Archive for February 8th, 2010

Assertions, assertions…

Feb 08, 2010 in Health Care

Say whatever you want about Fareed Zakaria, the man can generally lay pretense to being well informed. Then he writes something like this:

True, the Republican Party has decided to be utterly uncooperative (although on health care Obama never really reached out to them with serious compromises).

Great job paying attention, Zakaria. When’s the vote on single payer scheduled again? How’s that public option compromise doing?

-jb

I hate to keep stealing Sullivan’s links…

Feb 08, 2010 in Politics

But this is essential reading for any person who likes the Tea Party rhetoric who isn’t just a party-line Republican:

So please, for your own sake, for your family’s sake and the sake of your children, stop. Stop demanding that problems not get fixed. Stop demanding that you keep getting screwed. Stay angry — you should be angry — but start directing that anger toward the system that’s screwing you over and taking money out of your pocket. Start directing that anger toward fixing problems instead of toward making sure they never get fixed. Instead of demanding that Congress oppose health care reform so that you never, ever, get another pay raise, start demanding that they pass health care reform, as soon as possible. Because until they do, you’re just going to keep on getting screwed.

And it’s going to be that much worse knowing that you brought this on yourself — that you demanded it.

It never ceases to amaze me how absurd and irrational life can be. The recession is making people angry, but the loudest segment has no understanding of what caused it, and no desire to do anything to make it better. Bush and Republican de-regulation theology led to a financial Hiroshima, but they’re angry at Obama. The stimulus was one-third tax cuts and was responsible for putting American growth back in the positive, but the teabaggers have convinced themselves that it mostly went to waste. American taxpayers were asked to pay a lot less during the Bush years, while Bush put everything on the credit card. Meanwhile the cost of everything else, from college to health care, skyrocketed, but we’re told that we’re, “Taxed Enough Already!!!”

Meanwhile, Republicans and “centrist” Dems in D.C. are busy making sure that Wall Street is protected and that no serious job bill gets off the ground. The cost controls in the HCR bill are seed programs that will take years to significantly germinate, appeasing entrenched interests (they may agree that change needs to happen, but making them seed programs slows the process and allows for adaptation). Mortgage readjustments have been squashed and withered. Bonuses continue to flow unabated among those who got us in this mess in the first place. At every juncture, it seems that lobbyists end up dictating what happens.

And who’s there to get their backs? Republicans. Who are the angry people yammering about deficits and unemployment telling us to vote for? Republicans.

The two things just don’t fit together. Never have, but this is the ultimate refutation.

As I mentioned before, there isn’t a populist or problem-solving bone in the Tea Party. Sarah Palin gives a $100K speech filled with empty platitudes while the Tea Party Convention ended up being about the cultural stuff. Sullivan:

They want their country back. That’s what they tell us. I watched a CNN segment where one woman explicitly described Obama as Satan’s agent. And the biggest applause of the Palin speech was her reference to children with special needs, her brilliant way of telling the base that she is a real pro-lifer and not a fake one. That’s why she hauls little Trig everywhere she goes. He’s a pro-life prop. A special needs child would be kept at home, cared for intently, and out of the limelight.

This is about Christianism, permanent war against Islam, rounding up illegals (did you hear Tancredo?) and a culture war against the cities and “unreal Americans”. Unreal means not Christianist.

It’s the GOP base, period. Bush’s credit card presidency didn’t bother them at all. There are no policy proposals that will satisfy them. They just want Sarah Palin signing the bills, someone they personally identify with more.

Here’s a hint though, folks: People like Obama more than Palin. And always will. Republicans can keep liking her harder to piss off the liberal commie homos, but it’s not going to make her more likable or impressive to those of us who aren’t expecting the Rapture in the next twenty years. She’s a celebrity, fine, but whose fault is it that she thinks she can be President someday? Who has got the brass gonads to break it to her gently? Just say, “Oh, you’d make a good governor, Sarah! Oops, I mean, Fox News personality…” Everybody else looks at her and sees a bumbling fool. Oh, yeah, she’s common American for you: She’s that nice lady mayor who ran up a bunch of city debt and then had to quit being Governor because it was too boring.

Those of us who are actually concerned about getting something real done in D.C. have one real option: keep voting for solid mainstream Democrats who are supporting reform. The Republicans haven’t changed and never will. They’re a 41% block of permanent corporate power over how our country operates. The “centrist” Dems are just craven politicians who cave the instant Republicans raise their hackles. If you’ve got a filibustering Republican in office, you had best think about getting him/her out as soon as possible. The old policies are still hampering us because the old policymakers are still holding the reins.

And you, our everyday normal American, are the last one they give a damn about. You’ll be unemployed and foreclosed, and you’ll get a nugget of wisdom about the “invisible hand of the free market” when you’re on your last dollar. Then where will you go?

-jb