Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tell your House representative to endorse the Senate bill

Paul Krugman's latest NYT op-ed piece ("Do the right thing") proves that the right wing caricatures of him are just that: stupid caricatures. Now if only the House Democrats will man up and follow his sound, pragmatic advice.

To quote the Spanish saying, "Algo es mejor que nada" -- "Something is better than nothing." Because our only alternative to the Senate version is no healthcare reform for another generation. So don't let your congressman ride the Horse of Pride right off the cliff.

Anything but the Senate bill means the healthcare denial industry wins, along with their sock puppets in Congress, otherwise known as the Republican leadership. The Republican rank and file will think they're winning but they'll actually be losing. A small consolation if it turns out that way.

If you're trying to decide what to tell your Congressman, just read the right wing diatribes that will throng Krugman's comment thread. Look at their gloating contempt for you and everything Democrats stand for (or at least should stand for). They want the House Democrats either to blink and pass nothing or stiffen up and demand changes to the Senate bill--but either alternative will produce exactly the same result.

The healthcare denial industry is spending over a million dollars a day, every day, seven days a week, to flood the airwaves with lying propaganda that is working. This propaganda is backed up by a legion of self-aggrandizing, self-styled pundits and rightwing talk show hosts, all in lockstep with the healtcare denial industry's message du jour.

That message is that Obama is a European Socialist, every Democratic congressman is a European Socialist, and the mild healthcare reform of the Senate bill is actually a Soviet-style nationalization of the healthcare industry that will institute death panels to kill Grandma. You laugh. But half the electorate--that half that doesn't live where you do--believe all of this.

If you think we have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting anything better--just because you and your educated friends in your college town want something better--you're dreaming.

I want something better. I want France's healthcare system, OK? I want single payer. I want to see the CEOs of the health insurance companies on the streetcorner, in rags, selling apples. Or pulling oars in slave galleys.

But the universe repeatedly fails to reconfigure itself according to my desires. How about you?

Call your congressman and say "Pass the Senate Bill. Now. Do the people's work."

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