I don’t mean this post to be a total downer – and it IS a repeat, since I’ve posted this quote previously (from my favorite satire blog, Sadly, NO!) – but with the recent rash of spittle-flecked, swastika-bedecked insanity that seems only to be increasing as August ramps up towards the heat-crazed “dog days” of summer, I found myself thinking of it again.
I’m pretty sure that Republicans know that this time, finally, health care reform is going to pass, probably sometime in September or October, just like the President said he’d like to have happen. With a Democratic President in the White House who was elected on a platform of change from the previous (and very Republican) administration – and who remains quite popular despite having had to deal with the worst overall situation of any incoming President perhaps ever AND having put some very ambitious policy goals in play – and with a large House majority and a real – though possibly shaky – 60-seat majority in the Senate, even the GOP must know it’s more likely than not this time around. It’s not certain, of course, and it will depend upon the President making all the right moves and using his considerable political skills (as well as Nancy Pelosi’s underrated vote-whipping ability) to get it right.
Unless the Republicans can whip up enough fear in enough quarters that it generates enough sense of futility and “better the devil we know” sentiment that either reform efforts fall short by a tiny margin or that a bill is passed, but in such a weakened and compromised state that the resulting effects don’t amount to real reform after all. Only in either of those two scenarios do the Republicans win. In the former case, the “win” is obvious – but I think it’s a real longshot at this point. This isn’t an election amongst the people right now, it’s an attempt to convince enough of Congress to vote for a bill. And in the end, I think there’ll be enough – barely – support for this bill in Congress. But the clear goals of the teabagger movement’s corporate-lobbyist leaders who disseminate their movement-wide strategies is to create enough public panic and anger and pessimism that some of those key Congresspeople push just enough to water down the legislation enough that when it does pass, it will be not very helpful in solving America’s health care crisis – or possibly even a hindrance in the long run.
Hard – and depressing – to believe, but this is genuinely what one of the GOP’s (and certainly the teabaggers’ movement’s) primary objectives is. I should repeat, this is probably “plan B” for the GOP; plan A would be to outright kill the bill. But make no mistake; failing that, they want to make sure that the price they extract for their tepid support to pass the bill are amendments and excisions of key provisions (hello, public option!) to make the resultant bill so weak and worthless that it cannot succeed in its stated goal, and therefore (the GOP hopes) people turn away from the President and Congressional Democrats. That’s truly their goal: not “fix health care” (which they could have at least attempted to do during the four uninterrupted years when they held near-total control of the entire government under Dubya from 2002-2006), but simply to defeat their “enemies” – the Democrats. remember that, gang: the Republicans would rather kill or ruin health care reform if it means discrediting and defeating Democratic opponents in upcoming elections, than they would help work to pass meaningful health care reform which benefits their own constituents, even if it makes Obama a successful, beloved President. All of which – after this rather lengthy intro – is what made me think of this old quote from Sadly, NO!:
During Bush’s presidency people like me were called traitors on a fairly regular basis because we didn’t show Bush the proper deference when he’d do some goofy shit like choke on a pretzel. Now we have guys on the teevee [my note: he’s talking about Glenn Beck specifically here] that are openly talking about armed insurrection against a democratically elected government and it’s considered the most patriotic and pro-American thing a feller could do with hisself.
This sort of thing doesn’t really offend me because I think most of Beck’s viewers would back down from starting a new civil war once they learned that it would likely lead to Cheeto rationing. But I am amazed at the sheer cognitive dissonance involved in simultaneously believing that it’s treasonous to peacefully oppose an unjustified war but that it’s patriotic to lead an armed insurrection against the government because they want to provide you with health care. If there’s a weirder political movement than American conservatism, I’ve yet to see it.
Yeah. Me, either. Siiiigh….