If You Build Them They Will Come

Avatar:
Ben Cohen
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

by David Glenn Cox

The healthcare debate just keeps spinning out of control, death panels
and let's kill off granny movements bumbling, stumbling with
overweight, jackboot wannbes. Watch them pretending outrage while
keeping one eye on the director.

I was watching the video of the
St. Louis town hall scuffle and one man seems to always be on the edge
of the camera shot. When he looks at the camera the camera moves
forward almost like he was giving instructions. But when you hire
amateurs you get amateurs. The video really doesn’t show anything more
than people screaming at each other until the cops show up.


The
problem for me, and I’m sure others like me, is that with Obama what
we’re promised doesn’t always match what we get. Closing down Gitmo
became relocating Gitmo to Afghanistan. Stopping the Bush military
tribunals became slowing but continuing the Bush tribunals; the new
transparency became the old transparency.

Attorney General Eric
Holder is considering a special prosecutor to investigate torture
accusations against CIA employees. But it is like Steve Martin in “The
Jerk” as the weight guesser. You can only consider certain crimes
against certain low level employees who went over the readily accepted
definition of enhanced interrogation somewhere on this shelf right here
between the Kewpie dolls and the pocket combs, but not the clock radio.

The
employee free choice act was very dear to my heart. It was a real
chance to put American workers back on their feet. You wouldn’t have to
start a union, but just the boss man knowing that you could would mean
better treatment of workers. I both blame and excuse Obama for what
happened. Congress gutted it by removing the card check provision and
so effectively removed the free choice portion. Congress did it but
Obama allowed them do it. So how am I to trust healthcare reform? How
do I know what I’m getting? How do I know that when the dust settles it
will be no more than mandates for people to buy phony baloney health
insurance with the profits locked into the insurance companies for a
generation?

The opponents have it made; just say no! But for the
millions like myself who would like to see real, meaningful healthcare
reform, how can we get excited when we have the great equivocator on
our side? Obama’s forte seems to be finding common ground and making
both parties meet half way. That’s fine unless you’re right and the
other side is wrong. If you ask for 10 you get 5, even though you need
7. This is how we got a stimulus bill that is almost half tax cuts and
a banking bill that rewards struggling banks and punishes struggling
homeowners.

I want to support Obama. I want to support
healthcare reform, but I’m tired of being played for a sucker! We have
no idea what kind of bill is going to come out of the Senate this fall,
and quite honestly if the American people don’t follow Obama and the
congressional Democrats, whose fault is that? Being a great equivocator
looks very statesmanlike. It makes for great press releases and photo
ops, but it is very lazy politics. To willingly bargain away a little
of this for a little of that means nothing is sacred when you are, in
fact, dealing with a health insurance industry that is the devil
incarnate.

The opposition have it made, most of their followers
are the undereducated, overstimulated types. They listen to Fox News
and Rush and it gets their blood to boiling; no corroboration or second
source necessary. Most are so angry that it ruins "CSI" and "American
Idol" for them. So they turn over to BTN (Bible Thumpin' Network) and
there is the reverend Flash Humbug saying, “Obama wants to kill you!”
Who wouldn’t break out the lawn furniture to protest? But it is so sad;
many of these folks see themselves as American patriot types. John
Fat-Ass Adams sitting in his lawn chair with a teabagger sign or Betsy
Lard-Butt Ross passing around Glen Beck petitions to sign sure makes me
proud to be American.

I had a customer that sold scaffolding,
and he used to say, “Scaffolding and prostitution are the only
industries in the world where you sell it but get it back.”

If
you needed scaffolding for a three day job, it was cheaper to rent it
for a week. If you needed it for three weeks it was cheaper by the
month. If you needed it for three months it was cheaper to purchase it.
The contractors, finished with the job, didn’t need to drag a ton of
scaffolding cross-country and would sell it back to the scaffolding
company for pennies on the dollar.

So who is to say or to stop
the healthcare or financial industries from hiring professional
choreographers and videographers to stage these events? With proper
lighting and operatives the job could probably be done cheaper than it
is now. Twenty or so real toughs to replace the Tom Bosleys in the
crowd and you’ve really got something there! A theater for the half
mind, for the easily amused and vitriolically aroused.

How
will the Democrats answer then, without it sounding like whining? How
can they counter-rouse the troops? Like the rube in front of the
three-card Monty game, we are tired of trying to guess where the queen
is hiding. We’ve been burned and then burned again, while the Speaker
of the House asks, “What’s the matter, don’t you trust us?” Or Obama
says, “I’m gonna fight for health care and those Republicans who get in
the way aren’t going to matter. Go ahead, pick a card.”

But you
see, that is where our adversaries have us by the gonads. Sure, they
are frightened with lies and rhetoric, steeped in propaganda and
hyperbole, but it coincides with their base principles. They don’t like
change of any type; they’re still angry that "Matlock" went off the
air. They don’t want any Black people living in their neighborhood, and
they want to see Obama’s birth certificate.

You know that this
is stupid and I know that it is stupid; we can look at them and shake
our heads and wonder at just how stupid some people can be. But those
stupid people, motivated by a few lobbyists and bullyboys, are
defending their principles no matter how stupid they are.

The
war is not won in camp, it is won in the field. You’ll change no
partisan minds; few in the Democratically-leaning public will change
their minds about healthcare. None of the Fox, Rush, Palin crowd will
be swayed. So all that’s left are those in the middle to sway.

Do
you want to trust the American public with intellectual arguments made
by less than trustworthy politicians, or a good old Jerry Springer-type
TV fight show? Excuse me for not standing out on that pier with you.
It’s not that the Republicans have a monopoly on principles, they
don’t. Only on stupid principles. The Democrats have hammered out a
composite, compromised, mediated, health care industry-approved bill,
subject to radical change at any moment. Personally, if it is not
single payer, I see it as a failure. This is also to their advantage;
they don’t have to agree on why they hate it.

Obama and Congress
must find another argument to fight the Republicans, besides calling
them nuts and whackos. That mostly fails to get their attention because
they either already know it or are too far gone to understand it. Maybe
we should have started from the beginning with a bill to inspire the
left and the middle class, instead of a half-hearted camel of a bill
punctured with Republican suggestions that in the end they will never
vote for. Maybe then the birthers and the jerkers and the screaming
in-toungers wouldn’t be able to fit into the town hall meetings.

If you promise me X and give me Y over and over, don’t be surprised when I don’t get excited when you promise me X yet again.