Fritsch, an African American, announced that it didn’t matter whether or not Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, also African American, had been spit on during the tea party protest the day the House of Representatives passed the health care reform bill. What Americans really need to worry about, according to Fritsch, is the threat of socialism! With video ( At link)
Fritsch dismissed a video showing a protester spitting on Cleaver by saying, “The bottom line is, whether or not (Cleaver) was spit on or not really doesn’t matter. Truly, Americans no longer need to fear racists and racism in this country. That’s secondary. The real threat to the good life in America right now is socialism and everything that’s in this health care bill that is sending us down a path of destruction.”
Health care reform legislation without a public option and without the ability to opt into Medicare is mostly a series of consumer protection laws. Anyone that uses the insurance exchanges will bring more business and profits to health insurance companies, corporate health care groups, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Conservatives just throw out these labels to either demonize their opponents or they just do not know what socialism is. Which means it’s very possible the current rebranding of the far Right is not motivated by genuine issues, but mostly by anger and delusions. The plan itself has already been explained as a near replica of the Massachusetts reform pushed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. If there is some substance to the Fox/ tea bagger/ generally disgruntled vote them all out argument, than why isn’t Mitt the target of an equal amount of derisive epitaphs.There have been a few articles and blog post in the past week that attempt to get at the cognitive dissonance between the reality of HCR and what the far Right believes, UNAWARE OF THE CONTRADICTION….
There’s an old joke that goes something like this: my neighbor went to public schools before joining the military. He went to college on the G.I. Bill, bought his first home through the FHA, and received his health care through the V.A. and Medicare. He now receives Social Security.
He’s a conservative because he wants to get the government off his back.
I mention the joke because a surprising number of right-wing activists don’t seem to appreciate the humor. We talked the other day, for example, about a radical libertarian activist who encourages his allies to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices to protest the Affordable Care Act. He hates government involvement in the lives of citizens — but his main income is taxpayer-financed disability checks sent to him every month by the federal government.
I would add some of the people I know that have either civil service jobs or work for a business that relies on government contracts for their business. We can all name some of the more famous or infamous – Haliburton, Blackwater(Xe) and remember Ketchum Inc that helped the Bush administration produce fake news stories that pushed their agenda – they’re back feeding off the gravy train of the administration most Fox pundits call socialists – when they’re not calling them Nazis. This phenomenon is beyond politics it’s about a state of mind and one that seems frequently unstable and certainly uninformed about the facts. This column by Ronald Brownstein gets a little more into just the health care reform angle, Dems Caught In Populist Crossfire – Most white Americans think health reform benefits the poor and uninsured, not people like them.
In the Kaiser poll, even fewer noncollege than college-educated whites said that the plan would benefit the country. In one sense, that’s ironic: Census figures show that noncollege whites are more than twice as likely to lack health insurance as whites with a degree. But these working-class whites have grown more skeptical than better-educated whites that government cares about their needs. And the searing recession has only hardened those doubts.
Now that Democrats are trying to talk over the 24/7 disinformation of the largely corporate conservative media the response has been predictable. Claims there are huge flaws in the bill and will not work. Convenient for insurance companies that have been and will continue to rise rates – Health insurance CEOs conspire to blame Democrats for increasing premiums.
Williams is lying. In fact, the health care law does not tax insurance issuers until 2014. Moreover, as Igor Volsky writes, insurers are disingenuously trying to point the fingers at hospitals and doctors to avoid a conversation about their own failed efforts to control costs while raking in profits.
Democrats and President Obama got a small up tick in approval from the Democratic base. Obama seems like he wants to squander that approval on something that does not make sense economically or in long term energy strategy – Drill, baby, drill
The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.
….The proposal is intended to reduce dependence on oil imports, generate revenue from the sale of offshore leases and help win political support for comprehensive energy and climate legislation. (emphasis mine)
Kevin Drum has a good point. Let’s assume it is about a strategy for energy and climate legislation, why show your hand so soon. Why not hold back and give up some leases in return for saner items on the green economy wish list. Who wants to mail Rahm Emanuel or President Obama a Dummies Guide to Playing Poker.
The tea baggers – the ones who are not hurling racial slurs or threatening violence – who are upset about the economy do have – in a slightly distorted way some things in common with liberals, but their frustrations are directed at the country’s just getting by working class, elderly and disabled. An upside down populism, Tea Baggers and “Populist Anger”
In 1892, the Populists got so mad that they started their own party, officially the People’s Party. They didn’t pull punches in the preamble to their party constitution: “The fruits of the toil of millions are badly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the Republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.”
The Tea Baggers, like millionaires, rail against “big government.” At their rallies Tea Baggers wave signs urging the “SOCIALIST OBAMA” to “LET THE FREE MARKET WORK,” demanding that “LEFTIST PARASITES” carry their “OWN WEIGHT!!!” and mourning the death of “CAPITOLISM [sic].”
A lot of Republicans love the Tea Baggers, too. The GOP, many millionaires, and Tea Baggers have made common cause against health care reform.
The Tea Baggers have bought into Social Darwinism, the 19th century gospel of the rich and powerful that extolled the “free market” as almost divinely inspired. “God gave me my money,” Rockefeller said.
Social Darwinists said if you’re poor and powerless, it’s your own fault. Some Tea Baggers feel that way about health care. “YOUR HEALTH YOUR PROBLEM,” said another sign at a Tea Bagger rally.
Rockefeller hated the Populists. So would the Tea Baggers.