Monday, August 10, 2009

Health care: What he said, what he did

Our friend Red Dragon directs our attention to this video compilation. During the primaries, Obama said a lot of things about health care which had nothing to do with his actions in office.

So did you see the promised hearings on CSPAN? Me neither.

Mind you, I do not approve of mobs chanting, screaming and acting like thugs, as depicted in this video. We need rational discussion, not rudeness and crudeness. I feel certain that most of the people yelling "hear our voice" are dopes who believe in the nonsensical idea that Obama is a socialist. They have been spurred into action by inane rumors of a looming Bolshevik menace, not by Obama's secret dealings with execs from the drug and insurance industries.

To an extent, then, this video misleads.

That said, the video's documentation of Obama's Janus-faced nature seems impossible to deny. Even Robert Reich has denounced the secret meetings:
Last week, after being reported in the Los Angeles Times, the White House confirmed it has promised Big Pharma that any healthcare legislation will bar the government from using its huge purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices. That's basically the same deal George W. Bush struck in getting the Medicare drug benefit, and it's proven a bonanza for the drug industry.
I think that Obama would be in far less political trouble today if he had held those promised open hearings. As Ian Welsh says:
The current health reform "bills" are turning into a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Scrap them, introduce Medicare for all, target Senators who won't vote for it with bone-crushing ads which ask why they want 22,000 American to die every year who could be saved for less money than the Iraq war cost; explain with nice simple pictures how much money they receive from the insurance industry and note that they are willing to let Americans die in exchange for blood money from the medical industry.

I know it's difficult for Democrats to play hardball since they'd have to grow a spine, but perhaps, just perhaps, it's worth it to save lives, end 70% of all bankruptcies and make sure people who are sick get the care they need?
Side note: Once again, we face the issue of how to keep left-wing criticism of Obama distinct from tea-bagger blathering and other manifestations of right-wing lunacy. True, politics makes for strange bedfellows. But I would prefer to avoid the conservative clap, and thus do not care to hop under the sheets with any old Ann, Michelle or Rush. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can "fight the power" without aiding Obama's reactionary foes?


MrMike said...

There must be two different Obamas.
There is the socialist Obama the nutters see and the is the corporate sell out we see.
I have no idea what the kool ade besotted see.

Zee said...

Yeah, plenty of ideas. New ideas, same as the old ideas: show up at the town halls. Speak up. Carry signs. Signs and questions that pinpoint his flipflops and point out that he's keeping drug prices safe for Big Pharma. How PhRMA, whom he used to badmouth, is now spending $150 million (using Axelrove's ad agency) to sing Zero's praises.
Hand out fact sheets to the Obots. Speak to the media VERY carefully, if at all, because they will edit to make everything "fit" their preordained narrative, as usual.

I am severely bumming because Obama is within driving distance tomorrow...wish I could take my own advice and show up. One thing I am not afraid of is being "confused" with the dumbass rightwingers who think Zero is a "socialist." It doesn't matter if you are one person or one million...if the media won't tell your story, that's the end of it.

Look at Sec. of State Hillary she is, going all over the world speaking out for the brutalized and raped women and girls in war-torn, corrupt countries. And all our so-called "free press" can gasp and gossip about is how Hillary "snapped" that she can only offer her own opinion, not that of her husband's.

Targeting and shaming the news channels may be our only avenue of real "hope and change." But not enough people grasp that.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant compilation of speechifying by teh one interspersed with comments from today.

I noticed in two different campaign speeches when Obama said he would broadcast the health care debate on c-span he touch his hand or finger to his nose. That is often a body-language sign of lying. Geez! You think?

Bob said...

First, off we need to acknowledge that the violence we have been shown at the townhall meetings was not caused by rightwing conservatives, but by SEIU members. The videos demonstrate that fact clearly, that a guy selling "don't tread on me" flags was attracked and hospitalized by purple-shirt-wearing SEIU thugs. Yes, they broke his leg.

Being up front and honest with the facts is a necessary first step, even if they conflict with our hard-held and treasured beliefs.

Otherwise, forget it. Violence will win the day, and if the violence becomes a two-sided tactic, there will be hell to pay.

Anne said...

I know it's difficult for Democrats to play hardball since they'd have to grow a spine, but perhaps, just perhaps, it's worth it to save lives, end 70% of all bankruptcies and make sure people who are sick get the care they need?

The problem is the Dems don't care about the bankruptcies and the sick people in need, so why should they grow a spine?

They.Don't Care.

They want the $$$$ kickbacks the companies will give them in the form of campaign contributions. capiche?

lambert strether said...

Focus only on the policy. Let the "savvy insiders" figure out how to work the party angle.

* * *

And I'm with Anne. We really need to abandon the narrative of Democratic weakness. They really do believe in what they're doing, which is why they do it.

Gary McGowan said...

Study history. French revolution. What Bob said at 5:55.

Has anyone noticed that the king and his queen (and most of Congress) are in hiding?

Making the nation (and the states) ungoverned is the name of the game. The Constitution is our adversaries worst nightmare.

RedDragon said...

Although I loath the path "some" of the "Protesters" have taken, the video speaks for itself.

You are right Joe to ask, "How do we criticize" Obama without being labeled beserkers?

Sooner or later, those that have wrapped themselves in the cloak of Obamaism are going to realize that He is NOT and never was... Interested in what happens to them.

It's all about him...Obama loves him some Obama!

Thanks for the HT!

Anonymous said...

What Mr. Welsh said above goes to the heart of the matter and the real problem, which most people, clearly, don't recognize: a morally bankrupt system. Can you expect people who have a euphemism for bribes called "campaign contributions," coupled with most people who don't care about the abject stench of corruption in their own government, can you expect the morally bankrupt to do what's right? Can you expect a people who don't have any moral outrage over 20,000+ unnecessary deaths, or the fact their politicians are bribed, this going on for as long as memory serves, to do what's right, a people who've been drinking at a trough of Kool Aid their entire lives, with the attitude that, as long as I have my health insurance, the plight of others doesn’t matter? I would refer you to a verse in the Bible,

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matthew 7:17-18

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. James 3:11-12

Other than unfounded, blinding pride, as opposed to a healthy shame, the primary problem with America is not just morally bankrupt politicians on the take, but the morally bankrupt people who elect them and countenance any and all suffering, as long as it’s the other guy.