Thursday, October 1, 2009

POLITICS- The Public Option is Dead; Long Live the Public Option

The Public Option is dead. And the Democrats killed it. Even though it was their idea.

The Democrats have a real problem. In the wake of their recent actions on health care- the destruction of the public option, the protection of the insurance industry by mandates and giving government sanction to the disavowal of claims, and their collusion with big Pharma to make sure their profit margins are protected- this problem is becoming a catastrophe. Simply put, democrats aren’t morons. Republicans have solved this problem by expunging anyone with an IQ higher than their age from their voting block. As a result they can depend on their constituents to do things like support paying bonus money to banking industry thieves in spite of their having decimated both the retirement accounts and the value of the homes of those very supporters. They can expect their voters to riot against a president trying to give them health care because it’s too expensive after spending a decade defending massive spending on insane wars and cutting taxes on the people who profit from the economy most. They can somehow convince their mostly fundamentalist Christian followers that government torture, the very method used to kill their savior, is something to support and glorify while at the same time convincing them that taking care of the common good and including the poorest members of that society- something that very savior espoused at length- is the height of evil.

If only the Democrats could have enlisted the dumbest people in the country to their side first!

But unfortunately they didn’t. And unfortunately they took power and decided that they could continue with business as usual, the exact same business the Republicans are engaged with, of selling our government to the wealthy and powerful. I guess they thought that the people who elected them were exactly as blind to their own expectations and best interests as the Republican supporters at the tea parties. They thought that their supporters wouldn’t notice that, in spite of having a majority and then a supermajority, they weren’t really interested in passing the very legislation they had run on. (Hey, the Republicans have been running on things like prayer in schools and criminalization of abortion for decades without having anyone realize they never did squat about either.) They thought that their members would be willing to accept piss poor legislation that didn’t fix anything but instead only solidified the status quo rather than losing to the ‘other side’. (After all, the Republicans had called gutting industry air pollution mandates the “Clean Skies Initiative” and passed huge health care giveaways to big Pharma, in spite of their small government talk, as the Medicare Drug Benefit.) Ah yes. The shuck and jive that the Republicans had sold for years was the way they thought they’d deal with health care, blaming the other side for everything while they screwed their own supporters deeper and harder then ever, and that nobody would notice that their calls for bipartisanship were merely a plea for the Republicans to bail them out of having to do what they had said.

But unfortunately for the Democrats, their supporters aren’t brainless nitwits who are motivated by the same kind of fervor that allows sports fans to support teams in their home towns in spite of decades of disappointment. Their supporters aren’t religious zealots who have abandoned reason in favor of the same understanding of the natural world as desert dwellers 4000 years ago. The majority of citizens who elected the Democrats those few short months ago aren’t committed to the party and it’s current members the way Southern bigots are committed to hating the fags, blacks, and uppity women they feel the other party is comprised of. No, the democrats won because so many Americans were tired of being lied to while their democratic government acted as if they had been appointed by the Plutocrats who were making campaign contributions.

We aren’t any less tired of it now, Democrats. And we aren’t going to support you no matter how badly you serve our interests. Too bad.

The current state of the two parties are like the Pepsi Challenge- choose between two worthless products that are bad for your health and will take your teeth if you let them.

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