Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Scattered Thoughts About President Obama and the State of the Union

Velma Hart, my spokeswoman.

This woman articulated the disappointment that many who helped Sen. Obama become President of the United States are feeling. Notice that many of the things that President Obama mentions as examples of success are greatly exaggerated. Credit cards still hold the upper hand over consumers (there is no cap on interest rates), health insurance reform has been a huge flop for those who were hoping that insurance companies would be punished for their past and present predatory behavior (instead, they have been rewarded with more customers), the economy is still hurting millions of Americans.

From the beginning, the President has let his base down, by surrounding himself with Clintonites and economic conservatives like Lawrence Summers (good f***ing riddance, by the way); he disregarded the advice of giant of economic studies, such as Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, and countless others who advised him to do more to stimulate the economy, to push greater banking reforms to prevent a repeat of "too big to fail", and to give more help to the middle class; he has taken single-payer and the public option off the table and put the worst Democrats in the Senate in charge of steering health care reform (later renamed health insurance reform, when it became obvious how much it fell short of reforming health care); he continued some of the most intrusive and abusive Bush policies in terms of secrecy and presidential authority; he has been lukewarm or absent in voicing his support for gay rights; he sought the cooperation of Republicans to a fault, when it was obvious Republicans had no intention of cooperating with him on anything; and, worst of all, he did not fire his chief of staff, Rahm F***ing Emanuel, when that piece of beastly excrement called progressive voters "f***ing retarded" for simply complaining that the president had let them down over, and over, and over again. So believe me, when Velma Hart says that she doesn't "feel it", she speaks for a great number of us, and much too politely for what President Obama truly deserves.

The greatest affront is that the President surrounded himself with the most conservative advisers he could have picked while Democrats had a large majority in both the Senate and the House, leaving us to wonder what could have been achieved if he had picked more progressive staff and if he had strong-armed worms like Max Baucus and Ben Nelson into voting for change one could believe in, or else. But not the opportunity has gone to waste. Even if he were to replace those who are departing with true progressive thinkers and public servants, they could achieve little if Congress goes Republican, as it is likely to, in the upcoming mid-terms. So maybe the plan was to talk the good talk and walk the usual middle-class-adverse walk that we have been shocked into accepting for the last 30 years. Really, when you think about it, politics have become the tool by which the rich and the powerful pour insult and injury on common folks. Who, by and large, deserve all the insult and injury poured open them, if popular support for tea-party candidates is a good yardstick of the State of the Union.


Enter Mike Huckabee.

The former Governor of Arkansas, a supposed example of how compassionate Republicans can be when they try really hard, defended the practice of health insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions:
"Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, "I'd like to buy some insurance for my house." He'd say, "Tell me about your house." "Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I'd like to insure it today." And he'll say "I'm sorry, but we can't insure it after it's already burned." Well, no preexisting conditions."

Think about that, for a moment: even the most compassionate conservative around is so blinded by his subservience to the profits of insurance companies, that he fails to understand that the job of a public servant is to find a solution to the problem, instead of accepting the status quo as the only possible answer.

Ironically, Huckabee's comments have been attacked for the lack of compassion they show to the victims of the health insurance sector. Pundits should have focused on a different aspect instead. Huckabee's comments, as heartless and disingenuous as they are, demonstrate one thing: people's health should not be left to the devices of a poorly regulated, free-rein health insurance market. The job of an insurer is to disburse as little money as possible in order to maximize profits. That involves denying as many legitimate claims as possible, or reducing the risk pool to the smallest possible size. If anyone needed any further proof that the way this country regards the relationship between health and insurance is completely insane, you should point them to Huckabee's comments.


The problem is that things will unavoidably get worse for most people under Republicans. But it does not matter any more, because neither party serves the best interest of the nation or the majority its people. They are designed to serve the interest of the oligopaths (the sociopathic oligarchs that fund the politicians' elections.) Sadly, it seems that the nation's answer to the political derangement and futility is to choose more derangement and futility, in the form of ridiculous and dangerous individuals like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and now Carl Paladino and Christine O'Donnell. I guess these days all you need to put on your résumé to become a representative of the lunatic mainstream on the right is "deranged, ignorant dingbat is seeking your vote."

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