Michael Steele has been acting pretty idiotic ever since he was elected to run the Republican National Committee (RNC), literally within weeks after Barack Obama was elected to run the country. I suspect that to weaken the criticism that the party of the conservatives is predominantly white with little interest in real minority participation, along with the ascension of Mr. Obama, the conservative party leadership decided to do something a little different and put Mr. Steele as their public figurehead.
But Mr. Steele has been a lightening rod of conservative controversy ever since he was anointed with his high profile role. In a response to the question does Rush Limbaugh run the Republican Party, Mr. Steele replied with a comment saying that he, and not Mr. Limbaugh is the leader of the party and he went on to describe Mr. Limbaugh is little more than an entertainer who has reputation for making incendiary and ugly remarks. Mr. Limbaugh used his radio program to respond questioning Mr. Steele’s commitment to the principles of conservatism. Next thing you know Mr. Steele is making a very public apology to Mr. Limbaugh as if to confirm who really is the more influential.
In an interview published in GQ magazine, Mr. Steele said that abortion was absolutely an individual choice. That’s not quite the orthodox conservative position where abortion is an abomination. Mr. Steele tried to do some backpedaling by clarifying his statement to say that by individual he meant the state government and not the federal government. Backpedaling seems to be the primary tool of choice for Mr. Steele.
In his latest controversy, Mr. Steele is being held responsible for RNC funds being used to reimburse a two thousand dollar tab at a night club with a reputation for lesbian bondage sex themes. The attention being given to this incident is rather surprising considering the number of zeroes in the RNC bank account. The amount is an extremely tiny fraction of the total funds. And I seriously doubt if this is the first time the RNC or its counterpart the Democratic National Committee has ever used official money to pay for somebody’s entertainment. Politicians have a well deserved reputation for having rather unorthodox and predatory sexual appetites. I doubt if this really deserves all the attention it is getting. And Mr. Steele wasn’t even at the club. But he’s dead center in everybody’s crosshairs as being the one person to blame for this latest embarrassment to the party that promotes itself as fiscally responsible.
In response to this latest hubbub, Mr. Steele is countering that the only reason he is getting all of this unwanted attention was because he is black, the fact that he has been so abrasive to many of his conservative constituents and has stepped on so many people’s toes and has backpedaled so much that he cannot keep his position straight is not even a remote possibility for the constant criticism being streamed his way. It’s not possible that he lost the confidence of his constituents by his own actions. In Mr. Steele’s mind, the only possible explanation for all of this microscopic focus on his inability to lead is racism.
This appears to be just another case of Mr. Steele’s infamous knack for backpedaling. Mr. Steele admonished Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama’s defenders for claims of racism from the right. The possibility of racism being the impetus for so many people on the political right carrying signs referring to Mr. Obama as a lying African or as a illegal foreigner who refuses to produce an acceptable birth certificate or even the belief by so many people that Mr. Obama is a one man terrorist cell on a personal jihad against the United States was dismissed as nothing more than a race card play by Mr. Steele. There was no evidence of racial prejudice. Racism has nothing to do with the criticism leveled against Mr. Obama. All the criticism was a legitimate response to Mr. Obama’s erroneous policies.
But now that Mr. Steele is in the hot seat, he has no problem crying racism without any evidence to support his claim. Maybe Mr. Steele has come to some realization that there really are a lot of white people who simply hate to see a brother being so successful in this day and age. Maybe Mr. Steele saw someone holding a sign referring to the lying African in charge of the Republican National Committee or a sign that showed Mr. Steele in makeup similar to the Joker from the last Batman movie. It’s pretty doubtful. The only thing Mr. Steele has to point to is an uncomfortable reaction to his various missteps and his numerous mistakes. All the heat from being in an uncomfortable position is enough to melt Mr. Steele’s steeliest resolve, which probably isn’t saying very much.
Any minute now, you’ll hear Mr. Steele do another reversal and clarify what he meant to say. Chances are pretty high that any minute now you’ll see a press release from the RNC saying that by using the term racism Mr. Steele actually meant the courage of people to make honest judgments on his lack of performance and how he appreciates the candid criticism. Conservatives would do well to dump this waffle maker at their earliest opportunity. His leadership has been nothing but one big cluster of political gaffs.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pointing a damning finger at his fellow Republicans for playing both sides of the political fence when it came to the economic stimulus plan. Mr. Schwarzenegger praised the influx of federal dollars into his financially troubled state, and chastised Republicans who are trying to play both sides of the fence. The Governor said that he found it very interesting that a lot of his fellow Republicans are very publicly refusing to accept any federal stimulus money saying that it doesn’t help to create any meaningful new jobs, but then they turn around to appear front and center at the photo ops posing with the big novelty check from the Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol with all the zeroes and claiming credit for doing a great job of taking care of their constituents.
Mr. Schwarzenegger went on to note that he is so grateful for the stimulus plan and its effect on the state of California, that he is compelled to be the first Republican governor to throw partisan politics aside and actually support the stimulus plan as a good thing. Said the governor, anyone who says that the plan doesn’t create jobs should talk to the hundred fifty thousand people that have gotten jobs in California.
I have to admit I never thought much of Mr. Schwarzenegger as a politician. He was alright as an actor even though his acting was the epitome of stiff and wooden. His best work was by far acting like an automaton in the Terminator series where his lack of anything remotely resembling a graceful human movement made him the perfect pick to play a machine void of humanity and compassion. With his background of bodybuilding, seven times becoming the world champion Mr. Olympia, Mr. Schwarzenegger has learned to be a master at competition and has learned how to outmaneuver anyone who dared to challenge his title, it is really no surprise that his political leanings would be on the conservative side of things. Add the fact that he has a nine figure net worth, it is practically guaranteed that he’d be a member of the party that appears to be more focused on protecting wealthy individuals and corporate America.
Mr. Schwarzenegger has been a registered Republican nearly all his American life. In a speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention, he explained that when he arrived in America in 1968 with empty pockets, there was a presidential campaign between Richard Nixon and Herbert Humphrey. He watched the debate on television while a friend who spoke German and English translated what was being said. His friend explained that Mr. Humphrey was saying things that sounded a lot like socialism, the form of government economics that Mr. Schwarzenegger left behind in Austria.
And then his friend translated Mr. Nixon’s speech. Mr. Nixon talked about free enterprise, and getting the government off people’s backs, lowering taxes and strengthening the military. Mr. Schwarzenegger said that Mr. Nixon sounded like a breath of fresh air. From that day forward the future governor told everyone that he was a Republican. That was more than forty years ago. Today, Mr. Schwarzenegger is singing a slightly different tune.
While Mr. Schwarzenegger may have shied away from anything resembling socialism before, as a governor of a state going through a severe economic crisis, he appears to be embracing a more socially responsible form of economic governance. While many people would like to interpret socialism strictly as the government in total control of production, distribution, and exchange of goods and services, others have a less sinister interpretation where any government control of capital is done within the limits established by a market based economy. The latter concept accepts the fact that a certain degree of social intervention and economic planning may be necessary at times to prevent capitalism from unfairly concentrating fiscal power and wealth among a small segment of society that would lead to unequal opportunities and does not allow for the best interests of the public at large.
It may sound like Mr. Schwarzenegger is a transformed conservative. He is a politician who now finds it expedient to knock the conservative way these days. Back in 2006, when he appeared as a guest speaker to address the annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in San Francisco, Mr. Schwarzenegger took a Democratic tone, speaking in favor of public service while extolling equal opportunity in California’s public schools. He admitted he was wrong when he said that everyone had an equal opportunity to make it in America. He went on to admit that the state of California does not provide equal education for all of our children, and especially not the inner city children. It sounded like a breath of fresh air.
But the fact is California’s per pupil spending ranks behind forty five other states and the District of Columbia. The state only spends about three percent of its taxable resources on education, ranking thirty-seventh when compared to other states. California has more students per teacher than most states ranking forty ninth in student to teacher ratios. The state spends more than one hundred thousand dollars per year to keep a single juvenile in custody, but less than eight thousand dollars to keep a juvenile in school. Go figure. Mr. Schwarzenegger appears to be great at making speeches. But his actions don’t always back up what he is saying. It’s nothing more than politics.
Mr. Schwarzenegger’s career as governor will end at the end of 2010. It’s time for him to move on. There’s some talk that he’ll move to the national stage by trying to become a United States Senator for the state sometime in the future. And with that goal in mind he’ll try to reinvent himself as a moderate in the Republican Party. With the Republicans being labeled as the party of obstruction politics and sympathetic to radical organizations like the tea party movement, Mr. Schwarzenegger could be sitting pretty for his future political endeavor by at least appearing as a moderate. Don’t look now, but it appears that the former Mr. Olympia is going for another title.
A week ago, when I heard what was happening in Massachusetts in the Senate race to replace long serving Senator Ed “Ted” Kennedy, I really had to shake my head in disgust. State Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democrat, was running against conservative State Senator Scott Brown. It was in the bag for Ms. Coakley. I think I heard an estimate that said she was leading in the polls by more than twenty points early in the campaign. The odds of a Senate seat long hold by Democrats falling into Republican hands seemed about as likely as a snowball surviving hell. So what did Ms. Coakley do? She counted her chickens before they roosted. She went on vacation while Mr. Brown continued to work and chipped away at her lead and managed to surpass. The chances of anybody finding a more appropriate political example of the tortoise and the hare are about as likely as that proverbial snowball.
Ms. Coakley’s campaign tried to recover. They tried to talk sports. It was pretty obvious Ms. Coakley had no idea what she was talking about when she accused high profile Brown supporter Kurt Schilling of being a Yankee’s fan. They tried to refocus people’s attention away from issues that highlighted Mr. Brown’s strong suit. But too late they realized Ms. Coakley really was a poor candidate without much in the way of her own strong suits. And then, out of a sense of desperation, they reached for the hotline and called on their big gun with seconds before midnight. Mr. Obama flew into town with his charming smile blazing and pulling out all the stops, trying to inspire the Democratic base. It was all too little too late. The political landscape has changed in Massachusetts. Mr. Brown goes to Washington. Ms. Coakley can go back on vacation.
The Wednesday morning quarterbacks are working hard this morning. The election is being pitched as an early glimpse of the American people’s disapproval of the Obama administration. People are upset that terror suspects are being prosecuted in our judicial courts instead of being railroaded in a military court. People are upset that a weak healthcare bill is being foisted on the American people. People are upset that the Obama family chose a Portuguese water dog instead of a mutt from the Washington, D.C. humane society. Mr. Obama’s approval rating is running just short of fifty percent instead of the nearly seventy percent he had right after the election. We can second guess this until the cows come home.
If this is a referendum about the President and the way things are going then I’d like to add my two cents to this mix. If Ms. Coakley had stayed on the ball, kept her eyes on the prize, had not taken her ascension into the Senator’s club for granted, everyone would be singing a different tune. It is unfortunate that the impact of Ms. Coakley’s incompetence has such national repercussions. At the moment, Ms. Coakley appears to be little more than the Democrat’s version of Sarah Palin. She may not have quit her job in order to not look like a quitter, but she quit campaigning long enough to let Mr. Brown get his foot in the door. But one could hardly say that Ms. Coakley is awful and so therefore the President’s agenda is awful.
If this translates to a wakeup call for the Democratic Party, so be it. If this election is the defibrillator that restarts certain politician’s hearts, so be it. From the time Mr. Obama got into office he does his best to be cerebral and appear above the fray instead of mixing it up with people who are throwing political mud. We didn’t elect the President to be a consensus builder. We elected the President to do the job of governing this country. The President wants lead the Democrats and embrace people like Joe Liebermann who have publicly demonstrated their contempt for the Democratic Party. The President will turn the other cheek when someone boldly calls him a liar and would be more likely to have a low key beer summit than openly address issues that keeps us divided. The President is willing to compromise away the very issues he campaigned on instead of holding fast to his platform.
The conservatives are pulling out all the stops to stop the President and the Democratic Party. These are the kind of people who’ll celebrate the fact that the Mr. Obama was unable to convince the Olympic committee to have their games in Chicago. Too many people are operating as a collective to do anything to make Mr. Obama look bad. The filibuster, traditionally a tool used as a last resort, has become the mainstay of the opposition arsenal, and Mr. Obama wants to act like it is business as usual and govern like people he’s working with reasonable people. If people want to use the filibuster as a means procedural obstruction, then it’s time to put that often talked about reconciliation maneuver on the table. If people want to act a nut, then it’s time to get nutty. If this is a wakeup call, then hopefully people will wakeup.
One thing I do have to say about President George Bush was that he didn’t spend a lot of time appealing to people who didn’t care for him. If somebody called Mr. Bush a liar during his administration, I seriously doubt if that person would ever be heard from again. Conservatives know how to deal with dissension in their ranks. When former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Mr. Obama, the conservative political machine switched into turbo mode and put the word out that Mr. Powell was no card carrying Republican. Imagine what they would have done if Mr. Powell appeared on stage with Mr. Obama or even considered being his running mate. That wouldn’t go over very big at all.
One thing I must say is that the conservatives don’t hesitate to get the job done. Consensus is nice. But in no way is it important. What’s important are results and principles, two things that liberals seem willing to compromise on these days. The fact that this administration’s agenda can be unhinged so easily by the minority in the legislature proves how weakly we are being governed. With a majority in both houses of the Congress and the White House healthcare reform should not be in jeopardy. That’s just weakness. And who wants to be governed by a weak governor?
The day after a catastrophic earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti, Rush Limbaugh went on the radio talk show to take political pot shots at President Barack Obama. Mr. Limbaugh told his listeners that Mr. Obama, who was on vacation in Hawaii when a would be suicide bomber tied to use explosives packed in his underwear to take down an airliner as it landed in Detroit on Christmas day, took three days to address the nation. But what is most upsetting to Mr. Limbaugh is that within hours after the massive quake, Mr. Obama addressed the people of Haiti letting them know the United States was sending aid and that the tiny impoverished nation has a friend nearby.
Mr. Limbaugh went on to suggest that Mr. Obama was only too happy for this disaster because it will give the Obama administration an opportunity to burnish their credibility with the black community in both the light and dark skinned black community in this country. Only somebody with such a thick hatred for black people would be so contemptuous as to suggest that the President of the United States would use this monumental tragedy to gain support amongst a group of voters who already overwhelmingly support him.
The fact that people are dead or dying doesn’t even register on Mr. Limbaugh’s conservative and racist brain. He couldn’t care any less if people are in peril. It doesn’t even register on his conscious that a country, already the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, is in desperate need of help. Mr. Limbaugh could put partisan politics aside to help fellow human beings. He has a very popular radio show that reaches millions of conservatives and I’m pretty sure a word from Mr. Limbaugh could inspire many of these people to give. Mr. Limbaugh’s wallet is almost as fat as he is. He could easily afford to give something for the relief effort. But instead of making his own charitable donation, he’s too busy comparing the carnage impacting Haiti to a failed bomb attempt. Instead of anything remotely resembling compassionate conservatism, Mr. Limbaugh treats us to a new low in pettiness, loathing, and hatred.
In many ways, Mr. Limbaugh’s response to this disaster reminds us of the conservative’s response to the catastrophe of hurricane Katrina after it devastated the Louisiana gulf coast. How many times did we hear conservatives say that if people didn’t want to be stuck in New Orleans they should’ve left? As if some people had the choice of leaving. Black people here in America lost everything they had and the only thing Barbara Bush, the conservative mother of then President George “Dubya” Bush, had to say was that the it really worked out well for all those homeless people because they had nothing before and now they were taking advantage of the hospitality of the good people of Texas. The fact that people may have lost family and other loved ones never registered on her bigoted brain.
Televangelist Pat Robertson has judged the people of Haiti on behalf of his Christian god. The Haitians had made a deal with the devil and the earthquake was god’s way of paying them back. The conservative Mr. Robertson said the same thing when Katrina struck. And yet, Mr. Robertson never passed god’s verdict on people from the dominant community who lost their homes to the California fires. He didn’t say anything about god’s wrath when entire communities were washed off the face of Galveston Island when hurricane Ike struck in 2008. Mr. Robertson didn’t talk about the wickedness of Italy when the earthquake devastated Italy killing over a hundred fifty people and displaced another fifty thousand. It’s only when black people suffer a natural disaster do we hear some conservative passing god’s judgment. Even god hates the black community.
For the past day or so I’ve been talking to a few conservatives who visited my blog, discussing the difference between the black community’s relationship with conservatives compared to the black community’s relationship with liberals. The recently revealed comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calling Mr. Obama successful because he was a light skinned Negro who has the ability to sound black only when he wanted sparked phony outrage among so many conservatives and made for some conversations back and forth.
One question that was posed recently was if there really is no difference in the impact to the black community from the liberals and the impact from the conservatives, why does the black community overwhelmingly supports the liberals. The answer comes from conservative people like Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Barbara Bush, George “Dubya” Bush, their bigoted Christian god, and many, many others.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the suffering of the black community just doesn’t register on these people’s brains. And even if it did, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to help black people, people like Rush would only see it as an opportunity to spew more racism. God puts the smack down on Haiti and all the conservatives want to do is cheer from the sidelines and point to the black President and make snide comments about how he can react so quickly to people dying instead. If this is what the black community has to look forward to from conservatism then I’ll be happy to take Mr. Reid calling me a light skinned Negro any day of the week.
Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid from Nevada has been exposed as the latest white politician to make an insensitive comment about a black person. A new book, Game Change, says that Mr. Reid essentially made the comment that then Democratic presidential hopeful Illinois Senator Barack Obama would be an ideal candidate because he was a light skinned Negro and had the ability to sound black only whenever he wanted. And now, conservatives are crying foul because they contend if one of their own said this, they would be deemed a racist and therefore, Mr. Reid should resign.
Okay I’ll bite. When was the last time any high profile political conservative ever expressed the slightest concern about somebody using racial slurs against a black person? Was it when Rush Limbaugh was playing that Barack the Magic Negro song? Was it when South Carolina Senator George Allen referred to the minority in the crowd at one of his rallies as macaca? Did conservatives care when a conservative bureaucrat distributed an image of all the Presidents with Mr. Obama depicted as little more than a pair of bulging eyeballs on a black background? The answers are nope, nada, and hell no.
Conservatives are accusing liberals of having a double standard. And that might be true. If liberals heard somebody like South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, who is already on their shit list for shouting out his infamous comment calling Mr. Obama a liar during a formal address to the Congress, they’d have a totally different reaction.
But the conservatives are guilty of their own double standard. Conservatives have never expressed any concern over anyone using a poor choice of words in reference to the black community. Rush Limbaugh makes racial offenses part of his standard operating procedure on his conservative talk radio show. Way too many conservatives applaud when black people are the subject of some racist rant. It ain’t black people watching reruns of Seinfeld with Michael “Did someone say nigger” Richards, Duane “My son ain’t going to date some soulless nigger” Chapman, or Don “Nappy headed ‘ho’s” Imus. Compared to these offenders, Mr. Reid calling Mr. Obama a light skinned Negro shouldn’t even register as a blip on their offense meter.
But now that Mr. Reid is the offender, the conservatives are pulling out the stops, pointing the figure in feigned astonishment, trying to make a case on black people’s behalf. I think the last time conservatives did something specifically for blacks was when President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. And even with that gesture of racial generosity on conservative’s part, it is a matter of contention whether or not it was for the welfare of black people. A lot of white people were complaining that they couldn’t find work as long as black people had to work for free. Mr. Lincoln’s personal opinion was that no black person would ever have the same status as any white person. No doubt, Mr. Lincoln could have given a rat’s ass about black people. And that conservative mindset appears to be the popular sentiment of today.
So now a lot of conservatives want to point to liberals and cry foul and we’re supposed to take them seriously. This morning Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele wants to point his subjective finger at Mr. Reid and say if a conservative did it the liberals would be having a field day. Yes, and if a conservative did it, Mr. Steele would be on the other side of the fence as well. That’s what happens in political circles.
In the game of politics, nothing is done with fairness in mind. No decision is made with impartiality. It’s all about whatever benefits my side. Do the conservatives care what white people in high places think about the black community? No. Do the liberals give a damn about the black community? Hell no! Nobody is saying that the Democrats have the black community’s best interests at heart. Our politicians ignore every social problem that continues to plague the black community. But somehow we’re supposed to believe that Harry Reid’s comment about a black man a year ago means something to someone now.
Everybody who sits in one of those high seats of government has referred to a black person some time in their life with a derogatory racial slur. Harry Reid is definitely not the first and he certainly won’t be the last. But now Republicans want to call for his resignation. I say good luck. If it didn’t matter to them then it probably doesn’t really matter now. But in the game of politics, it’s hard to pass up a chance to score points.
Healthcare reform passes in the Senate along partisan lines. Not a single Republican Senator supported the bill. Whatever you think of Republicans, one thing you can say is that when they smell political blood they are ready to transform into the political equivalent of a pool of sharks. They pulled out all the stops to sink this thing. They talked about death panels and fiscal irresponsibility and judgment day and President Barack Obama’s Waterloo and all manners of nonsense to keep this bill from becoming law.
The conservatives are trying to tell the public that they were railroaded. The liberals took over the legislature and refused to budge on any issues. The Republicans were locked out of any meeting to discuss the bill and therefore could not bring themselves to support any part of it. The liberals were unwilling to negotiate and were unwilling to listen and it is the liberal’s fault that this bill passed along partisan lines. So much for Mr. Obama’s promise to reform Washington and reach across the aisle.
At least that’s what they’re saying. The reality is much different. In the final stretch, the liberals were making all kinds of deals to pull this bill through its darkest hour. Massachusetts Senator Joe Lieberman got the public option scratched. Somebody else got stronger anti abortion measures installed into the bill so anyone who wants their insurance to cover abortion related procedures has to write a totally separate check. And Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson was able to negotiate a deal where the people of Nebraska do not have to contribute their fair share of funding for Medicaid expansion into perpetuity. The conservatives are upset over all the deals that were cut to keep the not a Republican majority from falling apart and succumbing to a Republican minority filibuster. So what do the conservatives mean when they say that the Democrats were unwilling to negotiate?
From what I’ve been able to gather, it looks like the liberals were doing nothing but cutting deals. In fact, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham wanted the South Carolina attorney general to launch an investigation to get to the bottom of all the deals that were made in the last few days leading to the historic healthcare reform bill vote. So if the Democrats were so busy cutting so many deals, why do the Republicans insist on maintaining their claim that they were railroaded? They can’t have it both ways.
If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was willing to give the people of Nebraska a pass on Medicaid expansion, it seems pretty obvious he was open to negotiation with anyone who was willing to negotiate in good faith for the bill’s passage. Therefore, I can only assume that no one in the Republican camp was willing to do any negotiating to pass this healthcare reform. To me, it appears that no conservative Senator was willing to cross that high profile line in the sand drawn by the collective conservative body.
And the idea that the majority was trying to rush something through at the very last minute is a grand example of intellectual dishonesty at its finest. This country has been trying to reform healthcare for the past four decades. The last great attempt during President Bill Clinton’s administration went down in flames. The political muscle to push something through just wasn’t there and nobody has bothered to do anything about ever since. That was fifteen years ago.
By some estimates, forty five thousand Americans die every year because of a lack of healthcare. We are willing to wage war because of what happened on that fateful day on September 11th that wound up killing three thousand Americans. But we are more than ready to wait and tolerate the annual death of so many tens of thousands of Americans because we don’t want to do anything to rush a healthcare reform bill through our legislature. These people say let’s wait a little while. Give it a few more years so we can work out something a little more agreeable. And while we’re waiting, pay no attention to those people who continue to die because of a lack of coverage.
People know that if they defeat this bill now the political winds of change would loose their steam and would take years to gather again. Mr. Obama would lose any political momentum on this issue and would never get another opportunity to try again. No one is trying to rush anything through. But the legislative process is an ungainly behemoth that is difficult enough to move when there is overwhelming support to get anything done. It’s downright resistant when there is such solid opposition against changing the status quo.
Personally, like many other people, I don’t particularly care for this bill. It is my opinion that too many considerations were made to protect the insurance industry making a watered down bill that is only a symbol of anything healthcare reform. The insurance industry should have been totally removed from the healthcare equation. Anybody who profits from denying people healthcare should not be involved with reform. But that’s just my opinion.
Hopefully, this bill will have some redeeming value. I am cautiously optimistic. Anything has got to be better than the status of quo of letting the insurance companies have their way with the public. Their lame promises to always do better sometime in the future have gone unfulfilled for so long that they stopped believing they could do it themselves a long time ago. We’ve been taken for granted for so long that the only way change was going to happen was at the end of a political gun aimed squarely at their figurative head.
The American public needed each and every deal possible with so much organized opposition to healthcare reform. And if the conservatives wanted to be part of the process, if they honestly wanted to participate in the reform process, chances are they could’ve cut their own deals as well. But unfortunately, the only deals that they were interested in was the type of deal that kept the status quo. And the status quo was no deal for reform at all. Besides, so many people want to focus on all the backroom deals to get pass healthcare reform. What about all the backroom deals to assure its defeat?
The Democrats are a bunch of spineless pussies. With a majority of the House of Representatives combined with a virtual filibuster proof majority in the Senate giving the Democrats iron clad control of the legislature branch, topped with complete control of the White House and the executive branch, these pussies can’t get anything more than a fart passed in our federal government without at least one Republican to give his or her explicit approval. Republicans were eating the Democratic Party’s lunch when they had the majorities and the White House. It looks like the Republicans are still mugging the liberals for their lunch money.
The Democrats act like a bunch of keystone legislatures running around in oversized floppy shoes and hitting themselves in their own heads with their own batons as they try to look meaningful and try to look pertinent or try to look as if they have a purpose or try to look like they even matter.
The healthcare reform bill appears to be healthcare reform only in name. Nothing resembling reform remains in the tepid, watered down, version of the original health bill. Rumor has it the public option has been taken off the table in order to protect the insurance industry from supposedly unfair competition from the government. The insurance company wasn’t thinking about fairness as they made billions of dollars in profits by denying healthcare claims and by doing their own impersonation of the dreaded death panels and doing their best to get in between people and their doctors.
But now that the shoe might be headed to the other foot, now that the insurance companies are the ones who might be bending over and taking it up the shaft as people make the choice to go with a public option, our legislatures, the people who are supposed to represent the best interest of their constituents, think we need to protect the insurance industry by removing the threat of a public option. Now I know that there are conservatives that would do everything in their power to protect the corporate benefactors. The previous administration really did a wonderful job giving corporate America everything it wanted and then some. Lower taxes and less regulation have combined to make a one-two punch that ravaged our economy and made the average American a lot worse off than we were eight years or so ago.
And when the American people finally decided as a collective that it has had enough of the conservative agenda, the only place to turn for something different was to the conservative politician’s adversary, the liberal politician. Voting for the Democrats, some of us thought we would actually catch some slack and get cut something resembling a break for a change.
But the poor Democrats can’t compete with those big bad Republicans who are looking for a fight, any fight that would give them some kind of political victory. And healthcare reform appears to be a godsend. Like an iron curtain the Republicans are ready to just say no and thwart any threat to the status quo, leaving every single Democrat and independent left a necessity to get anything through. Knowing they don’t have the numbers to keep legislation from passing, the Republicans promise a filibuster, to talk incessantly about nothing, to keep a vote on healthcare from taking place. And the Democrats, knowing what’s at stake, want to play hardball with each other to get the party to cave to what they want.
One Democrat says he or she won’t vote for anything with a public option, another says he or she won’t vote for anything without a public option. One Democrat says he or she won’t vote for anything that doesn’t put an outright ban on any abortion benefit, another says he or she won’t vote for anything that doesn’t provide some kind of abortion benefit. One Democrat says he or she won’t vote for anything the insurance companies don’t like, another says he or she won’t vote for anything the insurance companies do like. And the differences go on and on and on.
Real meaningful healthcare reform is dead. It’s been murdered by a political machine that, for the most part, pretends to have the public’s best interest at heart but is all the while stabbing the people in the back. We can’t have real reform because too many people know that the real power is in corporate America and not with the American people. I don’t blame Republicans for this condition. They never sold themselves as anything other than streetwalkers turning tricks for their corporate pimps.
But Democrats want to keep their relationship with corporate America on the down low. They want to appear like they have more interest in the public’s welfare. But in reality, it appears that the Democrats are trying harder to steal tricks than that silly rabbit on the breakfast cereal.
To be honest, it doesn’t matter who gets in office these days. For most people in politics, there is no incentive to the right thing by the American people. It’s all just a con game kind of like the wrestling so many people are addicted to watching. We think something might change when we get the other guy in office. But at the end of the day, the two sides are really the best of friends who would rather spend the day with each other than spend a minute with the American people. In their world there is no real difference from one politician to another. To keep voting for change by voting for the same political parties is madness. One day we’ll wake up and realize it’s time to stop this crazy shit and start taking this a lot more seriously.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s new book is released today and it is topping the charts as far as book sales go. But who’s surprised? The woman has been pushing this book ever since she inked her seven figure pay deal with the publisher. For the last week, she’s been making the book selling circuit doing appearances on a variety of shows. Ms. Palin’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was meant to be the first interview with the former candidate for Vice President to promote her new book Going Rogue. That was yesterday. Today, the bookstores are free to sell Ms. Palin’s book to the rest of the world.
Ms. Palin is doing well for a person who just a scant fourteen months ago was an enigma to just about everybody who didn’t live in Alaska. Largely responsible for getting the conservative faithful fired up about their hopes for Arizona Senator John McCain’s run for the White House, Ms. Palin is now more than ready to kick aside her backseat role as Mr. McCain’s oval office stand in. After being in the national spotlight for just a few short months, Ms. Palin realized that even her job as the Governor of Alaska was no where near enough for her ambitions. She used her other foot to kick the governorship to the side and to go rogue in the private sector. It seemed Ms. Palin would be willing to do anything to keep the attention of the conservative hopefuls, even putting her political stock at risk.
But the risk seems to have been well worth it. A lot of people are working to make her more popular now than ever. And these people are amazingly successful despite the character of the person that they are working with. Now in her new role as leading lady on the conservative’s political stage, Ms. Palin has returned to the forefront with what could be interpreted as a virtual conservative standing ovation.
And it really doesn’t help that Ms. Palin is featured on talk shows like Oprah to give her account of the numerous appearances she made on the political campaign where she appeared to have stumbled. One of the most notable stumbles was her appearance on several CBS News interviews with Katie Couric. When asked an incredibly benign question like what newspaper or magazine she reads on a regular basis, Ms. Palin replied any and all. Maybe it was a journalist instinct or maybe it was an obvious recognition that Ms. Palin was trying to avoid the question by pulling a thoughtless answer out of thin air, Ms. Couric pressed and asked her to name one. Who can’t name a newspaper or magazine that they read on a regular or irregular basis? A normal person might say Time magazine or Washington Post or USA Today if nothing specific came to mind.
Ms. Palin blamed her inability to answer the question to some annoyance with Ms. Couric, who Ms. Palin took pity on and granted the now-infamous interview to because of what she thought was Ms. Couric’s low self esteem and incessant pressure. Katie Couric might suffer from a variety of mental conditions but I seriously doubt if low self esteem registers on the radar of the anchor person for the CBS Evening News. It really does appear that Ms. Palin is using this new round of high profile interviews, as well as her book, as an opportunity to settle an old score with the woman who was very instrumental in exposing Ms. Palin as somewhat of an intellectual lightweight.
But if Ms. Palin’s recollection of Ms. Couric can be considered harsh, according to some preliminary reviews of her book, her critique of the Mr. McCain’s political handlers was downright scathing. The book has so incensed some the Arizona Senator’s aides that he had asked his people to avoid engaging in any public discussion of the book that goes beyond correcting factual inaccuracies. Nevertheless, conservative party strategists Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace have both denied Ms. Palin’s charges and have called the book a work of total fiction. Essentially, both have called Ms. Palin a liar.
Regardless of the accuracy of this book that Ms. Palin claims is her own words, regardless of all the people who are countering the book’s assertions, regardless of how many interviews people like former future son in law Levi Johnston try to derail her agenda, despite what we see and read about her and by her, Ms. Palin remains a phenomenon that appears incapable of being turned down, let alone snuffed out. Indeed, for many people who adore her, this woman’s star is brighter now more than ever. It’s like she’s wearing Teflon underwear. It appears that the bulldog in lipstick has clamped those powerful jaws on the leg of fame and she refuses to let it go.