(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Cross-posted at Firedoglake.com and Thom Hartmann.com
As usual, I listed to the podcasts yesterday (Tuesday 9-6). And as usual, you irrationally called for Obama’s reelection. Incredible.
You said Obama had accomplished a lot in his 1st two years, which is a big surprise to almost anyone who has been awake. And in support of this nonsense, you named 3 things: The ACA; tax cuts for the middle class; and his efforts to get us out of the horrific recession we are still stuck in.
I call Bullsh*t on all 3:
1.) The ACA is a fraud. Your touting it, as usual, is based upon unicorns and rainbows, not reality; it depends, for the first time ever under Obama, for something of substance he promised to become true. He’s good at making promises; but delivering–not so much. The latest is the silly claim that “premiums will come down next year”. But as I wrote here previously:
“Let me give you a quite personal example, for instance, of the profound fraudulence of the ACA: I am 60 years old, with two prior cancers. My wife is 54 years old, and has costly health problems. We make, together, about $50,000 per year, about $15,000 of which goes to pay the mortgage on our modest home. We have no medical insurance. Obamacare will do nothing for us but cost us the tax penalty at the end of the year; we cannot afford private medical insurance, even if they’d sell it to us in the first place. We will get no subsidy for private insurance, we make too much money. And anyway: When we did have insurance we found out that the copays ended up being about as much as the considerably-lower self-pay price which most doctors will give for uninsured patients. No, what we needed was the public option–which Obama obstructed in service to the criminals, despite making specific promises to the contrary.
“And to make it worse: My wife is 54. Obama’s putting Social Security ‘on the table’ and his boosterism of Catfood Commission II–which likely will preserve a reduced Social Security only for people 55 and up–will mean that my wife will not have the program available for her when the time comes. How is this ‘change we can believe in’? Meet the new boss, a better-packaged version of the old boss.”
The ACA will NOT help me or my wife; it will only cost us the penalty at tax time. As for the premiums coming down: How hard is this to understand: The name of the act (“Affordable” my @ss) is meaningless. What matters is the enabling legislation, and that is being written by the very criminal healthcare-denial companies whom the Act pretends to control. LOWER PRICES WILL NOT HAPPEN, and anyone who believes promises of such things is a fool. Obama never has, and never will, done anything to discomfit these criminals, and this surely will not. All we will be left is the mandate–which will hurt the middle class, just as it’s supposed to do. We will be given the Hobson’s choice of either buying crappy “insurance” at horrific cost, or paying the penalty. This is “change we can believe in”?
2.) The middle-class tax cuts. That has been some help to some individuals, but the good it did was more than offset by the damage done by reducing taxes on the corporatist class, which has wrecked the budget and is a large contributor to the deficit. And what good it did for individuals will be more than offset by the penalties many of us will have to pay under the ACA, not to mention the general decay caused by Obama’s eager cooperation with everything the Repig’s have shat out, from the Gravestone XL to his reneging on the tougher smog standards to the increase in the power of the war pigs to the fraudulent bolstering of the banksters at the expense of what’s left of the middle class. NONSENSE.
3.) The “stimulus”/efforts to “rescue” the economy. What little effect that incredibly-large expenditure of (borrowed) money had is going fast. It was wasted, because there was no effort to keep the money in the country. Both China and the US spent about $800 billion (and let’s not get into the amazing raid on the Fed–16+ trillion dollars!–that Obama quietly cooperated with, in an effort to save the banksters–foreign and domestic–from their own criminal conduct). China protected their market. So did the US–protect China’s market, that is. Without a strong trade policy which will stimulate our own economy, all the “stimulus” did was (a) Transfer ever-more wealth to the criminal oligarchy; and (b) Stimulate China’s economy by its being spent on crap at Walmart. And the idiocy is becoming apparent; even the Sellout-in-Chief is now admitting that unemployment will remain at or above 9%. And it is also obvious (as many of us predicted) that we are heading into a double-dip (as if we ever left recession to begin with). The economy was botched by Obama, just like everything else he’s pretended to do. This character is a corporatist; why would you expect anything else?
And you finished the show with your usual call for us to “get active, get involved, democracy begins with you” blah blah blah. Riddle me this: How can you, with a straight face, both call for an activated progressive movement AND support Obama? Get out in the street, raise hell, show your anger–and do it by working to put back in office the backstabbing tool of the banksters that hamstrung the Democratic Party, deliberately bled off the progressive ferment that got him elected, and continued, in every significant respect, the policies of Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush? So long as Obama is at the top of the ticket, there simply is nothing to inspire people to do anything–or to vote next year. If we had a strong primary challenger–ah, then we well could see a return to activism. The pain is sure here; the people want to do something; but without a rallying point, they’ll just stay home (or, like me, vote Green and hope Obama is defeated so we can start rebuilding the Party).
You and I are the same age (I was born in 1951). Remember: People didn’t come out in droves to support Lyndon Johnson in 1968 (and Johnson was a far more honorable man, and better progressive, than Obama is). It was Bobby Kennedy and Gene McCarthy who caused the excitement. No, so long as Obama is in power, the Democrats are paralyzed, and nothing will happen.
And if we’re unfortunate enough for him to be reelected, then the paralysis of the Democratic Party will continue, and corporatism will continue to march. I don’t know what’s happened to you since you put on the suit and moved to Washington–but it sure seems like cooptation to me. And it’s heartbreaking, man, for those of us who used to think of you as a hero. Really, really tragic.
PRIMARY CHALLENGER NEEDED–NOW! Is it too late for you to come back to the good guys? Why not start calling for a challenge–before it’s ineluctably too late?