How Ironic, Obama and Tea Party BOTH Have Contempt for Women, Immigrants, Gays, The Left, The Poor, Blacks, etc.!
I have lost faith in the Democratic legacy party and our Trojan horse of a corporatist, anti-common good President. To listen to the media and the kool-aid drinking progressives, you would think someone with such bitterness speaking out from the Left not Right about our smooth and charming president is an anomaly. I am not.
What a brilliant blackout media and all its talking heads, along with Obama and Congress, have accomplished in icing out millions of us who were in favor of expanding Medicare for all. So thoroughly, and to such a despairing degree of disenfranchisement for many of us, that I now believe we, those of us who recognize the rolling back of rights and laws so cruelly under this popularly-elected successor of the nightmarish George W. Bush, need and deserve a THIRD party.
I suggest the Medicare for All movement be the base camp from which to build such a party. My working title in this visualization is the Single Payer Integrity Party.
While researching what exactly is in the 2500 page (to accommodate all those loopholes and workarounds) health care bill, I came across an awesomely enlightening and validating article by Bruce A. Dixon in the Black Agenda Report. I will share Mr. Dixon’s final paragraph first, which inspired my title:
In health care, as in war and peace, as in the environment and education, as in the rights of women and immigrants, the First Black President's historic role is clear. His job is to smile and speechify and neutralize the left on every front, while taking the country further to the right than his white Republican predecessor would ever have been able.
Mr. Dixon’s title of his article is as strong and compelling as that conclusion:
Obama Democrats VS Tea Party Republicans: A Fake Fight Over Fake Health Care Reform.
There are real fights and there are fake fights, engineered to distract attention away from the real deal. The shouting match between Obama’s Dems and the Tea party Repubs is one of those fake fights. The health care legislation passed by the Obama Democrats is incomparably worse than anything they could have passed right after the presidential election, and significantly worse than anything Democrats could have passed at midyear 2009. The president and his minions have delayed as long as possible to guarantee the worst, not the best bill for patients, and the best deal possible for Big Insurance, Big Pharma and Big Medicine.
I agree. I think Obama has done an awesome job dragging out the process to exhaust and frustrate the early and sincere momentum by some in Congress for Single Payer Expanded Medicare for All. He is, indeed, the best president money could buy. Out acts even Jeff Bridges. And those Tea Partiers are the best weapon Obama, the corrupt pro-corporatist members of Congress, the capturing corporatists and their media operatives could have.
As Dixon writes:
The fifteen month running battle between Obama Democrats and tea party Republicans was never much more real than televised professional wrestling. Like the opposing wrestlers, both sides work for the same bosses, for Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and the biggest medical providers. The real health care fight waged by the Obama administration has not been against Republicans, who never had the votes to stop, let alone dictate or pass anything.
The administration's effort all along has been to pass the worst bill possible, with the greatest amounts of corporate welfare and loopholes, and the fewest protections for patients, while silencing, neutering and coercing the voices of most Democrats, who have favored some form of single payer, or Medicare For All from the beginning.
Dixon reminds us:
The legislation just passed is a million miles away from anything Democrats campaigned on in the 2006-2008 run for the White House, and incomparably worse than anything House Democrats would have passed in the first months of the Obama administration. The 2007-2008 class of House Democrats included 99 co-sponsors of HR 676, the Single Payer Medicare For All. All but one or two of these were sworn in for the current Congress.
There were 99 cosponsors of HR676? How quickly we forget. Well done, Barack!
It has come out that Obama made back room, sweetheart corporate deals as early as July of 2009. After this he strongly, behind the scenes, pressured Congress people to abandon their commitment to Single Payer Expanded Medicare for All, which polls indicated most of the country was in favor of, incidentially. Obama coyly began playing Lucy and the football with Congress over that vague and euphemistic public option as a compromise, which Obama had no intention of ever seriously allowing to coalesce.
The White House met continuously in early 2009 with representatives of pharmaceutical companies, and insisted that their super-profits be protected. A former VP of WellPoint, one of the nation's top insurers was allowed to write large portions of the Senate version of the Obama bill. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid handed the writing of its legislation over to a committee of senators who had more money from private insurers and Big Pharma than any of their fellows, and which gave its Republican members veto power over its final product.
To cover their own impotence, Democrats who had once supported single payer became outspoken advocates of a phantom policy called “the public option,” which polled well because it sounded something like universal health care or single payer, but never in fact existed. The president definitively stomped on their fake public option back in September 2009, when he said his version of it would only apply to fiver percent of the market at most, and was not essential to his proposal anyhow. House leaders balked a little, and corralled their members behind whatever the president wanted, and whatever the pea party fanatics declared they didn't want.
Dixon also stresses that Obama deliberately targeted Kucinich’s vote at the eleventh hour rather than the Blue Dogs that actually did vote no. Obama was determined to do all he could to profoundly cripple the Congressional leader of the Single Payer Expanded Medicare for All movement.
While the White House allowed 26 of 58 Democratic Blue Dogs to vote against the bill, including Art Davis of Alabama and John Marshall and John Barrow of Georgia, it applied incredible pressure against Dennis Kucinich and other advocates of single payer to line up behind the pro-corporate, anti health care bill. They, and the movement for real universal health care, for single payer, were the White House's real foes.
Dixon is on to Obama’s con. Dixon has respect for and faith in the Single Payer movement, despite the insidious gamesmanship of Obama, the corporations, a corrupt media and a bribed Congress. He also points out that for those in denial about what Obama and Congress have handed us, the sad reckoning will come. Many American citizens will die and suffer first, sadly, as the majority of the country exit too slowly their media-hyped denial.
Eventually the country will embrace universal health care. Again, sadly, the First Black President, according to Dixon, will go down in history for being more of a spoiler of true reform than a notable First Black President.
The Single Payer Movement, among whose leading organizations are the National Nurses Union, HealthCare NOW, and Physicians For a National Health Care Plan are preparing for a long struggle. Not this year or the next, but in a decade or less, many predict, single payer will be enacted. California has passed single payer three times now, but has never had a governor with the guts to sign it. Pennsylvania and a few other states are thought to be close to passing single payer on their own. That's how it happened in Canada. One province did it, everybody saw how it worked, and it became national policy.
How about it? Single Payer Integrity Party? Everybody (with integrity) In, Nobody (with integrity) Out?