Readingthis, my first reaction was to get really, really, really tired, because we have done this before. We asked these assholes to do something very simple for us in exchange for getting them elected and they fucked it up in an effort to appear nice to Republicans for no reason at all. Nothing will change, except that people will be forced to pay for something that doesn’t work, will cost them in the long run, and might even kill them, either directly through denial of care or indirectly through poverty.
Wait. I think I just became a Libertarian.
Withthis, I had much the same reaction:
administration is seeking has exposed the kinds of in-house fights that
typify just how hard it will be to get meaningful legislation this year.
IT’S ACTUALLY NOT THAT HARD YOU HAVE 51 + VOTES.
This reminds me of the journalism debate, it really does, where the national conversation is premised on something that is patently dishonest (the Internet is killing newspapers!) but so widely accepted that arguing the point makes you sound like a lunatic insisting the earth is flat. That’s kind of how I feel about this. Start from the point everybody starts from in this argument (the bill needs to be bipartisan! Democrats need Republican votes!) and you’re already down for half the count. Argue that Democrats don’t need Republican votes for this stuff and you’ll get the kind of look people give the guy on the corner with the “THE END IS NEAR” sign.
It is a question of will here. The president is wildly popular. A “public option,” which most people seem to take to mean government-run scary-ass socialist health care, is wildly popular. As to how we’ll pay for it, well, let’s take the approach we took to the war and say we’ll figure it out. People say they’re worried about the deficit the way they say kids should eat their vegetables and candidates should stop negative campaigning, now pass the Doritos and my opponent is an America-hating traitor. These things are very much supported and wanted. Everywhere but on Capitol Hill.
And to be honest, a lot of the bellyaching lately from the Senate Democrats about how hard it is for us all to get along is starting to fucking piss me off. This isn’t hard. Trying to get health care is hard. You can’t just make some phone calls to your friends and convince them of something and then you get to see a doctor for your longstanding, chronic problem that is uncovered by your rapacious carrier. But you can just make some phone calls to your friends and convince them of something to help those people. Nobody in the Senate will die if people disagree and are mad at each other.
Plenty of people, though, plenty of poor people, plenty of middle-class people, plenty of sick people, will die if disagreement is more important to prevent than their deaths. Suck it up, and figure it out, and quit bitching to us that it’s hard, because we’re not that stupid. We can count. Fifty-one gets you what we told you we need. That’s your job. Go do it.