Well, there’s no denying that Obama’s speech on Wednesday was effective. He got a bump in the polls and he did talk up the Public Option.
Unfortunately, he also said this…
To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable for those without it. The public option is only a means to that end – and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal. And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.
Now, there are two ways you can slice this.
One: Obama is warning progressives that the public option may not be in the final bill.
Two: He is daring the Republicans to come up with a better way than the Public Option to keep insurance rates down.
I’m hoping for two. But frankly, I refuse to be bound by hope and am preparing myself for one.
So, we need to keep the pressure on. Call your congressman, senator, etc. Write, blog, tweet, rinse, repeat.
But there is another issue that desperately needs to be addressed.
Yep. The “You Lie” guy. Joe “Hey, I’m a Neo-Confederate”Wilson (R-South Carolina.).
Now, I’m not going to go into a long harangue about the guy. (Although I will point out that since doing his half assed impression of Charles Laughton in “Witness for the Prosecution”, his opponent in 2010, Rob Miller has gotten close to a Million Dollars from various donors on ActBlue. Way to go, Internet Spanking Machine!!) But I will point out what is becoming an unfortunate tendency with this administration.
And that is that any legitimate opportunities to criticize the President are being drowned out by random acts of jackassery.
For example, there’s this bit from the speech…
Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those – particularly the young and healthy – who still want to take the risk and go without coverage. There may still be companies that refuse to do right by their workers. The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don’t sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for those people’s expensive emergency room visits. If some businesses don’t provide workers health care, it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors. And unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek – especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions – just can’t be achieved.
That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements. But we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.
Now to be honest, there is a legitimate conservative argument that could be made against this part of the plan. “Wait, where the hell does the Government get off telling me that I have to buy insurance. I don’t need big government telling me what to do”. And to be honest and with all due respect to Mr. Krugman, I ain’t that crazy about it either. Only because without the aforementioned public option, we could wind up shoveling billions into the maw of the insurance companies. And that is a point where actual debate could exist.
But instead, Wilson opens up his pie hole, squeals “You lie” when Obama says we’re not covering illegal aliens. Which by the way, was a lie onto itself! And it winds up being the cornerstone of the media coverage about the speech.
And to be blunt, it’s starting to piss me off.
There are legitimate areas where Obama can be and should be criticized. Bank bailouts. Doubling down in Afghanistan. And let’s not forget the Fisa Compromise during the campaign which we will be revisiting, make no mistake on that.
But anytime we try to make a reasonable argument about something. The right starts screaming at the top of their lungs.
He’s a Muslim!
He’s a Socialist!
He’s a Fascist!
He’s starting death panels!
He turned me into a newt!
It’s ridiculous. It’s like a “Star Trek” episode where the Enterprise stumbles on a civilization based on old episodes of “The Jerry Springer Show”. And we have to put our legitimate concerns to one side and spend the entire afternoon explaining to Glenn Beck that he is not a newt. He just covered himself in green paint.
And leaving aside for the moment the entertainment value that comes from a Kermit colored Glenn Beck. It still leaves us with Obama still making a mistake that he needs to be called on.
It’s very hard to hold a President’s feet to the fire when the opposition is trying to drench the rest of him in gasoline.
(And please spare me the whole “If Hillary were President” rigmarole. The Dems primary in 2008 was a Kobayashi Maru as far as the right goes. Yeah, maybe Hillary would have centerpunched harder on Health Care but the only substantial difference would have been the right would have dusted off the old conspiracy theories from the nineties as opposed to writing up new ones.)
But still, it needs to be done.
Because the stakes are too high to indulge this sort of behavior anymore. We need to keep the pressure on President Obama to keep his promises. And we need to say to the Idiot Army assembling against him that we are done with this nonsense. You got an actual problem with what he’s doing? Fine, line starts over there.
But if you think for one Goddamn minute we are going to tolerate your paranoid rants out of some misguided sense of balance. You are sadly fucking mistaken!
Or as Harlan Ellison once put it, “You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion!”.
Get your facts straight. Then we’ll talk.