Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hatred As A Political Strategy

This post was taken from by way of

Published on Saturday, March 27, 2010 by The Boston Globe
Hatred as a Political Strategy
by Derrick Z. Jackson

Newt Gringrich hit a nerve. No, wait. He hit nerves no one wants to talk about.
In an interview this week with the Washington Post, the former speaker of the House who led the charge to slash social programs during the Clinton presidency, said President Obama and the Democrats would regret pushing to pass the health care bill. Gingrich called the bill "the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times,'' so radical that Obama and the Democrats "will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years.''
The Post said the quote referred to civil rights bills enacted under Johnson. Gingrich said that was not what he meant. In a correction, the Post wrote, "Gingrich said he was referring not to the civil rights legislation but to Johnson overreaching on his management of the economy, the Vietnam War and the cultural divisions that emerged partly because of that war. Gingrich said Johnson erred on civil rights by supporting busing to integrate schools and by failing to take a firmer stance against racial violence in urban areas.''
By clarifying, Gingrich helps us get why health care became the most divisive social-program debate since Gingrich's successful attack on welfare in the 1990s, an attack that had racial overtones. Health care is breaking the backs of millions of families of all colors, but the Republicans chose to gin up the masses with unbridled fear, with House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio declaring the vote "Armageddon.''
It was Armageddon all right, a battle between selfishness and sharing. Some Americans who believe health care reform represents a heist of "their'' resources for the undeserving betrayed their underlying feelings as Democratic congressmen were either called the N word or spat upon, a Latino congressman was called a "wetback,'' and Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank, who is gay, was called the F word.
No Republican had the courage to remind the rabid that America, at other great crossroads, did put government into their lives. The wealth of countless white middle class families today stems from World War II veteran housing bills that too often, we conveniently forget, discriminated against black veterans along with housing segregation. Surely, more than one tea partier has Medicare or uses a VA hospital. Yet most Republicans do anything they can to deflect responsibility for the frenzy.
None is more representative than Gingrich who, after saying there was of course no place for such behavior, told the Journal-Constitution, "I think the Democratic leadership has to take some real responsibility (for choosing) to use corrupt tactics that bought votes, that bullied people and as a result has enraged much of the American people.''
Some things just add up. The vast majority of tea partiers, at least from all the photos, are white and the nearly all-white Republican congressional delegation stood as a brick wall against reform. The rage around health care, going back to the disruptions of Democratic legislator town halls last summer, continues to raise the temperature not just on health care, but on the dangerous debate on who is a "true blue'' American.
One cannot forget how, in a last gasp before Obama's election, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said of Obama, "I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America as you and I do.'' One cannot forget the level of disrespect shown to Obama in the "You lie!'' outburst by South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson. Wilson has been rewarded for his outburst with the most campaign contributions of anyone in the House, $3.4 million in the 2010 election cycle.
In the final stages of the health care debate, Palin and other Republican leaders resorted to telling their masses to "reload'' or get ready for the "firing line'' in November. Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer had to apologize for shouting "baby killer'' when anti-abortion Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan gave his support for the health care bill. The Republicans need to find someone with courage to disarm the rhetoric, before someone reloads for real.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Republicans Get Health Care Too...

... and Mr. Michael Moore is happy to point that out to the GOPers around the nation.

The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too
by Michael Moore Mon Mar 22, 2010
(An Open Letter to Republicans from Michael Moore)
To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:
Thanks to last night's vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.
Thanks to last night's vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.
Thanks to last night's vote, after your cancer returns for the third time -- racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive -- your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.
Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we've made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you're upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that's a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I'm sure he could make that into a movie for you.
But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can -- and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.
So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you'll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.
If it's any consolation, the thieves who run the health insurance companies will still get to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions for the next four years. They'll also get to cap an individual's annual health care reimbursements for the next four years. And if they break the pre-existing ban that was passed last night, they'll only be fined $100 a day! And, the best part? The law will require all citizens who aren't poor or old to write a check to a private insurance company. It's truly a banner day for these corporations.
So don't feel too bad. We're a long way from universal health care. Over 15 million Americans will still be uncovered -- and that means about 15,000 will still lose their lives each year because they won't be able to afford to see a doctor or get an operation. But another 30,000 will live. I hope that's ok with you.
If you don't mind, we're now going to get busy trying to improve upon this bill so that all Americans are covered and so the grubby health insurance companies will be put out of business -- because when it comes to helping the sick, no one should ever be allowed to ask the question, "How much money can we save by making this poor bastard suffer?"
Please, my Republican friends, if you can, take a quiet moment away from your AM radio and cable news network this morning and be happy for your country. We're doing better. And we're doing it for you, too.
Michael Moore

P.S. I'll have more to say on this tonight, live on CNN, at 9pm ET. I'll be talking with Larry King about the health care bill and where we go from here, considering we still don't have universal health care.

P.P.S. In case you missed these photos in yesterday's NY Times Sunday Magazine... That's the results of seven years of madness. The Iraq War began its 8th year this weekend. How can we remove more of those responsible for this tragedy in November?,-Too

HealthCare Bill Passes...

... and I must say that it is about damned time that something has gotten started with the health care problem in the United States!
Obama's bill is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and it will need to be tweaked many times before this plan works to the benefit of all of us. But, it is a start which has been a long time comming.
There are parts of the plan that I do not like, and then again, there are some things which I do like. I think that all of us can say the same thing.
As is par for the course, this bill does not please everyone, which was expected. You cannot please everyone all of the time no matter what you aim to do. Healthcare is no different.
Keep one thing in mind as you begin to hear about all that is wrong with this plan. It is a beginning. As is with most things in this life of ours, you have to start somewhere. If you remember, there was no health care plan under former President Bush. President Clinton got his ass handed back to him with he and Hillary's idea of a health care plan. Ronald Reagan did....nothing about this fiasco either. Many Presidents before Reagan did nothing either.
Now is the time to take what we have been givin by our President and to make it work for the good of all of the citizens of the United States.
Let's give this plan a chance to be formed into something good for us,okay?

Obama's Health Care Bill Passes...

... so let the lawsuits begin! This is what several states are planning to do in order to stop parts of the health care plan from becoming a reality. The main opposition is the part of the plan which makes health insurance mandatory for all Americans to have. You will be fined if you do not carry some type of insurance under Obama's plan, which many states is not legal. Abortions will not be federally funded in this plan, which is one part of the plan that I do approve of. However, I would make exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
So, what are the Republicans going to do now that the bill has passed? Same as they always do, cry wolf.
Let us take a short trip over to for a view of what the GOPers will be bringing to the table in the near future.

This isn't over. The wingnuts are just getting started.
by Hesiod Mon Mar 22, 2010
You have already seen a diary about how Veterans groups are claiming this bill screws over our veterans. The next step in the attack from wingnuts on health care reform is to push state constitutional changes to opt out of the new system that has been put into place.
This, of course, is unconstitutional and runs afoul of the commerce clause. But who knows how the corporate crony Supreme Court will rule? The concern I have is that nervous nellie state Democrats who think the federal constitution will invalidate these stupid opt-out laws will think they have a free vote against it.
This means these stupid laws may get passed by state legislatures with a lot of Democratic assistance. It is much better not to risk letting the rightwing Supreme Court have a crack at overturning health care reform. So, we need to keep up all of the pressure we can on state level Democrats to prevent these laws from passing.
Here in Michigan, a petition drive has started to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for November. This, of course, will get all of the crazy teabagging wackos to turn out in droves for the vote, come hell of highwater.
Its clearly a device to drive up turnout among Republicans and conservatives. Turnout that wasn't guaranteed once health care reform became law. Expect this to be repeated in states across the country. This is a surefire way to create vote and donor lists and also fire up activists.
We have to keep fighting. We have to keep making sure the truth about this bill gets out there to the media. We have to make sure that Democrats in Washington and the Whgite House DON'T STOP FIGHTING FOR THIS BILL AND COUNTERING ALL THE LIES ABOUT IT. Its not enough just to pass it. You have to also defend it.
The other side is not giving up. They are going to keep fighting for as long as they can. We should not either. Fight until they are completely defeated and demoralized.

ADDENDUM. Oh. And here is the irony in all of this. The Health Insurance industry should be flooding the zone with money in all of these states to BLOCK this crazy crap from passing. Why? Because states that opt out of the system -- even if its just during a pending court challenge -- are going to cost insurance companies tons of money.
But, because this bill's major provisions don't kick in for several years, it will be hard to point to other states that do not opt out and show how well they are doing under the system to counteract the bullshit.
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