Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health reform

I gotta tell ya I'm so god damned sick of all the bullshit coming from the right about health care reform and specifically the public option that when I look at all these people who show up at rallies to carry and cheer the lies...all I can think of is `dirtbags.' That's a harsh and unfair judgement I realize but as Mencken said "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." He sure was right about that. I still think most of this has to do with the fact that Obama is black. They just can't or won't deal with it.

On the other hand I'm now convinced that Obama is Jimmy Carter, a slick self-salesman without any true vision or guts. He's not going to get the health care reform he needs or wants and a good deal of that is his fault. He's pretty clearly way over his head in his job. This is going to be a long four years and if I had to bet I'd say the Dems are going to lose thirty house seats in 2010.

I'm reprinting a piece here about a rally held by Jim DeMint, one of the slimiest men to ever be seated in the US Senate. It's interesting that the kind of people he attracts are likely exactly the kind of people who need health care reform the most. But since Bauchus, Grassley, the insurance companies, the health care lobby and every wingnut in America has been pumping lies into their heads...and since they never question anything if it comes wrapped in Jesus or the flag...maybe they deserve what they get. The hell of it they're depriving intelligent, open-minded people of the reform the entire country needs.

Greg Mitchell is one of the finest journalists in the country. Here's his take on DeMint's rally.

The Huffington Post
AUGUST 20, 2009

Greg MitchellAuthor, 'Why Obama Won'
Posted: August 20, 2009 02:00 PM

At Sen. DeMint's Town Hall: Lies, Damn Lies -- and "Jewish Spokesman" Ben Stein

Today I managed to attend one of the town halls sponsored by a key critic of the Democrats' health care reform, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Well, I wasn't there in person, only in spirit -- thanks to a live web broadcast starting at noon via WSPA-TV. They covered his second town hall of the day, as he stood on a platform outside the Beacon Restaurant in Spartanburg.

The crowd was almost universally supportive, even worshipful, with one attendee hailing him for being considered the most conservative senator of all. The lies and misinformation that came both from the crowd and the stage probably exceeded what many might have imagined. And DeMint denounced the one person who pressed him with a tough question, saying she had come "fully" loaded with "Democratic talking points."

The same thing happened earlier in the day at his town hall in Greenville, when a woman raised some critical questions. DeMint referred to them as "talking points." Don't expect him to be criticized on Fox, a la Barney Frank, for "putting down" an attendee.

Also at Greenville he referred to the suspension of the cash for clunkers programs and asked, "what if the gvernment had to suspend all surgeries'?

Here are some of the highlights of the Spartanburg town hall.
DeMint said that if the Democrats' plan goes through "hundreds of millions will lose Medicare" coverage.

One guy said insurance companies are NOT making big profits--only like 6% --and Obama was telling lies about it. DeMint agreed that profits not excessive.

DeMint said "non-partisan" analysts agree "a hundred million" will lose insurance at their jobs under Obama plan.

A woman quoted "Jewish spokesman" Ben Stein as tracing the decline of America to taking prayer out of school. She declared that America was a "Christian" nation. DeMint said, "I can't add anything to that."

Another woman said she had a relative in London "who is dead because of national health care." And willing to document it.

When a questioner said that the Democrats wanted to cover illegals, DeMint said it sure looked that way and would no doubt happen if not checked.

A man said he wanted an ethics probe of David Axelrod, but did not say why. DeMint said a real concern but didn't want to get into it because "I am not partisan."

Finally, a woman stood up and politely asked why he continually put down government programs while also backing insurance companies. He quickly accused her of coming "loaded" with "Democratic talking points" as the crowd hooted.

DeMint closed by thanking the attendees for showing that they backed "taking back the government" -- and that he would try to help them get it back. He urged them to send letters to the editor, call Democratic congressman-- or start a blog.
Greg Mitchell's latest book is Why Obama Won. He is editor of Editor & Publisher.
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Todd Mason said...

"On the other hand I'm now convinced that Obama is Jimmy Carter, a slick self-salesman without any true vision or guts."

Not quite as Christian nor quite as conservative as Carter, not quite as much a neoliberal as Clinton, but yes, and this has been obvious to me as long as I've been aware of him. I didn't vote for him, even if I did prefer his slickly vague politics somewhat to McCain's (after all the better Democrats inevitably failed, and Clinton was not among those, my vote went with Nader--the Arab in the race, not the best candidate but the one on the ballot with the best platform).

Ed Gorman said...

Todd-we wouldn't have gone to war in Iraq if Nader had foregone is vanity run in 2000. Gore would have won and he'd never have invaded Iraq. To me Nader's got a lot of blood on his hands.

Pericles said...

Yup. If you don't agree with Obama, you must be a racist.

Todd Mason said...

Nader didn't stop Gore...Gore stopped Gore, with a big assist from Sandra Day O'Connor and her fetish for what she chose to see as a Dignified process, vs. an undignified one. I sure as hell wasn't going to vote for one of the most rightwing of Democratic Senators, who had been Clinton's neoliberal buddy in selling the poor down the river with a smile rather than the Reagan/Bush stern face and wagging finger, particularly after he tapped damned near the only Dem Senator to his right (Gore's reinvention as the Savior of the Environment has been pretty much all post-Giving Up Despite Winning).

But it sure is important to too many Democrats that somehow Nader "stole" the election, rather than actually looking at who was responsible (and irresponsible) in 2000...

Christopher said...

Health care nuts are driving me nuts. I recently blogged about how mad the whole thing is making me.

There is no honest debate going on right now. The argument is bankrupt. People with health care arguing about who gets to have health care.

Charlieopera said...

Ed, I'm with Todd on this one. The Democrats have been shooting themselves in the foot since Ted Kennedy upended Carter. Until those in favor of equal rights for all, national health insurance and getting the hell out of Iraq & Afghanistan pronto start voting for people like Nader, the two major parties will have us by the balls forever.

I'd love for someone to explain to me the difference between them since Obama won. They bashed Bush for 8 years (deservedly so), then went right along with his bailout mentality (hell, they embraced it),and whatever happened to the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time? We're still there (until 2011--a year before the next presidential election--shades of Nixon).

We need to vote both parties out of office and that can't happen so long as we worry about the lesser of two evils. Usually it's gotta get worse before it gets better and if that means the Dems blow it yet again, so be it. I'm no longer willing to vote for a party that doesn't have the balls to demand equal rights to gays across the board or stand up for national health insurance. In the end it won't be Republicans who block health reform, it'll be a group of blue dog democrats. Whatever color they come in, they're still democrats blocking what they were voted into office to deliver.

Obama needs to hang those bastards out to dry publicly. What's the difference if they lose their seats? They're voting with the Republican ticket anyway.

I understand how you feel about Nader, but I agree with Todd, Gore let Saturday Night Live beat him. He changed his tactics week to week and looked dumb for doing so. Bush already looked dumb, but nobody expected it from Gore (what I think turned many independents off).

Anonymous said...

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." He sure was right about that. I still think most of this has to do with the fact that Obama is black. They just can't or won't deal with it.
Love your fiction, Ed, and your non-political postings, but when you let loose your leftist viewpoints and include that kind of absurd generalized hyperbole, it's disappointing to see. For the overwhelming -- vastly overwhelming -- majority of those who disagree with Obama's politics and policies, his race has nothing to do with it. By suggesting that it does, you diminish your own argument in the minds of rational-thinking people on both sides of the political landscape.

mike doran said...

I've said this in other places, so I'll keep it brief here:

Without the continued existence of the preposterous and outdated Electoral College system, Al Gore wins the 2000 election by 500,000+ votes - and we know about it the same night.

As to Obama: if by "in over his head" you mean "too decent a man to do the job", no argument. It may just be that our politics have been in the hands of bastards for so long that nobody else can do it any more.

Still, it would be nice to see somebody try...

I think I'll take some Covidram and go to bed.

Peter L. Winkler said...

I hope you overcome your current health problems. You're an intelligent, passionate writer.

Kenneth Mark Hoover said...

It amazes me how some people are actually willing to fight for the right to be gouged by insurance companies. You've got to figure insurance companies are watching that and thinking, "Wow, and here we were thinking maybe our premiums were a little high. These people are begging us to strip them to the bone. Our shareholders will be happy, anyway."