Thursday, August 27, 2009

Health Care Meanderings



(Thanks to Stone Soup Musings.)...

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) scores a bulls-eye:
Somebody has to keep the insurance companies honest. They complain that they can't compete with the public option, sort of a strange response to be coming from the private sector. (Seattle Times, 8/27/09, B6)...
Is he right or is he right? After all, the private sector constantly lectures us about how much better and more efficient they are than government. They should welcome the chance to prove their point...

I'll see you there, at the foot of Canal Street...

I find myself deeply saddened by the right-wing mob tactics at the health care town halls. The people who profess to claim color-blindness and who excoriate both President Obama and Sonia Sotomayor as racists use lynch mob tactics to bully and threaten our elected representatives. Does anyone really believe that the president's race isn't a factor? That he keeps his dignity and aplomb intact is a tribute to his humanity, patience, and faith in people to ultimately do the right thing.

Congress simply cannot allow itself to be intimidated by such bullying. If they do, the whole country will lose more than health care reforms. After all, if the United States means anything, it's that the rule of law and deliberation trumps mobs and violence. We haven't always followed the better angels of our nature, but this time it is essential that we do lest we allow a violent minority to control events...

7 comments:

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Good & poignant post. I am concerned that the riot mentality will keep people like me from going to meetings to discern what really is in the health care bill. I refuse to let myself get agitated because of the intimidation of right-wing fanatics. Regardless of whether I fully understand it or not, I am for health care reform in this country. It is long overdue.

Roy said...

It scares me. This is starting to look like the SA gangs roaming the streets of Germany in the 1920s. They were a vocal, active minority, too, at the time, but they managed to intimidate rational voices into silence. These people are even starting to carry guns to public meetings. What does that tell you?

Annette said...

Yesterday morning John Harwood made a statement when he was on with Ed Schultz right at the end of the segment that there was more support in the Senate for the Public Option than Ed was giving credit for.. Ed cut him off and nothing else was said..

John is a good reporter and has lots of insight to the White House and to the members of Congress.. makes me wonder what he knows.. I still think most of the media is stirring this pot.. I know Ed is some just to keep his show going.. I have seen him do that.

Foxessa said...

This is what Blogger Steven Barnes says. His analysis is pinpoint perfect, i.e. agrees with what I've been thinking and saying for months. Important, Steven -- professional novelist, television and screen writer, etc., and Man of Color -- is very 'centerist,' very mild in all his politics; I'm much, much further left than he. Yet he too sees this:

A couple of days ago in Arizona, a dozen people brought weapons, including automatic weapons, outside a convention center where the President was making a pro-health care speech. Conservatives have been careful to point out that the guy carrying an automatic rifle was black. When asked why they showed up with weapons, one guy answered "because we can."

This is so transparent. Note: while one need not be racist to oppose ObamaCare (I actually don't completely mind that term), we can be pretty certain that the 10% of white racists would tend to come down against it. Or anything he has to say or do, based on a vague if not powerful sense that "this isn't my country any more." And of course if you start with that feeling, you are going to find plenty of evidence.



Barnes' Law: any group of people large enough that the people cannot recognize each other by sight will begin to act like a living thing, with its own drives and needs. These drives and needs will not necessarily be in alignment with the values of any particular person in that group...or their conscious thoughts.



In this case, the legitimate political opponents are, in typical political "Big Tent" fashion, aligning themselves with anyone who will vote their way...including racists and Wingnuts. And it has seemed to me for a while that what is happening with the Birthers and so forth is that the unconscious drive on the Whacko element of the Right is to troll for an assassin. Or for a fall guy, someone who could plausibly be believed to be a "Lone Gunman." And of course, the perfect "Lone Gunman" in this instance would be black.



As you can see by the interview quoted at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/18/right-wing-radio-host-sta_n_262559.html



The black guy, "Chris", was invited to the rally. And that was what I said to Tananarive yesterday: that I would bet that he was specifically asked to show up with his automatic rifle, with my interpretation being that they wanted his skin tone to provide cover for the ugly element within the opposition (note that I'm being careful not to suggest that the entire opposition is racist. I don't believe that. But the idea of a black man in the White House is driving racists crazy, and which side of the spectrum you YOU think they're settling on?)



We're watching the collective unconscious of the ugliest elements in our culture crawling out from under their flat rock. It's going to get worse. When you say you bring weapons "because you can" you aren't answering the question. The question is: why now, and not at a Bush rally? Or a McCain rally? You had the right then, too. My conclusion: pure intimidation. Oh...and setting up a plausible pattern for a "Lone Assassin" scenario: overwhelming the Secret Service, providing distraction ("multipliers") to stress out the protective services and increase chances of a mistake."


This is taken from his long post of August 18th, "I Fight With the Weapons I Have".


Love, C.

Scrumpy said...

I find it impossible to believe that now the big insurance companies are suddenly the "good guys" in this mess that need to be protected.

K. said...

Foxessa: Thanks for sharing the Barnes entry. Sadly, it makes sense.

LF, Roy: I'm going to try and attend a meeting this weekend. It's not in my district, so I may not get in. In any case, I'll report on it. The congressman is a solid liberal, a good guy who won't cave in to the screamers.

Scrumpy: Ditto. There's nothing good about them, and I don't understand the sympathy for them, even coming from wingnuts. Of course, no one ever accused the wingnuts of making sense.

Sara said...
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