Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tea & No Sympathy

I can't say I'm surprised by how both liberals and conservatives are reacting to last week's passing and executive approval of health care reform. After making several minor concessions, the Democratic majority passed far-reaching legislation in a manner that would've been unheard of five years ago. In short, President Obama succeeded where nearly all of his predecessors from TR onward had failed. Where Democrats are rejoicing, Republicans are seething, and independents and moderates are wary. It's a victory on paper for the Dems, no question about that, but the moral victory remains to be seen. Half the country has their misgivings about "Obamacare," but they'll have to learn to swallow this big pill, figuratively and literally. The various lawsuits, noble in their intention, will likely fail. It is what it is, and 1/6th of the nation's economy has been irreversibly changed.

In the wake of the March 21st vote, a rash of vandalism and character assassination has hit several Democratic lawmakers (or in one case, a legislator's brother). Bricks have been thrown in windows, death threats have been faxed and called in, the list goes on. On the floor of the House of Representatives, pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak was taunted as a "baby killer" by a fellow anti-abortion (albeit GOP) congressman. Yet one incident was like something out of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Did anyone hear about this story, then thought about that one scene where the Boy Rangers rally for Sen. Smith in his hometown, then get rammed off the road by Jim Taylor's henchmen? Thank God that little girl wasn't injured. Sure, Rep. John Boehner went on Fox News to condemn all these actions, but it doesn't feel like enough.

It's saddening to think that this is what political discourse in this country has been reduced to. The tea parties don't want to hear a second opinion, they just want to reinforce their fears and underinformed viewpoints; instead of exchanging new ideas, they only get louder and shriller. I'm not implying that the Tea Party movement is behind all this reckless behavior, but the influence is certainly there. I want to give Boehner the reason of a doubt that the GOP core is not encouraging this mob rule, yet it was their ineffectual response to Obama's original platform that set the wheels in motion. (His "Hell no!" speech didn't exactly help matters.) How many of these tea-baggers are accepting unemployment checks, social security, and/or Medicare? How many of them would be willing to sacrifice those "socialist crutches" for their common cause? Will they keep protesting if the economy improves? Either way you look at it, in the long run somebody's going to look awfully sheepish.

Next week: my ever-so-slightly-delayed 2010 baseball preview.


  1. Obama is not going to get away with this. You have no idea how pissed I am at Obama. This is a HUGE deal. You don't pass something a vast majority of Americans don't like. You hear fucking Europe saying "it's about time". Well, the whole point of America was to get the hell away from Europe. And Americans shouldn't be forced into helping other people pay their medical bills; especially when we have pieces of shit people like that 600-pound woman who wants to gain weight to be 1,000 pounds! Why should we pay for childhood obesity problems when it's schools who are putting soda machines, selling candy for sports teams & serving unhealthy food to kids, and suddenly that's *MY* problem??

    The only reason why this plan passed is because of all the bribing and arm-twisting Socialist Obama did. Health care is a choice, not a right.

  2. I don't like the Health Care bill either [probably obvious why I don't], but I agree with you on the death threats Stu.

  3. This is where I sort of disagree with you, Mark. When I was at COD, I had classmates that were socialists. I drank beer and shot pool with these socialists. They offered to put me on a mailing list, and I politely declined. I can tell you from these experiences that Obama is no socialist. In fact, it's hard to tell what he really is. Obama wants to be a centrist like Clinton, but he's polarizing like Carter. I think that we can both agree that a restructuring of our country's health care system of some kind was overdue, but the timing was dead wrong.

  4. When I went to COD, the Graphic Arts department & classmates were right-wingers. Found out about it during a round table discussion one day. The Estimating management classes I took were the most frustrating thing I ever did in college. That took penny pinching to a whole new obsessive level. I actually got in fights with professor Dave Roberts & I wasn't the only one.

    What Obama need to realize is this is the last thing Americans need is more bills, and many can't even pay the bills they have. I can't afford health insurance, nor do I need it. If they're going to make it mandatory, then you must outlaw cigarettes, alcohol, fast food, soda machines & junk food in schools, impose trans fat bans, food serving limits for a country apparently too stupid and lazy to feed themselves properly which would have to be constantly monitored, and you're going to have a bunch of fat assholes & sick weak people & lousy cripples bankrupting the system. Who in the hell would want to live in a country like that?? There is so much wrong with this country right now, and this is the last thing we need right now.