(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
“No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.”
Well…shucks, that’ll show ’em. Awesome viral activism, gang. Maybe somewhere, in another parallel Pepperland, Max Baucus and Kent Conrad immediately updated their Facebook status in sweet, serene solidarity. I can see it now, splattered in big, 16-point Verdana Bold atop the “MAX 2008” senatorial profile, right next to the photo of Baucus with azaleas sprouting from his nose and ears. In this universe, of course, our own Blue Meanies sold us all out long, long ago (if Matt Taibbi said so, then it must be true!), and have been stumbling their way to a new round of Snatching Fail From The Jaws Of Win.
The sight of Democratic politicians tripping over their own staffers and frantically pissing themselves in fear of the hydra-headed health insurance lobby is, alas, depressingly familiar. I myself was due to get an ugly, up-close look at a local specimen, Congresswoman Lois Capps (D, CA-23), but in true Democratic spirit, I chickened out at the last minute in order to do something infinitely more fun: have a nice dinner with a beautiful brunette woman. However, the intrepid chair of our local Young Democrats did manage to shove his way into the Oxnard church where Capps was all set to face down the screamers, and thanks to the magic of Twitter I discovered that my initial instincts proved correct. Lois crumpled under the onslaught of neo-Bircher taxophobic insanity, and Dave tweeted the whole thing. It went a little like this:
“At Lois Capps’ health care town hall. Banner above reads “pray until something happens.” The ignorance is stunning. Lois began by swatting away myths (none for illegals/abortion/death panels, blah blah) but then said HCR would be “deficit neutral” and the cons laughed out loud. Lois flustered & nervous at slightest confrontation.
She then claimed constitution says “health liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Horrible gaffe, crowd erupted. Weak sauce, congresswoman. Followed that with another facepalm answer to irrelevant question about tort reform. Followed that with cringeworthy assertion that “Medicare is not a socialized program.” And she used to do this for a living! [Capps was a nurse…or something like that-Ed.]
Dems let themselves get shouted down by a raving minority-only questions were from wingnuts! Bullshit moderation. In a bad mood. I was the only unruly Dem shouting and clapping for public option. Not once was 77% support for it mentioned. A bunch of weak-kneed crap.”
Sorry man, but I could have spared you the frustration. I was there, as a UCSB Young Dem, when Lois succeeded her late husband Walter in 1998, and had she not faced a succession of slobbering dolts from Paso Robles and other points Republican (and not to mention scored some major contributions from local corporate ghouls Baxter and WellPoint), Lois would have never made it this far. She’s a liberal, you see, in the classic 20th-century mold-nice, polite, non-confrontational. No outward sense of humor, or of the absurd. Now, these are not sins-the overwhelming majority of liberal Democrats are just like this, including myself-but they are not the best things to carry into a mud-fight with drooling conservatives.
For some reason, the Democratic Party has never learned this. Well, the Democratic politicians have-but they’re happy to be spineless eunuchs if the price is right. For the rest of us hopeless suckers, the symptoms run a little deeper than that, and they’ve turned us all into a party of insecure literalists and earnest bores. We freak out at the slightest provocation, like thirteen-year-old boys changing in public middle school locker rooms, terrified that someone will call us “faggots.” Then the whole school will know-and dear me, we can’t have that. Even when we win, we can’t believe it; we’re convinced that the slightest threat of conflict will topple our pathetic Jenga-pile of a platform and leave us back in the ditch with the Whigs. Those pesky Code Pink purists! Why can’t they just disagree in a civilized way? All that blood! Jeepers!
I know, I know-I can’t pin the insecurity thing on we Democrats alone; every American is susceptible to different virulent variations of it (even American Jews, stereotypically our best humorists, get jumpy if someone gives Israel dirty looks-hang on, did I say that right?). The ultimate contemporary example of this, though, is that frothing dingbat preacher from Arizona-the one so deep in the closet that the semen is pushing up against his lizard brain-and his gun-toting Uncle Tom of an acolyte who showed up with a shoulder-bazooka at the President’s town hall in Phoenix. Those two jokers have so many compounded insecurities that they can’t even see straight anymore-but they are not alone. There was that one guy who bit off a finger…
…and Jesus, let’s get control of this awful tripe. That last graf had more ugly generalizations than a good liberal boy like myself ought to be spouting. But hey, at least I didn’t mock the sun-eating Japanese first lady. Or the hagiographic memorials to Ted Kennedy (which definitely seemed the mirror image of 2004’s mawkish Reagan elegies). Anyway, what I think I was getting at, before that useless digression into name-calling, was this: if the Democratic Party is going to make it out of the 2012 election intact-or even 2010, come to think of it-then we need some king-hell media surrealists in our camp to combat the jabbering dupes on the other side. Not to get too rah-rah here, but the current crop can’t cut it. Maher’s an asshole, Lewis Black is a walking bomb, Maddow’s too intelligent to truly let loose, and Olbermann’s become such a weird cartoon that I don’t recognize him anymore. It’s not a total loss-Ana Marie Cox is still flashing her chest on TV-but when you have to go that deep in the bench for talent, you’re getting shaky.
Hell yes-let’s get some true monsters out there, and ditch the costumed clowns. Some speakers with real fire in their belly who spew righteous napalm over the hyperventilating paranoid masses. And don’t give me that silliness about the President’s skillz. Mr. Obama has shown again and again that he lacks the Killer Instinct everybody needs to Truly Succeed in this country. Indeed, he will be viewed as a failure if he can’t get his shit together and save this health care mess from the collective stupidity that envelops all who take it on. Yes, in spite of all his personal talent and genius, and all he’s overcome, Number 44 seems to truly hate cynics and mistrusts all ironic impulses, which will send him into serious 39 territory before this year is over. Hell, he can’t even speak to schoolchildren without pouring gasoline on the Station Fire of melodrama that passes for political dialogue these days.
So what the fuck have I been wasting my time with this crap for, over the past hour? Why not just enjoy this long weekend-the only U.S. holiday honoring the gloriously aberrant socialist impulse-and get ready for all the Beatles reissues next week? Hell yes, now that’s change I can believe in. Maybe it’s not a blue world after all, Max. Where can we go?
[Baucus, offstage]: “Argentina?”
Nah, Mark Sanford ruined that one for the rest of us, dude. It will be a very long time before Earnest and Good Men such as we can once again jump on a plane to Buenos Aires and, that very same day, suck champagne off the sensual spines of our Argentine escort-girls. Mother of gyrating Elvis, those were the days, eh? None of that sissy bowing down to the twin demons of Framing and Marketing for us. No sir, we would take the blue gloves off, swallow strong drink and stronger women, and barely live to tell the tale. We would swim naked in the Río de la Plata and support the entire economies of Peru and Bolivia with our ravenous narices.
Yes, yes-better keep that South American beef locked away in the memory banks for the present, Max. Conrad would only get jealous and Snowe would blush right down to her underwear. Just put that innocuous quote in your Facebook status, wait for Reconciliation, and Stand Behind the President when he tells the kids to stay in school. All together now…