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My Thoughts On The Health "Reform" Bill

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I'm trying to decide whether I'm more depressed or angry. The Senate Democrats are giving into Lieberman's demands, even though he apparently isn't done making them. Then they will have to meet Ben Nelson's demands on abortion. And I'm sure Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu have some fun new issues to consider. For those who are claiming that we should accept the current idea of a bill as better than nothing, I have to say - let's wait and see what it looks like in the end, shall we? Because I'm pretty sure it's not finished being crapified yet.

The arguments made in the bill's defense (not that there is a bill yet) is that we have to save the lives of all those people without health insurance. This reminds me very much of my reaction to the story of Sophie's choice (I haven't read the book). From what I can tell Sophie made the mistake of taking responsibility for the evil choice made on her rather than refusing to play the game. I'm not the one preventing health insurance for millions of people - Joe Lieberman and his Republican buddies are. If the health fill bails because I refuse to respond to blackmail, I'm not the murderer - they are. Negotiating with terrorists only encourages them. Yes, yes, I'm sure there are good things remaining in the bill, but what needs to be understood by the wonks willing to take this bill at any price is that politics is not about policy, but about power. And we're giving up all of ours.

What this series of events does decide is the fate of the Obama presidency. It will be a failure. Even if Obama gets re-elected, even if he passes a few more laws and the Democrats keep Congress, he is a failure. Barack Obama campaigned on platform of change, in particular a change in the direction of the country - of the terrible trajectory we've been on for the last generation. To make that change would have required making fundamental alterations to our country's political and economic life and its relationship with the rest of the world. But Obama has quite clearly rejected doing any of those things. We have yet another Democratic President whose historic role is not to reverse the damage of the previous Republican administration, but to clean up their messes and tinker at the margins when they are not consolidating conservative accomplishments. And the rightward drift of America continues, with more militarism, less liberty, greater inequality, and a more impoverished cultural life.

I'm also pretty convinced that the Democratic Party is as failed an institution as the Senate. They lack leadership, or courage, or discipline. They're more concerned with holding office than governing. Sure, I'll vote in the next election, but beyond helping a friend of mine get re-elected, the rest of the party can go jump in a lake for all I care. I won't shift a finger to help them.

I'm going to mull things over, to see if I can see past this latest disappointment (there are just so many), and try to decide if remaining engaged in politics is even worth the effort. 2009 was the best opportunity for liberalism that I was likely to see in my lifetime, you see. One can only persevere in the face of futility so so long.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 1:05 PM
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