Ever wonder how, in this age of super technology, politicians actually believe they can get away with adulterous sex, lies and videotape? Ever wonder how in this age of unprecedented wealth by the top one percent of the U.S. population, American citizens actually take the lying bastards at their word? We may not have the advantage of rolling tape in our private TV studios, but there is a nice invention called the computer that gives us access to the same information and you can actually read it! Ever wonder why American stopped reading? Ever wonder when and where we lost our guts? The guts to stand up to the people you elected? The guts to raise the window and yell like Howard Beal? The guts to let loose and revolt, each in our own way?
Ever wonder how we got into this health care reform mess? I'm neither a politician, economist, banker or insurance provider but I offer this simple analysis: we hang on every word these campaigning politicians preach and vote them in without doing one speck of homework on their track records. They get inside the Hill and start feeling comfortable. The Right doesn't care and the Left doesn't listen. OK, they listen a little and then they whine "What can I do? My hands are tied."
Give them enough time, Democrat or Republican, and they screw us all while making a mockery of the democratic system. Lest, we forget, now is the time to start making your personal list of who was naughty this year and who was nice. This has been such an Age of mis-information, you won't remember who said what when it's time to put your Congressional leaders back in office over the next two years. And you probably won't have the guts to confront them with it anyway.
The health care roller coaster reform is the ultimate symbol of our broken system. "We won't settle without a robust public option," they said in the beginning. "All right! You got guts!" we said.
Then it was "We want real reform that will make insurance companies accountable., followed by "We are confident we have enough votes to get a meaningful bill through." That turned to "We want the best bill we can get but if we can't get the votes and if that means no public option this time, it gives us a framework to build on."
Then the crowd roared "Medicare for all!" and someone said "Oh, that's a good idea" despite the fact that it had been floated many years ago. It was kicked around with glee for a couple of weeks and than--splat! The Medicare-for-all theme was diluted to Medicare for the 55-64 demographic. And even that was destined for failure. No guts.
So we are now left with no single payor, no public option, no expansion of Medicare coverage and no guts at all. Oh yes, they tell us this will still be a good bill. It will force insurance companies to be accountable and it will provide a good 30 million more people with health care coverage. All this with no worries about pre existing conditions. What more could a country ask for?
For starters, we could ask for replacement guts. This bill as it now stands means we still have to deal with the avarice and stealth mode mentality of private insurance providers. They will figure out a way to work around all of the accountability offered by the latest compromise. They're smart like that. And yet, as much as I might advocate killing the bill a la Howard Dean, it's just my ego talking. I am just trying to grow a set for the spineless Dems who don't seem to have any of their own. How can you possibly hand off this thing to the Republicans who are just delighted with your jellyfish anatomy, I ask with rigidly drawn fists. Have you no shame, sir. Have you no shame?
No, but they have Christmas and Hanukkah shopping to do. At this point, everybody just wants to push this thing through, smile for the cameras, declare victory, and go home. The gutless Democrats we were counting on have betrayed their constituents. The Independent Joe that we should have never counted on was a home wrecker from the time he set foot in the Congressional Halls. We've been played like a big, out-of-tune violin. If we had listened, we might have heard the discord and requested a tuning. Instead, we just covered our ears. Things to do, you know. Move along. Nothing to see here.
But is it Joe's fault? Remember, when you point that index finger, there are three more pointing back at you. No, it's not Joe. It's us. What have we done lately to make ourselves heard where it counts? Post? Good! I love to read opinions, but I have news for you. Your Congresspeople are too lazy, too lackluster, and too consumed with their own self interests to read your comments. When is the last time you wrote letters directly to your legislators? There is strength in numbers, people and we haven't even flexed the muscles in our collective little fingers.
Our government is a malfunctioning machine that needs a total overhaul. It's time for another March on Washington. Otherwise, the country can look forward to developments not seen since the Civil Rights movement and the times of Martin Luther King, Jr. Oh, wait. That could never happen. We don't have the guts.