It’s almost funny. Here comes a bus. Soon my fellow progressives and I will be thrown unceremoniously under it. The last ten days it’s almost as if the purpose of going to a bus stop is to be run over by oncoming omnibuses: climate change, health care, Afghanistan. You name it. Name a progressive cause and it’s been squished in the past two weeks. And if it hasn’t, if you can think of one that is not now looking like a beer can reconfigured by an oncoming locomotive, just wait tell next week.
I could react with anger to these developments. Certainly not with surprise. For example, I almost reacted in anger just a few moments ago when I read this in the New York Times:
Independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman says he expects to support the Democrats’ health care legislation as long as any government-run insurance plan stays out of the bill.
Lieberman has been a question mark on the health care legislation for months. To win him over, Senate leaders said late Monday they were backing away from a Medicare expansion Lieberman opposed. They already had dropped a full-blown government insurance program.
Lieberman told reporters Tuesday that if the Medicare expansion and government insurance plan are gone, ”I’m going to be in a position where I can say what I’ve wanted to say all along: that I’m ready to vote for health care reform.”
Senate leaders need Lieberman’s support to secure 60 votes necessary to advance the legislation in the 100-member Senate.
Isn’t that great? We somehow went from single payer universal health care (that could never pass, they said) to a robust public option (that could never pass, they said) to a weak tea public option for the select few all of whom live down the block (that could never pass, they said) to a medicare buy-in (that could never pass, they said), to nothing (which evidently Uncle Joe approves and which can easily pass because, well, because it’s nothing and nothing is what we have now so it’s easy to pass).
Remind me if you can why I voted in 2006 and 2008 for Democrats? Remind me, if you’re really creative, why 70% of the population wants health care and they’re just not gonna get it. Maybe I’m forgetful. As I said, I almost got angry about this.
I also almost got angry last night when I heard two Democratic Senators on Maddow and Keith explain how much progressives had helped with the HCR bill and how even if it didn’t have a public option or a medicare buy in or anything else of any value to people who actually need health care and insurance, it was still an enormous victory because, get this, it will provide a foundation for the future. And in the future we can build upon the foundation (if you like this metaphor). And soon on this foundation there will be a 1700′ tall, glistening sky scraper, a beacon to the nation if not the world, called Universal Health Care and you, my dear friends, can even go in an visit the lobby of this edifice. Soon, of course, is a term of art. It means a time between now and the next, distant ice age. You can visit the magnificent structure for which you have provided the foundation if you can live to be 200 years old without adequate health insurance. I personally am not taking this as a bet. Are you kidding me? This is truly a case in which legislative nothing is claimed to be governmental something. So I was almost getting angry. And thinking of things I could do to get even (I’m like that. I don’t apologize for being like that). I’m a Buddhist, but revenge did cross my mind and perch on my eyebrows like a carrion vulture.
Then I recalled some recent pacifying remarks by Pinche Tejano. His remarks were to the effect that it was all just a computer game and should be treated as such (his analysis was far more eloquent and intelligible than this very basic boil down of his very subtle and correct idea). So I began to think about all of this electoral politics as just a game. I couldn’t get mad about a game that was obviously rigged so that I couldn’t get to the next level, so that I would have an EPIC FAIL. What’s to get mad about that? It happens all the time. Especially to people like me with no game skillz. No game cred. In a word, losers. Suckers. I’m used to being pwned by games. I don’t like losing, but I don’t get mad about it. It beat the hell out of being almost angry about politics. Yeah. All of a sudden all of this electoral politics and senate politics and astroturf movements and Joe Lieberman made sense. It was all just like son of Pac Man. It was finally sensible. Even to me.
And that’s when my head asploded.
It’s just like this:
How did I know that Strongbad was so prescient? How did I know that Home Star Runner was really equipping me for the future of politics? My head asploded.
simulposted at The Dream Antilles