So the first thing I noticed was that over half of the yahoos that had gathered outside of the Biomedical Research Tower at Ohio State University to protest against "socialized" medicine were old enough so that they rely on Medicare. In other words, socialized medicine is just fine for them, but if you don't have healthcare because you've been laid off or because you're too poor to afford it, well, sorry bub, fuck you. One woman being interviewed by a documentary filmmaker was busy telling him that liberals are "brainwashed" because Rush Limbaugh told her so. Her jackass son was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words "Obama Makes Me Puke" and she went on to opine that Obama's daughters were "ghetto trash" and that social security and medicare and public education should be completely defunded. Another man shouted loudly that the government was holding a "gun" to his head because it would force him to pay for other people's healthcare and that he shouldn't have to pay taxes at all. "It's a moral issue," he yelled when someone asked him if he'd taken one of the tax-funded highways to the protest.
An older woman, also on Medicare (I asked her) told me that she wasn't part of any "astroturf" outfit, that she was there to protest healthcare reform purely on her own volition, even while admitting that she'd been coached by "the Glenn Beck tv show." She claimed that Obama was being advised by one of those "Rahm brothers" who want to deny healthcare to children under the age of two and to old people. She based her claims on the utterly dishonest and debunked NY Post article written by a rightwing hack who took Rahm's scholarly work out of context. People shouted out "Death Panels" and "Socialist" and "Marxist." The spittle flew from their mouths as they screamed that Obama was a Nazi.
Meanwhile, inside the Town Hall, Sherrod Brown, tried patiently to explain how healthcare reform was necessary and why a public option would keep the lying, cheating insurance industry from completely screwing us over. But the forces of ignorance are strong, and they are loud, and they will stop at nothing to discredit any reform attempts.
Here's the thing that became abundantly clear to me today: the majority of these people don't give a rat's ass about healthcare reform or its costs. They care about derailing the Obama presidency. They are obsessed with tearing his administration down and they don't give a damn if it means that you or your grandmother or your child dies in the street because they can't get proper medical treatment. As long as Obama fails, they'll see it as Mission Accomplished.
If Obama has made a mistake, and he's made more than a few, it's to put any faith in the idea that there can be bipartisanship with the jackals that make up today's GOP. It's naive to think that the Republican Party which spent the last eight years thoroughly fucking everyone but the rich over (and that "everyone" includes the morons so easily manipulated that they'd call moderate reform "socialism") is EVER going to do anything remotely cooperative for best interests of the nation. These bastards are playing for keeps and they'll scare the bejeezus out of your loopy grandma if that's what it takes to get the job done. So if you're sitting on the sidelines hoping against hope that Congress will eventually do the "right thing," chances are way better that you'll die of some sort of horrific cancer, penniless and bankrupt before that happens.
Remember this: over a million bankruptcies a year in the U.S. are due directly to the insane costs of catastrophic illness, and the majority of those poor buggers now living in the poor house thought that they had adequate "health insurance." Perhaps folks ought to pick up those phones and give their senators and representatives a thirty-second phone call and demand that real reform get done--that it include a strong public option and strict regulation of the bloodsuckers running big pharma and health insurance. Let me tell you, the anti-government, racist, militia-nuts are sure as hell doing their part to make sure that fifty million Americans don't get any healthcare.
At the very least, forward real information to misguided relatives and friends who are being lied to day and night by the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, and Savage. Send them to:
Speak up now before it's too late and all you can afford when you or yours gets sick is a bottle of generic Robitussin and a prayer.