.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
The Expansionist
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
 
Keith Olbermann Is Too Kind. This past Monday, August 3rd, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown attacked a bunch of politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, for opposing the present attempt at almost-universal healthcare because they are bought and paid for by the insurance and health industries (hospitals, nursing homes).
+
Olbermann's condemnation is all well and good, but why aren't the Democrats, why isn't Olbermann, pushing insistently and without compromise for single-payer? A half-assed, bastardized reform is just not good enuf.
+
A fellow liberal from my city, Newark (NJ, the only Newark that much matters), sent me link to a video of Olbermann's remarks. I told him that I regularly download the entire episode of Countdown from the MSNBC Podcast webpage (right-click on the appropriate button, and choose "Save Target As..."), so I would see it in context. (Why, pray, isn't Countdown on broadcast TV, now that NBC has more than one channel in digital broadcasting per major market? The Chris Matthews Show is aired on our local (NYC) NBC station, at channel 4.2. Why not Countdown?)
+
After regaling/appalling viewers with numbers for the vast amounts of money that various Members of Congress, both houses, have received from healthcare and health-insurance companies, Olbermann concludes his Special Comment thus. (Tho the text suggests he is talking only to "Blue Dog" Democrats, I think he intends his warning to apply to all opponents of universal healthcare.)
I warn you all ... If you fail to pass or support this legislation, the full wrath of the progressive and moderate movements of this country will come down on your heads. Explain yourselves not to me but to them. They elected you, and in the blink of an eye, they will replace you. If you will behave as if you are Republicans, as if you are the prostitutes of our system, you will be judged as such, and you will lose not merely our respect, you will lose your jobs. Every poll, every analysis, every vote, every region of this country supports healthcare reform and the essential, great leveling agent of a Government-funded alternative to the unchecked duopoly* of profiteering private insurance corporations. Cross us all at your peril. ... Because, ladies and gentlemen, President Lincoln did not promise that this Nation shall have "a new death of freedom, and government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation shall not perish from this Earth."
Empty threats, anyone?
+
(* The term "duopoly" as used above is puzzling, since it implies there are only two major health-insurance companies, tho surely there are far more. Perhaps Olbermann originally intended to refer to a duopoly of insurance and for-profit healthcare providers, or of insurance companies with for-profit providers on one side and Big Pharma on the other side. Whatever he may have intended, and perhaps edited out for the final presentation, the term "duopoly" doesn't make very good sense in the final context.)
+
I wrote to my fellow Newark Liberal after viewing the podcast:
The Special Comment did say "Medicaid" instead of "Medicare" [an error that appeared in a brief quote in advance of the broadcast that Michael Moore sent out to his mailing list], but was otherwise very good. As for "the wrath of the progressive movement", where is that movement (I prefer "Liberal") now as regards "single-payer" rather than "the government option"? And where is it as regards moving troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan so we can defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda decisively there?
+
I think too much latitude is being given to Obama, and too little being done apart from him, or even in opposition to him, on the feeling that he is "our man in Washington", when he is NOT as principled as we would like him to be. "Single-payer" is UNHEARD in the public discussion, because the Liberal/"progressive" movement has fallen silent and is consenting to a half-assed "system" that will leave 15 million people without health insurance (that's what covering only 95% of the population leaves), and probably impose onerous costs upon people who don't want health insurance because they are healthy and don't want to spend money they can't afford on something they don't use. The manner of funding is unclear in the things I have seen and read, and it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL to tell people they have to buy insurance, or a car, or a house, or anything else the Government thinks they should have just as a condition to living in the United States. If anything is to be done in the public's name as a public program, it will have to be in the form of a government program funded by a TAX, and that TAX should be progressive, such that the poor and much of the middle class pays nothing more than they are already paying in income, SocSec, Medicare, excise, and other taxes, but everything comes out of the pockets of the rich and obscenely rich/super-rich, to redistribute DOWN what has in recent decades (since the Reaganite Plutocratic Revolution of 1986) been redistributed UP.
+
Where are the demonstrations in the street? the March on Washington for Single-Payer Universal Healthcare? Has any leader of the "progressive movement" even proposed such a March? Cheers.
There supposedly was a march on Washington for single-payer, June 25th of this year. I didn't hear a thing about it until today, when I did a Google search to see if there was any mass demonstration being planned, for just before the Senate votes in September. The June 25th effort did not make any splash on even the Internet, much less in major media. So where is this "progressive" movement that will defeat Members of Congress who don't support universal healthcare?
+
Congressmen and Senators are realists. They are not intimidated by idle threats. The "progressive" movement has to bring real pressure thru a real March on Washington for Single-Payer Healthcare, bringing to the National Mall a million and more Americans angry about the ruination being visited upon this country by the thieves in health insurance and healthcare megacorporations, or Congress will pay no attention to the cries for socioeconomic justice in this matter any more than in the matter of the income tax code.
+
If the logistics of a National March are too difficult to arrange before September — but why should they be? Surely we have had enuf experience with such marches to make one work if there be the will to do it — then the "progressive" movement should assuredly be able to coordinate local mass demonstrations on the same day in hundreds of cities and towns nationwide. If, however, they can't do even that, then Senators and "Representatives" who vote against the present bill — much less for single-payer, which is what the people really want — have nothing to fear from the electorate. Who will challenge them in the 2010 primaries? How well will challengers be funded? How are would-be challengers going to overcome the intrinsic advantages of incumbency?
+
Disorganized individuals and unorganized disaffection count for nothing in politics. Only marchers in the streets, candidates in primaries, money in the coffers of the opposition, and votes to punish malefactors count in American politics today. And I see no evidence whatsoever that "progressives"— who don't even have courage enuf in their convictions to call themselves "liberals" (with or without a capital-L) — have either the will or the wherewithal to force what the Nation really wants, single-payer, over the entrenched opposition of the servants of the rich.
+
We have the spectacle of latter-day happy slaves singing and dancing after their workdays in the fields, in the Rightwing version of the poor people of the Nation fiting for their freedom to be uninsured! Happy white trash singing and dancing all the way to the morgue because they can't afford the surgeries or medications that would keep them alive! Can even the most uneducated Mississippian really be so stupid as to think that somehow the tribal solidarity that the Republican Right appeals to, requires them to die so the rich don't have to pay higher taxes? Do they really think that Liberals who want them to have the best care the Nation can provide are somehow their enemies, to be stopped from getting them first-class medical care paid for by the rich? It may be that stranger things have happened, at some point in history, but I am hard-pressed to think of even one.
+
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,330 — for Israel.)



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

Powered by Blogger