That’s why I need a rational opposition party to come at me from a different ideological perspective.
What we got last night wasn’t a liberal bill. It was an ideologically devoid bow to corporate America. This was SUCH a cave in to the insurance companies, that it makes a single payer system within the next 15 – 20 years a forgone conclusion. Health care costs will reach 19% – 20% of our GDP before these exchanges kick in four years from now because the insurance companies have four more virtually unregulated years to go to town on your premiums.
The biggest problem that we face in American politics today is that every single politician, regardless of party affiliation is working not for their constituents, but for the corporate interests that finance their campaigns. That being said, we were never going to get a good reform bill. But I would like to have seen republicans participate in the crafting of the final legislation.
We’re basically fucked until we start fighting for publicly funded campaigns. We’re doubly fucked in the interim, with one party completely removing itself from the legislative process. As it stands now, republicans are hoping to get elected by decimating the political process so that democrats seem less appealing than republicans do. I want a party that actively works at being a better choice. Don’t you?
I’m hopeful because one republican is starting to get it. I know that one isn’t much, but I’m a sunny optimist. I hope that one will turn into 20 million.