I am thinking through the arguments about why we should support the health care bill that the Senate is about to approve.
If it’s killed Democrats will get the blame, GOOPers will win the 2010 election and incompetence will reign again. Many significant Obama initiatives will be totally governed by the GOOP, these include infrastructure and climate change initiatives. It could also affect future appointments to the Supreme Court. Sarah Palin will be President in 2012.
If it’s not killed, the Democratic Party has an improved chance of maintaining control over Congress and our opportunities for change significantly improve. …. Really?
The fact is the Democratic Congress has done nothing progressive with its “massive” majority. In fact there is no Democratic majority. At least two and possibly more, depending on the issue, members of the Democratic Caucus are not Democrats. (Joe Lieberman and Benny Nelson). There are only a handful of progressives in the bunch. The Majority Leader is a weak-kneed, right- center Mormon. The Speaker of the House is a Botoxicated dingbat.
Nothing in the record of this Congress speaks to any success for progressive politics. We have swept the crimes of the Busch thugs under the table, we have appointed an ivy league Catholic centrist to the Supreme Court. We have failed to undertake even the most basic civil rights reforms for the GLBT community (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). Would we do worse with a GOOP Congress?
If the health care bill passes, centrists can say they made a change where no change has been made. Some small improvements will be made for some people and everyone else will be told to sit down and shut up. The insurance companies will get richer and more powerful.
If the bill does not pass, the system will continue to collapse. The number if uninsured will grow. The number of people who go bankrupt because of medical costs will escalate. People who now oppose change may learn to embrace it. There may be, as President Obama has promised, a disaster in health care. Good. Maybe it will lead to change.