Monday, June 02, 2008

SWAMPOODLE REPORT: THE AUDACITY OF EXPECTATIONS

If all goes according to plan, Barack Obama in his first 100 days as president will prevent the passage of a decent and full healthcare plan for at least another 100 months. He doesn't say that, of course, nor does the media nor does the Obama fan club. But it's the truth because if Obama gets his fake universal healthcare plan through at the start of his term, it will inevitably take years before politicians will deal with the issue again.

Obama's alternative is a bill that would expand the subsidy to the health insurance industry, a subsidy financed by expanded required use of said industry. Unlike automobiles, where the claim can be made that no one has to drive and so can't complain about required insurance to do so, everyone has a right to live without having to funnel money into the parasitical and useless health insurance industry. There is no justification for Obama's approach other than a desire to get funding from the health insurers and to avoid their wrath.

It is not only a wrong policy, but an immoral one. And, if he is successful, America will continue to have one of the worst healthcare plan of any developed country.

This is not just some progressive idea. As the Twin Cities Daily Planet wrote recently:

Obama is, of course, not alone in attempting to foster the private health insurance con on the public, but he stands the best chance of seeing it to fruition. It is also not the only way that Obama betrays his alleged status as an agent of change. His plan for Iraq is, at best, vague; he supports such conservative atrocities as the Patriot Act, the drug war and No Child Left Behind, and he seems singularly indifferent to numerous economic crises confronting the country. But because, with healthcare, he knows what to do and when he wants to do it, it is the most pressing domestic danger Obama presents.

The conventional liberal approach to this issue is indifference. Like the liberal eunuchs who helped elect Bill Clinton and then never said a mumblin' word as he turned the Democratic Party into GOP Lite, the Obama crowd has not shown any interest in what their man will actually do once in office. They have accepted his evangelical euphemisms on faith and faith alone.

There was a time when political activists in the Democratic Party were interested in issues rather than merely in icons. Which is why liberals stood up against Strom Thurmond, George Wallace and Richard Daley. They knew where they stood and they knew where the others did as well.

Now it's not like that. Other than a vague commitment to end the war in Iraq - a commitment stunningly absent in detail - there is not a single major progressive issue that liberals can point to and say with any confidence, this is what Obama will try to do.

This is not a question of how you vote; it's a matter of how you treat politicians. Are they are your tool or are you their pawn?

If Obama were a Republican he would now damn well the answer; just the Christian right would keep him watching his every word. In fact, the GOP has it down to such a science that Obama feels he should talk about putting some of them in his cabinet. Have you heard about him talking about putting Bernie Sanders or Russ Feingold in his cabinet? Of course, not.

So it will be when he is in office. He will gather his post-partisan assembly to discuss healthcare or whatever and you can almost bet the most progressive person in the room will be one of the secretaries

Just about ever day I get an email message saying that this union or that group has come out in favor of John Conyers single payer healthcare bill. Google it and you'll find 32,000 mentions. Now switch to the news media search on Google and you'll find six.

The only way Obama can be a good president is if he is pressed into it by progressives wise enough to realize that a vote should only be a ballot and not a free pass. The issue wars of the Obama administration should begin right now. A pro-single payer group called something like Labor and Doctors for Obama might start the revival of a Democratic Party which actually cared about what it did and not just whom it elected.

It is way past time to expect far more of candidates than just hope.

2 Comments:

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The conventional liberal approach to this issue is indifference. Like the liberal eunuchs who helped elect Bill Clinton and then never said a mumblin' word as he turned the Democratic Party into GOP Lite, the Obama crowd has not shown any interest in what their man will actually do once in office. They have accepted his evangelical euphemisms on faith and faith alone.

There is nothing worse than a progressive evangelical except a conservative one.

Chris

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger drpaul said...

Sam,
The sheep of America have decided on what they deem the lesser of evils. The revolution is on hold. Corporate America, at least in the guise of the Health Insurance Industry, will again triumph.

I still believe that the populace in America is a sleeping giant however it will take a mighty big alarm clock to wake them up. The bread and circuses have induced a extremely soporific state.

We need a very large can to bang.

 

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PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM

BACK TO INDEX

Your editor has been a musician for many decades. He started the first band his Quaker school ever had and played drums with bands up until 1980 when he switched to stride piano. He had his own band until the mid-1990s and has played with the New Sunshine Jazz Band, Hill City Jazz Band, Not So Modern Jazz Band and the Phoenix Jazz Band.

NOTES ON THE MUSIC

Here are a few tracks:

SAM SMITH'S DECOLAND BAND

'SHINE' 

JELLY ROLL

PHOENIX JAZZ BAND

APEX BLUES   Sam playing with the Phoenix Jazz Band at the Central Ohio Jazz festival in 1990. Joining the band is George James on sax. James, then 84, had been a member of the Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller orchestras and hadappeared on some 60 records. More notes on James

WISER MAN  Sam piano & vocal

OH MAMA  Sam piano & vocal