Inconsistencies of opinion arising from changes of circumstances are often justifiable. But there is one sort of inconsistency that is culpable: it is the inconsistency between a man’s conviction and a man’s vote, between his conscience and his conduct. No man shall ever charge me with an inconsistency of that kind.”
--United States Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts during debate on the 1850 Clay Compromise as quoted in “Profiles in Courage” by Sen. from Mass., John F. Kennedy.
As I sat and watched President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union speech, it struck me again how ironic America can be. Just days after the election of a Republican to complete the term of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the last liberal lion of the Senate, and defenders of our broken American health care system jumped for joy.
Millions of people remain without health insurance and live one illness from financial ruin, while the same old game is being played by those with universal care paid for by taxpayers. The election of Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts was proof to corporate K-street lobbyists and the Chamber of Commerce that money talks and b***s**t walks! To this writer, these alleged born-again populists--and their millionaire backers--are ignorant beyond their ability to grasp the obvious. They gloat in their obstruction like a petulant child, flipping off the man!
Sternly President Obama vowed to press forward with--what many on both sides of the debate--would consider a deeply flawed plan: twisted beyond recognition from compromise after compromise. He understands that compromise is the essence of democracy. In the end he may even claim a half victory, during reconciliation of the House and Senate Bills. I believe he can only win if he takes the game into the houses of those states’ rights Republicans--many are working to ban federal health mandates in state legislatures around the country.
Funny how, those who are deeply enamored with the current system of private health insurance and private hospitals conveniently forget that Massachusetts is one of the only of states that has a version of state sponsored health coverage for all its residents! Ironic isn’t it? Well, Americans usually score an “A” in irony and “F” in history and geography.
Ironically, I was reminded by another Massachusetts Senator, John F. Kennedy, that it has been those few folks--like Daniel Webster or Sen. Edmund G. Ross of Kansas--with the courage to stand against the tide of populist anger to try to save America from making reckless and compulsive errors. Considering this is staunchly Christian country, martyrdom is the one universal truth that transcends American politics. I suggest Senator Brown, take up the cause--despite it being obvious political suicide--and give the people what they want and need: affordable, comprehensive health care coverage that is available to all.
But let’s not treat the cause; let’s treat the symptoms. Please take a number and wait your turn in the emergency room. Those without coverage maybe asked to leave the hospital without treatment. Except of course if you live in Massachusetts.
Many American politicians have paid the ultimate political price for putting aside what maybe-popular opinion to do what is right for America. I really hope Sen. Brown, who seems more like an old school northeast “liberal” Republican, has read John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage”. We need someone to stand up for America--not the hate mongers or the corporate lobbyists or those who seek to exploit the sort term political gains of the Tea Party’s middle class angst.
The campaign against reforming America’s broken and dysfunctional health care system came from the usual suspects who spent hundreds of millions in lobbying. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spent $144 million, itself to lead the charge against health care reform, according the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit that tracks campaign spending by individuals, lobbyists and corporations.
But in one of the greatest irony of all time, those in favor of reform actually spent MORE than the opposition. The pharmaceutical industry spent almost $160 million on television ads and lobbying members on Capitol Hill for reform while the American Hospital Association spent $16.3 million on lobbying for changes to the system
And according to the New York Times, the total figure spent on lobbying, television, radio and print ads could reach up to ONE BILLION DOLLARS. Yes, Billion with a big B. By far the largest amount of money spent for and against any issue in the history of America.
Talk about economics stimulus! I am sure CBS/TIME WARNER-VIACOM/ NBC-General Electric-Universal/ FOX-Direct TV/Clear Channel really needed hundreds of millions in ad revenue stimulus--on top of the millions they already receive from insurance companies and drug manufacturers whose spots are regulars during the evening news.
Why would corporate journalists actually help to solve this problem? Their elitist overlords are reaping in millions in profits while millions of PEOPLE--cower in fear of seeing a doctor. I am positive if their audiences were going deaf, dumb and blind and could no longer absorb their mind-numbing advertising they would find a way to get them universal treatment.
With almost a billion dollars spent, still nothing of substance has changed. President Obama seems rudderless. The supposed Left is left to lick its wounds while those on the loony-tune right, are more than happy to gloat.
“Their crowing achievement was to kill the so-called public option, at least in the Senate, in which a government-run health insurance plan would have competed with private insurers,” said The New York Times of the forces allied against the once-populist public option.
“We had a good year, “ R Bruce Josten, chief lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is quoted in the article. “I have no regrets.”
Mr. Obama said in the State of the Union that he would like to hear some suggestions--from the Republicans on how to pass some modicum of health care reform. Their silence was a notable and painfully obvious sign--to everyone--but Obama--their strategy in total is too obstruct, oppose and obfuscate the truth to meet their political ends.
Here are some suggestions from an “F******* retard” on the left of things: Universal health single payer with a sliding scale--determined on ones ability to pay. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio long ago introduced a house amendment to the massive health bill that would require each state to decide for itself how it would cover all its residents. Take it back to the states and give them the subsidies necessary to provide coverage for all. Cut them off at the pass, Mr. President! Remember Massachusetts!
Being from Kansas, I can’t help but remember the great abolitionist Republicans of yesteryear who must be ashamed the party of Lincoln has come to represent the intransigent, belligerent and borderline racist opposition to America’s first African American President. I don’t believe President Obama is a foreign-born socialist, working to turn America into a gulag and neither does anyone with a half a brain.
These are the sort of nefarious ideas that inspire the marginal sane to take matters into their own hands. The Scott Roaders of the world just need a righteous cause and an easily purchased firearm. Egged on by crackpots like Ben Wetmore, Bill O’Reilly, Randall Terry and Rush Limbaugh, America may yet mourn more than the loss of civility in American political discourse. They may lose its last best hope for healing and bridging the divide threatening the very fabric and health of our nation.
It is my sincere hope that Sen. Brown might write an additional chapter to “Profiles in Courage” and choose the welfare of the union over the divisive politics of the reactionary right, and bring health care, like is available in his home state, to the rest of America.
Enjoy your lifetime of free health care, Sen. Brown. It’s on us!