"Major HCR operations have ended and progressives and their allies have prevailed."
Haw. Good one, NTodd. What you said:
I will not celebrate the Senate vote taken in the the wee hours this morning. At this point so many people are desperate to declare a win that they will accept anything so long as they can label it HCR. You can list a lot of nice reasons to support this bill, from the children's pre-existing conditions provision to the resolution that puppies are cute and precious and ought not be boiled for dinner, but that's not HCR.
Call it Insurance Industry Regulatory Reform. Call it the Protecting Kids and Middle-aged Americans Act. Don't call it reform.
Let's not kid ourselves: this is playing the margins, throwing bones to a variety of groups so they'll grudgingly buy into the larger fraud. Divide and conquer.
I understand sausage making is ugly, and that we now have the ability to pay so much attention to the daily--hourly--negotiations that we leap from outrage to outrage without sometimes seeing the larger context. Are there no principles, then, we should stand for, no demands we must lay out that we will not back away from?
Thus far our response has been consistently to capitulate. Single-payer was the dream in March, then that got boiled down to the public option. Then we threw reproductive rights under the bus. Then we lost the PO, but hey at least we got mandates to buy private insurance!
At some point you have to draw a line in the sand. Intentionally or not, this process has appeared to come straight from Mein Kampf:
A shrewd victor will, if possible, always present his demands to the vanquished in installments. And then, with a nation that has lost its character-and this is the case of every one which voluntarily submits-he can be sure that it will not regard one more of these individual oppressions as an adequate reason for taking up arms again. The more extortions are willingly accepted in this way, the more unjustified it strikes people finally to take up the defensive against a new, apparently isolated, though constantly recurring, oppression, especially when, all in all, so much more and greater misfortune has already been borne in patient silence.
We've passively let each of these erosions to real HCR slide because at least we still have X, Y and Z. Oh sure, there's a flurry of online petitions, phone calls, e-mails and faxes to show how angry we are, but that's not the action we need now--those are starting points and will not sway entrenched interests.
The victor is corporatism, and it has submitted, piecemeal, all the cuts that have left a bleeding corpse of a bill on the floor. And people who would not have accepted any of this shit from Bush and the GOP during their Reich are quick to defend this bill and even question the intentions of those who oppose it. Cognitive dissonance is indeed powerful.
"Vanquished in installments." Indeed. Happy Little Sausages!