The Bright Side

Monday, March 22, 2010
Well, the historic Health Reform bill passed the House yesterday. Living in a Red County as I do, my own Representative voted against it, of course, and as I was walking Boogie this morning, I was greeted with this:


I guess it's supposed to imply that if the rest of the country had just done the right and honorable thing by voting in Mr. We-Don't-Need-No-Stinking-Civil-Liberties and the Stupidest-Politician-in-the-History-of-the-World we wouldn't be in this damn mess, thankyouverymuch. Unfortunately, what is says to me is that the owners of this house are members of the "fuck you, I've got mine" contingent.*

I realize, of course, that my attitude isn't entirely fair. There are many thoughtful people who opposed health care reform for a variety of reasons, chief among them being a perfectly legitimate concern about the costs associated with such legislation. I can't help feeling that's a bit of a red herring, though, and the Tea Baggers and their Fox News puppet-masters have shown pretty definitively that their opposition to health care reform has more to do with the ugly underbelly of that movement and rather less to do with substantive differences of opinion on how best to address this very real problem.

As noted by fellow UCFer Nathan:
[The anti-reform] side of this discussion includes racists, nutjobs and opportunists. So does mine. The difference is that on your side, they've become the loudest voices in the room...Even if you've got some valid point to make, I CAN'T FUCKING HEAR YOU over the racists, opportunists and nutjobs. It's YOUR job to make YOUR point in a way that can be heard...NOT MINE! If you want to have a discussion and maybe...just maybe sway anyone's opinions, you're going to have to get the racists, opportunists and nutjobs to shut the fuck up. Or at least, you're going to have to protest somewhere WITHOUT them.
Just so.

Now I still do think that the availability of health care is a moral issue, and one that simply could not have gone any longer without substantive reform. I also think this bill is kind of a watered down mess, since it did not in fact include a public option in spite of overwhelming public support. Call me a naive dreamer, but I don't think health care should be a for-profit business (Omni Consumer Products, anyone?), and the idea that a society should be judged by how they treat "the least among us" resonates with me.

And yet - it's a start. There are important aspects included in the legislation that will give many, many people the opportunity to have access to care. We have to start somewhere, and in spite of Republican obstructionism, we're starting here. Which is better than not starting at all.

I think the President has much to be proud of today. This victory may in fact cost him a second term (although I think it's far, far too early for Republicans to be be counting those chickens), but if it does - so what? This legislation puts his presidency in the same category as LBJ's in terms of the domestic agenda. Not a bad place to be, in my opinion. I, for one, am grateful that he had the courage of his convictions. It's why I voted for him, and here, at least, he came through. 

And there's a bright side! We can use this progressive victory as a lever to get Rush to LEAVE THE DAMN COUNTRY AS HE PROMISED. And maybe he'll do us all a favor and take that idiot instigator Glenn with him.



*My district, CO-6, is in the bottom 10% of districts in terms of numbers of constituents who are uninsured. Pretty fucking impressive, considering Massachusetts is included in that statistic.

14 comments:

Thordr said...

mabey we should pool some money and mail that bombastic asshole a one-way ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica.

mattw said...

I'm glad the healthcare reform got passed. And I can't help but think of how stupid the Republican party will look if/when this really succeeds in practice and everyone knows they tried their darndest to say no.

Nathan said...

Boy, was I ever PMSing that day!

:)

Janiece said...

Nathan, you may have been PMSing, but you made a valid point. The right has allowed their side of the debate to be overtaken by those who are willingly manipulated by Glenn Beck and the rest of the Insane Clown Posse. They either need to take their positions back, or quit whining about how "the media" portrays them. If you teach people how to treat you, then the Tea Baggers have taught the left that they're unserious, racist nutjobs - and the more moderate voices on the right have let them do so.

As you noted - it's not my job to make the moderate voices on the right heard.

Anne C. said...

Thank you Nathan, for putting it so well and so succinctly. I know as well as any of us that there are thoughtful, well-meaning Republicans out there. It was just getting hard to remember that with the "racists, opportunists, and nutjobs" (perfect summation!) out there jumping up and down to get attention.

Please take your party back, folks. Those of us in the middle depend on rational CHOICE from the two sides.

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

In Obama we have a president who really wants to compromise, to create a consensus, to work together, to make bills a large majority of the people can stand behind (even if they have to stomach some things they'd rather not). Alas, it takes two willing sides to play such games.

Dr. Phil

Steve Buchheit said...

There's a guy down the road who never took his sign down. I've been contemplating writing the note, "Dear Neighbor, According to State Law, you needed to remove this campaign sign from your property within 3 weeks after the election. Please be a law abiding citizen. KTHNX." I would think with your home association there might be a similar rule/ordinance.

And yeah, not perfect, but a good first step. At least for those of us who remember '94 and the whole "managed care and PPO's will save us" arguments. Now, maybe in two or four years we can do something a little better.

vince said...

Sadly, the Republicans are vowing to do everything they can to repeal the bill:

Republicans Vow Repeal Effort Against Health Bill

Janiece said...

Vince, I saw that, too. I think by the time the Republicans have sufficient votes to even have a chance, people will be quite satisfied with their new protections and health care availability.

One can only hope.

Tom said...

I think one of the lies the anti-HCR people spread was that the majority of Americans don't want HCR. I never saw any polls that substantiated that statistic. I think we'll find out in 2012 that that's just not the case.

(Unless the world ends. I bet there's a bunch of people who seriously expect that to happen, too)

Once the bill goes through the Senate (!), and is signed, lots of people will begin realize they, not just "the other guys," are a lot better off.

Every other civilized country in the world still takes better care of their citizen's health, but we're on the right road.

Finally!

WendyB_09 said...

Yes, and I live in one of the states headed by a Republican Gov. And while the State Legislature has much more important things to do right now, like dealing with billions of dollars the state budget is short, he's encouraging them to design laws for Georgia so we don't have to participate in the new health care programs.

The really need to be working on finding funding for necessities like PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION & EDUCATION!!!

Guess next time I need medical attention I'll send Gov Stupido my bills.

Anne C. said...

Tom, the world will end in 2012 BECAUSE of the health care bill. It will cause the poles to switch and there to be massive tidal waves and a new ice age.

Not because of global warming, which is a fraud, but because of EVIL health care!

oceanblue1 said...

As a former Parker, Colorado resident there was no better feeling then to be the only one on my block with an Obama/Biden sticker and wake up the next morning after the Presidential election and know that if nobody on my block did the right thing, I knew at least that I did and so did the country as a whole. As for health care reform, I believe that the red jackets are inflating the numbers and while it might be somewhat misunderstood it has far more support then they would have you believe. As long as we remember where we are now, today, is better then where we came from - remember Bush - then all should be fine, unless we are glutton for punishment. Love your blog by the way

Janiece said...

Welcome, oceanblue1.

In our neighborhood, there were about 3 Obama signs to about 25 McCain. While it's tough to know how folks voted who didn't display signs (like us), the County results imply that ratio was about right.