by Scott Creighton
Our “progressive” voices are quickly growing silent as one site after the other, as one hold-out after the other, jumps ship and leaves the American working class to fend for themselves.
When Barak Obama said that we have to pass this bill (this perversion of our election day mandate to reform healthcare in America) because we will not see an opportunity like this again for a very long time, he was absolutely correct. After almost a year of backroom deals and secret negotiations, the insurance/pharmaceutical industries will never again be this close to a deal this good and the neoliberal New Dems will never be so close to gaining absolute control of the Democratic Party. Never.
Were we to go back to the drawing board, to kill this bill and start to craft real healthcare reform, the starting point for that process would be the tattered remains of this corrupt piece of legislation. It would be held up as what not to do and if you believe what Russ Feingold and others have said, that this bill is exactly what the president and his staffers wanted in the first place, you know that Obama and his neoliberal (New Dem) cronies could never let that happen.
They will never be this close to handing over billions of dollars and tens of millions of new customers to their contributors again.
When “progressives” argue that we can fix this bill in the negotiations between the House and Senate that’s either a very naive statement or just a downright dishonest one. The same players who have been instrumental in providing cover for the current administration will, once again, be playing the same role. There will be huffing and puffing, and promises of no votes and other legislative stonewalling and in the end, this bill will probably get worse… not better.
Think about it; two of the major hurdles have been cleared – the House version and the Senate version – without the meaningful provisions that the constituency of the Dems in power desperately wanted. In every recent poll the numbers couldn’t be more obvious; the supporters of the party in power overwhelmingly demand real healthcare reform and not this mandated piece of legislative legerdemain. The dems are even tossing in anti-abortion measures and “don’t tax the rich” clauses, just for spite and it STILL gets passed and ‘progressive” institutions STILL argue it’s “good for America”. They argue that “something is better than nothing”… “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.
It’s called “incrementalism” by the way, a policy of making changes, especially social changes, by degrees; gradualism. But they are not gradually working toward real reform, real human rights advances in this nation; no, it’s quite the opposite. What they are working towards is a gradual, step-by-step transition to a neoliberal, “free-market” economic “brick” exactly like the one dropped on Chile after Nixon and the other Peace Prize winner, Henry Kissinger, killed the populist elected president of that nation. Clinton’s “New Dems” are the “centrist lefts” version of the neocons; corporatist, free-market neoliberals posing as Democrats. That’s what Rahm is, that’s what Hillary is, that’s what Lieberman is, that’s what Nelson is.
And, that is what Barak Obama is; a neoliberal New Dem working very hard to transition this nation via incrementalism, into a corporate centered third-world nation.
And somehow, after all that, people think the healthcare bill is going to be “fixed” in the final stage of the process while Obama, Rahm, and the New Dem demagogue, Hillary Clinton, are drooling all over themselves with pen in hand? Getting this bill passed IN SPITE OF their constituency will raise the New Dems corporate stock to Godlike status. After this, there is no telling what the next incrementalist step will be.
We elected Democrats with a mandate in mind. We chose Obama over Clinton specifically BECAUSE we thought he stood for real healthcare reform while Hillary’s plan of forcing us to buy coverage from the private sector seemed an unthinkable, corporatist sellout of the interests of the American people. But now here we are. Hillary’s plan, the one that more than anything else made us choose “the other guy” in the primary, is now ”our” plan. Obama’s promise to fix the system has been exposed as a total lie from the very beginning… and “progressives” are claiming that the senate should pass this fraud because “Obama will fix it” in the final stage?
How stupid do you think we are? Just how long do they think they can play the “Obama Card” before the Democrats in this nation get wise to the scam?
Obama was absolutely correct; this opportunity will not come again. The dems might not lose their majority in 2010 but they will certainly lose seats in the House and Senate. Once that happens the “cover story” that the Democratic leadership has to placate people like Lieberman and Nelson in order to keep the republicans from filibustering will be gone. The next bill will be crafted on the ashes of this one and that doesn’t bode well for the insurance companies. Obama’s “CHANGE” costume is tattered and torn, leaving his neoliberal New Dem agenda exposed for all to see. We won’t be fooled again.
So President Obama is correct; the insurance companies and their New Dem allies will never have an opportunity like this again.