The health care bill’s attractive features are too few and those too weak to be able to be happy about its almost certain passage. The horrible parts are strong and really awful. We are beyond the point of killing the generally worse Senate bill, it will pass tomorrow. What comes out of reconciliation might be less awful, that’s about the best that can be said about it. Women, especially, have every right to be enraged that two right-wing, rural legislators were able to destroy decades of hard work and progress, we all have every reason to despise Stupak and Nelson as well as the other legislators in both bodies who promoted their attempts at poison pills. We have even more reason to despise the Republicans in both bodies, a mere handful of Republicans could have made the Blue Dogs into a non-issue. The lie of Republican moderation should die with the votes of Snowe and Collins, both of whom are better than Foxx and Bachmann only in that they are more discreet when they talk. The Republican Party is the force that destroys any chance that the corporations will not win in the end. That is a fact that the best Democrats, Senator Sanders or any proposed third party of the future would have to face. They are, to a person, opposed to the common good when it could hinder the profits of the elite.
Whatever is signed into law will represent the new field in which we fight on. This is what always happens. The highly imperfect, frequently inadequate and always mixed results of our corrupt federal system are what we live with.
Tomorrow will get here and we will have to plan for it. That is what we need to do instead of looking back. In listening to the endless discussions on the radio and TV about the progress of health care legislation this year, it came to me that not a single guest or anchor or host was without insurance. All those smooth, dispassionate voices were coming out of the fully covered. Those comfortable people are also disproportionately represented in blog discussions, though there are also a lot of us who know the issue first hand through our own experience. Just as the inadequate number of women in the House and Senate and on courts result in the experiences of women being ignored and discounted, the even greater absence of the currently poor in positions of power means that even their most desperate needs are eclipsed. The poor and the desperate need practical relief, not theory, they need it now and not in some imaginary future. Looking back in anger and pursuing impractical and losing fantasies are a luxury for those who are comfortable.
America’s political system is the major hurdle to progress. It was begun and has developed with corrupt, anti-democratic features embedded in it that those can’t be overcome by even the most popular and beneficial proposals. A real public option has been favored by a higher percentage of people than any president has ever won an election with. Olympia Snowe at one point said it would never have her vote because it would be too popular and would destroy the for profit system. I am certain she was right about that. It is why Lieberman and his fellow corporate tools had to kill it. Once The People found out that they’d been lied to and cheated for decades they would have opted to destroy the pirates that have been robbing and killing us all along.
The killing of the public option was just one more proof that the Senate is always going to keep us from government insuring the common good, its finest moments are so far between that they don’t make up for the malignant role it plays in our country. The 60 vote requirement, clearly in conflict with the Constitution, doesn’t seem to apply much to the majority of corporate representatives who sit in the Senate, it only applies to the minority who sometimes manage to represent The People. We must agitate to force the Senate to give it up if they can’t make it work on our behalf.
The Supreme Court is the worst offender, however, the manger in which the anti-Christ of the corporate person was born and which has nurtured it. The rulings that have created that monster and which has fed and given it real rights that can overcome even the majority of The People are the greatest evil that has a stranglehold over us. We have to do everything we can to expose the too little known abomination for what it is, make its destruction an issue in elections and Supreme Court nominations. Its manifestation in Buckley vs. Veleo is among the clearest hits that The Peoples’ right to self government has ever taken, the coming ruling on election finance will almost certainly make it worse.
The media which has become the opposite of what is required for democracy and which is almost uniformly a machine to misinform and lie to The People has to be split up and forced to fulfill its ONLY important function. You can’t be free if you don’t know the truth. You can’t be free if an effective majority of voters are spoon fed lies. Just turning the lie machine off so you can stew in a deceptively peaceful silence is a concept that refuses to face this most obvious truth.
The absurdity of libertarianism, that somehow an ignorant mass who are free to follow their transient desires, that the certain infringements of the rights of others by those free spirits can somehow be worked out by law suits, and the rest of that fantasy is a danger to democracy. People on the left who harbor that notion are deluded to the point of superstition. There is no reason in 2009 for anyone to not realize that.
Self government isn’t diverting or fun or stylish. It’s serious work, it always will be, that’s the nature of it. It is the nature of life that many of the most important features of the common good are downright tedious and boring. That used to be something that those achieving adulthood understood and took for granted. It took mass entertainment to create the loony lotus land that we inhabit. That’s what we have to fight against, ultimately. The People don’t know the truth and so the truth can’t make them free. The radio and TV, movies, video, I doubt when those have no higher purpose than to maximize profit that they are anything but killers of democracy. They destroy serious thought, they destroy the willingness to give up frivolous desires in order to give the necessities of life to those who need them. And that is when they don’t produce violence, paranoia, genocide and murder.
It comes down to The People as informed moral agents able to govern themselves or the conscious, planned, scientifically informed reduction of us into masses, manipulated, duped, controlled resources for the elite. I’m not optimistic, not after seeing what even the horrors of the Bush II regime has led to. If that slap in our face hasn’t woken up the left to give up its old slogans and fantasies, maybe it won’t get better.
But giving up is a luxury for those who are comfortable and the otiose who wallow in delusion. The work being harder is only more proof that it is necessary to try.