Thursday, September 10, 2009

The View From Under The Bus

Dana Milbank's column in today's Washington Post was one of the better commentaries on the behavior of the GOP congress critters at last night's speech by President Obama to the 111th Congress. The unseemly outburst of Rep. Joe Wilson of South Caroline ("You lie!") was the most memorable of the evening for its incredible breach of congressional etiquette, but was certainly not the only one.

But even by that standard, there was something appalling about the display on the House floor for what was supposed to be a sacred ritual of American democracy: the nation watching while Cabinet members, lawmakers from both chambers and the diplomatic corps assembled.

Wilson was only the most flagrant. There was booing from House Republicans when the president caricatured a conservative argument by saying they would "leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own." They hissed when he protested their "scare tactics." They grumbled as they do in Britain's House of Commons when Obama spoke of the "blizzard of charges and countercharges."

When he asserted that "nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have," there was scoffing and outright laughter on the GOP side. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) shook his head in disbelief. Several Republicans shouted "What plan?" and Rep. Louis Gohmert (Tex.) waved at Obama a handwritten poster he made on a letter-size piece of paper: "WHAT PLAN?" Gohmert then took that down and replaced it with another handmade poster that said "WHAT BILL?" ...

But while the majority of both parties' lawmakers behaved as adults, the insolence by House Republicans stole the show.

These are the people that the Obama White House continues to coddle, to reach out to, to cave in to. A fat lot of good it did him, and, more importantly, did us. Instead of being shamed into cooperating in the national interest, the "make nice" approach only emboldened them to the point that on national television, during a "sacred ritual," one of them called the President of the United States a liar.

Now, the irony of all this is that Rep. Wilson's outburst was actually nothing compared to what I shouted at the television screen (much to my neighbors' shock) as once again we progressives, the people who raised the money and pounded the pavement to get the first African American elected president, were sacrificed.

The public option (weak tea compared to what we really need and what we really deserve -- Medicare for all --) was expendable if it means we get some reform, any reform at all. Of course, that means there will be nothing left to keep the insurance companies in line, nothing. Oh, they might promise to cover pre-existing conditions, but at what price? What kind of improvement is that? It's like a doctor saying to a stroke victim with left sided paralysis, "There, you can wiggle one of your fingers! Isn't that better? Next patient."

What really set me off, however, was the president's bold assertion that nothing he has proposed would allow for government funding of abortion, as if that were a good thing. What, those of us who suffer the crushing disability of having a vagina don't deserve appropriate medical care?


Business as usual.

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Anonymous larry, dfh said...

Well, it is Souf Cacolakky, after all. Think Ft. Sumter (or SomeTurd). Think 'if it ain't fried it aint food'. Then there's Columbia, where the elite parlent en francais. 'Contrary' is a big part of the state's history.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I can't believe the inappropriate and disrespectful behavior towards our president.

2:26 PM  
Blogger the bewilderness said...

Not one dime of federal money for abortion.
Let the women with the extra uterine pregnancies pay with cash or credit card, or just go on home and bleed out.
Perhaps they will create a charity wing where the non citizens and the women can go lay down to die.

8:03 PM  

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