If You Build Them They Will Come

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.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.