Now, I'll be the first to admit that this is most often a complete waste of time. I find that the Fargone Right tends to be unwilling to listen to any messages that don't come from the vibrations in their fillings, and they tend to have more interest in their agenda than in actuality.
But, for some unknown reason, I keep doing it. It's led to some fascinating discussions, both in the various shadowy corners where I find myself, and occasionally in the Comments section here, when one of them follows me home like some kind of weirdly masochistic, three-legged street mongrel hoping to bite me on the ankle while my back is turned or something.
Now, to be entirely honest, I don't mind batting around the odd idiot. It keeps me off the streets, at least. (Admittedly, I end up feeling like a bully at times, since some of these winners aren't overly burdened by an abundance of common sense. But if I have to be the one to take one for the team, I guess I'll shoulder that burden and bravely move on...)
Of course, then my irony gland kicks in, and I describe the drooling masses of teabaggers and deathers in terms like above, and get called names like "arrogant," or find myself with commenters like the anonymous guy who felt that repeating the phrase "YOU DON’T LISTEN OR ADMIT ANY WRONG. YOU’RE NEVER WRONG" eighteen times was a viable argument.
(It's weird. I have a mental image of that guy actually typing out each line, not cutting and pasting it. I don't know why, but it would fit the rest of his spittle-flecked rant.)
And really, when I write stuff like... well, like everything that's precedes these words... now that I slow down and think about it... when I write stuff like that, I might very well deserve the label "arrogant." But you know, when they make it so easy to feel superior, I'm not sure why I should hold back. It's like some kind of intellectual Darwinianism.
The weird thing is, there's so damned many of these gibbering Neanderthals wandering the landscape these days, you have to wonder whether Cro-magnon could have survived if he was simply overwhelmed and beaten to death by broken tree branches, despite his superior flint spearhead.
Is this our fate (to openly switch metaphors in midstream), some sort of dystopian, zombie-infested landscape, where the Glenn Becks of the future infect our populace with some odd cephalophagian virus, leaving them to shamble over the horizon with blank eyes, muttering "ssssooooooocccciiallismmmmm"?
(Wow, where did that rant come from? Boy, I'm glad I'm not introspective. I'd have to wonder about myself after that...)
Anyway, today we speak of a different kind of "communication." Perhaps one that's even more important that grabbing the mental midgets and using them like bowling balls.
(Stop it! Stop it! You're done with that!)
First, I just finished emailing our "friends" in the White House. (OK, admittedly that isn't the primary contact address for the White House. But that happens to be where I was, and I figured "what the fuck, right?" And sometimes, you've just got to say... aaahh, forget it...)
I'm curious. When are you guys going to get serious about getting universal health care? The insurance companies and the healthcare industry is spending millions to defeat it, the GOP is positioning themselves as roadblocks in the hope that a major loss will discredit Pres. Obama and make him a lame duck less than a year into his first term, and you're trying to be bipartisan?OK, so maybe the message was a little sappy. Well, practice makes perfect, right? So I sent out the following message two days ago.
The Blue Dogs are busy trying to appease constituents who would never vote for them anyway; the GOP is going to block whatever goes through, once they're done with all the stalling tactics they can dream up in committee, and they're going to filibuster when it hits the floor. You know this in advance - the Republicans have been trying to destroy Medicare since it was passed, they aren't going to support this.
Back before the Ignorant Unwashed got brainwashed by the "death panels" and similar garbage, 70% of them wanted a public option (and most of the rest didn't know what one was).
We've entered a post-bipartisan era. You can't keep using a failing tactic over and over, because the result is always going to be the same.
It 's time to bring together a coalition of Democrats, serve a few beers, slap some backs, promise funding for their district, and put together a functional healthcare system using the British or Canadian systems that the right wing is so scared of, fund it using the rolled-back Bush tax cuts, and move on. The GOP will scream and cry and stamp their little feet - let them.
At that point, they're going to try to sabotage it any way they can - cutting funding, passing ignorant bills under the guise of "preventing abortions" or "assisting the small insurance businessman" or whatever, so it might be best if somebody specifically keeps an eye on the program during the initial set-up and beyond. It won't even need to be another "Tzar" position - just a special assistant to Ms Sebelius.
I don’t see any chance of anything else working. The GOP has already stated that they will oppose any program that comes out. So it’s time to use your majority and just push it through.
Please. America needs this.
Senator Bingaman,Still treading dangerously close to proposing optimism as an alternative, but I think I'm happy with it.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, you were selected, along with five other Senators, to craft the Healthcare legislation. Unfortunately, you don’t seem to be having much luck doing that little task. This concerns me.
This is probably the most important piece of legislation currently before Congress. We lose 18,000 Americans every year who can’t get healthcare – that’s as if 9/11 happened once every two months. We need the public option.
And the Republicans, simply because they can’t stand the thought of President Obama "succeeding," have chosen this issue (admittedly, along with every other issue before Congress, but particularly this one) to make their stand. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has already referred to healthcare as the President’s "Waterloo," and a significant number of GOP Congressmembers agree with him.
In your "Gang of Six" alone, Senator Grassley has referred to the House effort as "the Pelosi bill," saying that Pelosi and Obama are "intellectually dishonest" for saying that old people won’t be ground up and made into crackers; he also said that even if he agrees on a bill, he won't vote for it unless the rest of the GOP does the same (as if that’s going to happen).
Mike Enzi has stated that he has no plans to compromise on the bill, he’s just there to see what he can "get them to leave out."
Olympia Snowe, who, like most other Senators, has taken significant amounts of money from the healthcare industry, at least seems reasonable on the issue.
Kent Conrad’s reliance on "co-ops" (an unproved concept which has failed almost every time that it’s been tried) might be a useful diversion, but it's no solution.
And Max Baucus is a Blue Dog who hasn’t been willing to take a stand, preferring to pander to conservative constituents who aren't going to vote for him anyway.
The only good news coming from your committee was last week, when you admitted that budget reconciliation was a viable method of passing health care reform. As the Republicans have shown no interest in negotiating in good faith, it’s time to move on. Craft a bill that a majority of Democrats will support, ensure the public option is included, and push it through. Too much time has been wasted trying to compromise with Republicans who have no intention of agreeing to anything.
As Letterman put it, "Congress has been agonizing over health care for months now. Squabbling, fighting, the town hall meetings going crazy. Meanwhile, while they're arguing about health care, we're stuck in two wars that were rubber-stamped in about 10 minutes. What? How does that make any sense when you think about it?"
This is why I voted for you, Senator Bingaman. Somebody has to lead on that committee, and it might as well be you. Push the public option through. It’s what America needs, despite any lies the Republicans and the insurance companies try to peddle. If Senator Kennedy isn’t going to be around any more to protect the average American, somebody needs to take over at least part of the job.
Make us proud of you, Senator.
Now, it's your turn. Contact the White House. Contact your Senator or Representative. They get enough block-capital letters scrawled in crayon. Let them hear from the sane side of the populace for once, while we're still a majority. Even if a less-vocal majority.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there's more zombies out there to kill.