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If You Build Them They Will Comeby Open-Publishing - Wednesday 12 August 2009
By David Glenn Cox
The healthcare debate just keeps spinning out of control, death panels and let’s kill off granny movements bumbling, stumbling with overweight, jackboot wannbes. Watch them pretending outrage while keeping one eye on the director.
I was watching the video of the St. Louis town hall scuffle and one man seems to always be on the edge of the camera shot. When he looks at the camera the camera moves forward almost like he was giving instructions. But when you hire amateurs you get amateurs. The video really doesn’t show anything more than people screaming at each other until the cops show up.
The problem for me, and I’m sure others like me, is that with Obama what we’re promised doesn’t always match what we get. Closing down Gitmo became relocating Gitmo to Afghanistan. Stopping the Bush military tribunals became slowing but continuing the Bush tribunals; the new transparency became the old transparency.
Attorney General Eric Holder is considering a special prosecutor to investigate torture accusations against CIA employees. But it is like Steve Martin in “The Jerk” as the weight guesser. You can only consider certain crimes against certain low level employees who went over the readily accepted definition of enhanced interrogation somewhere on this shelf right here between the Kewpie dolls and the pocket combs, but not the clock radio.
The employee free choice act was very dear to my heart. It was a real chance to put American workers back on their feet. You wouldn’t have to start a union, but just the boss man knowing that you could would mean better treatment of workers. I both blame and excuse Obama for what happened. Congress gutted it by removing the card check provision and so effectively removed the free choice portion. Congress did it but Obama allowed them do it. So how am I to trust healthcare reform? How do I know what I’m getting? How do I know that when the dust settles it will be no more than mandates for people to buy phony baloney health insurance with the profits locked into the insurance companies for a generation?
The opponents have it made; just say no! But for the millions like myself who would like to see real, meaningful healthcare reform, how can we get excited when we have the great equivocator on our side? Obama’s forte seems to be finding common ground and making both parties meet half way. That’s fine unless you’re right and the other side is wrong. If you ask for 10 you get 5, even though you need 7. This is how we got a stimulus bill that is almost half tax cuts and a banking bill that rewards struggling banks and punishes struggling homeowners.
I want to support Obama. I want to support healthcare reform, but I’m tired of being played for a sucker! We have no idea what kind of bill is going to come out of the Senate this fall, and quite honestly if the American people don’t follow Obama and the congressional Democrats, whose fault is that? Being a great equivocator looks very statesmanlike. It makes for great press releases and photo ops, but it is very lazy politics. To willingly bargain away a little of this for a little of that means nothing is sacred when you are, in fact, dealing with a health insurance industry that is the devil incarnate.
The opposition have it made, most of their followers are the undereducated, overstimulated types. They listen to Fox News and Rush and it gets their blood to boiling; no corroboration or second source necessary. Most are so angry that it ruins "CSI" and "American Idol" for them. So they turn over to BTN (Bible Thumpin’ Network) and there is the reverend Flash Humbug saying, “Obama wants to kill you!” Who wouldn’t break out the lawn furniture to protest? But it is so sad; many of these folks see themselves as American patriot types. John Fat-Ass Adams sitting in his lawn chair with a teabagger sign or Betsy Lard-Butt Ross passing around Glen Beck petitions to sign sure makes me proud to be American.
I had a customer that sold scaffolding, and he used to say, “Scaffolding and prostitution are the only industries in the world where you sell it but get it back.”
If you needed scaffolding for a three day job, it was cheaper to rent it for a week. If you needed it for three weeks it was cheaper by the month. If you needed it for three months it was cheaper to purchase it. The contractors, finished with the job, didn’t need to drag a ton of scaffolding cross-country and would sell it back to the scaffolding company for pennies on the dollar.
So who is to say or to stop the healthcare or financial industries from hiring professional choreographers and videographers to stage these events? With proper lighting and operatives the job could probably be done cheaper than it is now. Twenty or so real toughs to replace the Tom Bosleys in the crowd and you’ve really got something there! A theater for the half mind, for the easily amused and vitriolically aroused.
How will the Democrats answer then, without it sounding like whining? How can they counter-rouse the troops? Like the rube in front of the three-card Monty game, we are tired of trying to guess where the queen is hiding. We’ve been burned and then burned again, while the Speaker of the House asks, “What’s the matter, don’t you trust us?” Or Obama says, “I’m gonna fight for health care and those Republicans who get in the way aren’t going to matter. Go ahead, pick a card.”
But you see, that is where our adversaries have us by the gonads. Sure, they are frightened with lies and rhetoric, steeped in propaganda and hyperbole, but it coincides with their base principles. They don’t like change of any type; they’re still angry that "Matlock" went off the air. They don’t want any Black people living in their neighborhood, and they want to see Obama’s birth certificate.
You know that this is stupid and I know that it is stupid; we can look at them and shake our heads and wonder at just how stupid some people can be. But those stupid people, motivated by a few lobbyists and bullyboys, are defending their principles no matter how stupid they are.
The war is not won in camp, it is won in the field. You’ll change no partisan minds; few in the Democratically-leaning public will change their minds about healthcare. None of the Fox, Rush, Palin crowd will be swayed. So all that’s left are those in the middle to sway.
Do you want to trust the American public with intellectual arguments made by less than trustworthy politicians, or a good old Jerry Springer-type TV fight show? Excuse me for not standing out on that pier with you. It’s not that the Republicans have a monopoly on principles, they don’t. Only on stupid principles. The Democrats have hammered out a composite, compromised, mediated, health care industry-approved bill, subject to radical change at any moment. Personally, if it is not single payer, I see it as a failure. This is also to their advantage; they don’t have to agree on why they hate it.
Obama and Congress must find another argument to fight the Republicans, besides calling them nuts and whackos. That mostly fails to get their attention because they either already know it or are too far gone to understand it. Maybe we should have started from the beginning with a bill to inspire the left and the middle class, instead of a half-hearted camel of a bill punctured with Republican suggestions that in the end they will never vote for. Maybe then the birthers and the jerkers and the screaming in-toungers wouldn’t be able to fit into the town hall meetings.
If you promise me X and give me Y over and over, don’t be surprised when I don’t get excited when you promise me X yet again.