Friday, August 21, 2009

Health Care Crux.

The next few weeks will determine the future of the Democratic party.

Obama's poll numbers have dropped not because he's losing conservatives - he never had them - and not because he's losing independents - they're almost always on vacation, particularly in August - but because he has squandered the hopes and good will of the active, engaged liberals who donated money and worked their asses off to get him in office. Health care is doing it.

This centrist administration continues to make concessions on health care that will never win Republican votes. They ditched single payer before they even got out of the gate. Instead of frank talk, they are flat footed and slow with combatting all the lies and misconceptions. They came into reform unprepared. Their message is unheard amidst talk of death panels and euthanasia.

Right here and right now, this administration must ditch appeasement and get health care done. Or the massive mandate that Obama came into office with is gone for good, not just faded. And so too our economic, social and political viability as a leader on the world stage. We simply can't afford health care as it exists today.

I don't mean to be dramatic but if the Dems can't pull out health care in 2009 the party is fucking doomed in 2010. And beyond.

Health Care for Clunkers.

This silly line, If our government can't even run Cash for Clunkers, how do you expect them to run health care?, is getting around. I first heard it from my acquaintances in Atlanta about a month ago when we were spatting online about things like reform, white privilege, entitlements, and killing old people.

Sure enough, it's coming around again, this time in US News and World Report. And it's getting sillier by the day.

The government has been providing health care to gazillions of Americans for ages, to pretty good reviews (though everybody claims they're both nearly broke, that's from poor Republican management). The Clunkers program was brand new, launched in the midst of an economic slump, dependent on the antiquated and stodgy auto industry, and hard to predict. And by the way, the Cash for Clunkers program didn't "run out of" cash. It was so wildly successful that it used up it's budget faster than anticipated. Big difference. I don't think the Clunkers administrators will have much to do with health care anyway, ahem. Two separate beasts. What's the corrolation?

Incompetence. Waste. Bureaucracies. You know. A fine narrative with no facts.

I guess the main line that I get from my southern conservative posse is that the government just can't do anything right and that liberals shouldn't just be giving things to people who don't deserve them, like, you know, the poor and the lazy and the brown or black. They may be all for sex education (with limits) and teaching something other than creationism in schools (meaning they consider themselves fiscal conservatives, not social conservatives), but they just can't seem to get it that helping a woman get off welfare helps not just her and her kids (future generations) but the immediate community and the local economy.

In other words, all that bootstraps talk really means: yes, the poor or disadvantaged should have it harder. They deserve their disadvantages cause their ancestors didn't do the work that mine did. Let them consider it a challenge. I got mine, let them work for theirs.

Ugly, isn't it? But I digress. Why all the anti-government sentiment? Government is after all by the people and for the people. If the only alternative to orchestration of large services in our country is capitalism, private corporations, haven't we seen over the past 20 years that corporations fail even more miserably than governments do? Which is why we are where we are with health care. And if a government is properly managed, overruns, defecits, corruption and excess can be managed. I don't know what alternative my southern friends would recommend. Seems they're still stuck in the antiquated "free market is the best market" trope.

I wonder, perhaps cultural narrative is stronger than history or fact?

Red Scare.

I am at the end of my rope. I am reading far too many blogs about euthanasia, death panels, cruel, disgusting, deadly-to-seniors policies. I'm about to crack. The ignorance astounds and depresses me.

I've begun posting this commentary everywhere I go that calls Ezekiel Emanuel evil, that lists the story of the Oregon woman who was denied cancer drugs but offered AS, everywhere someone swears that dirty scheming Obama (wherever he was born) is coming to kill their elderly, their babies, their liberty. Copy, paste, copy, paste.

Call it internet grafitti. This new commentary tactic is helping to keep me sane. Somewhat.

I'm sorry to just drop in like this but: I think you've all lost your minds.

Do you also believe that the president is not a citizen? Think he's secretly plotting to kill everyone over 65?

Listen to yourselves! You're spreading unfounded rumors started by power-hungry Republicans and insurance companies who are bent on denying you services. You are spreading lies that will hurt you. Insurance companies already *ration* your care. Please, start with some facts and employ your reason.

He's not evil, our president, he's just black.

Heaven help us when commentary goes this far into "red scare" territory!