Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Boehner, Remixed

Whoever produced this is brilliant. It is brilliant because it is true. Hate never wins. Fear never wins. They may capture the occasional victory, but such victories are always short-lived.

I don't want to gloat or celebrate in the wake of the passage of the healthcare insurance reform bill. I find it hard to celebrate because there is so much work to still be done. And it's tough to celebrate something like the guarantee of a basic level of healthcare insurance, which is no big deal in other, civilized countries. And it's not a single-payer system, so much of the burden is still on employers, for one. But it's a giant step in the right direction. I don't want to gloat, or sing, but then I remember the text message I got from my former friend on the night Barack Obama was elected president, which stated, "Hope isn't any good when planes fly into buildings." I also think of the lies that were spread by those who opposed reform from the start, and I think of all those who from the moment he was elected, devoted their lives to derailing the presidency of Barack Obama.

I think of the Congressman who shouted, "You lie!" at the president. I think of Rep. Boehner shouting "Hell no!" in Congress. I think of smug John McCain, who though he lost to Barack Obama, couldn't get the smirk off his face during the president's bipartisan meeting on healthcare reform, the same meeting in which the Republicans went to and treated as a campaign debate then got their asses handed to them, wrapped up quite nicely, by this president. I think of the police officers I sometime hear on the police scanners late at night saying things like, "tell Obama to take care of them," when a dispatcher or another officer says someone has been injured or wounded on the city's streets. I think of the editorial writers and cartoonists who have been saying for the past year that freedom as we know it would cease if Obama got his way (of course none of them offered any workable alternatives). I think of the racist imagery so often used to criticize the president, and on, and on, and on, and I can't help but think ... you lost. You all lost. You lost the election, you lost on healthcare reform, and you're going to lose again and again. "Hell no!" sounds like the last words of a movement going down in flames. We've said it before, we can say it again -- Yes, we can.

Where I Stand

I'd rather stand with those being spat on, screamed at, called names, than those who spit, scream and call others names. I'd rather aspire to people's better angels and work for something better and occasionally fall short than to play on and play to their fears for short-term victories. The win is so much sweeter when it does happen and it's easier to keep fighting the fight if you know in your heart that it's the right fight and your world, or someone's life can be somewhat better through your efforts.

When mouth-breathing, drooling hateful people scream "faggot" at Congressman Barney Frank, when they yell "nigger" at Congressman John Lewis, when they boo and scream at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when they spit at other Congressmen and Senators, when they put the word "KILL" uncomfortably close to their caricatures of President Obama, when they vow revenge on any elected official who supported healthcare insurance reform, I stand proudly with the screamed at and spat upon.

And I know that even if Obama, Pelosi, Frank, Lewis, Reid, Dingell, Schakowsky, Quigley, Weiner and every other one who worked to make reform a reality hadn't wiped the floor with the "no" crowd, they'd still be right.

The arc is long, Dr. King said, but it does tend toward justice.

Friday, March 19, 2010

They Have No Shame, Do They?

The following is a McClatchy story today (3/19/10) out of Washington state:


State of health care debate: Pundits attack 11-year-old

Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy's account of his mother's death as a "sob story" exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a "kiddie shield" to defend their health care legislation.

Marcelas Owens , whose mother got sick, lost her job, lost her health insurance and died, said Thursday he's taking the attacks from Rush Limbaugh , Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin in stride.

"My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn't mean they are right," Owens, who lives in Seattle , said in an interview.

Owens' grandmother, Gina, who watched her daughter die, isn't quite so generous.

"These are adults, and he is an 11-year-old boy who lost his mother," Gina Owens said. "They should be ashamed."

Sen. Patty Murray , D- Wash. , told Marcelas Owens' story to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House health care summit last month. Murray also has spoken about it on the Senate floor. Last week, Owens was in the nation's capital to speak at a health care rally and to meet with Senate Democratic leadership.

Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin are skeptical about the story, saying there were other forms of medical help available after Owens' mother, Tifanny, lost her health insurance. They lambasted Democrats for using the story.

"Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit theDemocrat Party and Barack Obama ," Limbaugh said on March 12 , according to a transcript his show. "And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens : 'Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn't kick in until 2014.'"

Beck, according to a transcript of his March 15 show, pointed out that Owens' recent trip to Washington was paid for by Healthcare of America, a group that has been lobbying for a health care overhaul.

"That's the George Soros-funded Obama-approved group fighting for health care," Beck said. "Since all of the groups are so concerned and involved now, may I ask where were you when Marcelas' mother was vomiting blood?"

Beck, who's from Mount Vernon, Wash. , said there were plenty of programs in Washington state that could have helped Tifanny Owens .

Malkin dismissed Marcelas Owens as "one of Obama's youngest lobbyists" who has been "goaded by a left-wing activist grandmother," promoted by Murray and has become a regular on the "pro-Obamacare circuit."


This would be even more sickening if it was not so unsurprising.

Beck, Limbo, Malkin and any who would defend them on this are all a-holes.

If you disagree that health insurance reform is desperately needed in this country, if you don't like this kid's story, fine. Either present an intelligent alternative, convey your sympathy toward the family then lay out just how the mom could ha
ve been helped under the current healthcare 'system,' or ... stay quiet, let them have their moment, then come out with your plan later, so you don't look like a complete jerk. At the same time, if these folks cared at all about how they are perceived in the public eye, how decent people view them, and that, they would show some class. But they're not interested in constructive debate, are they? They don't care about the sick, the uninsured, the poor, the people who watch their shows and live in their congressional districts. All they care about, all they have cared about since the night Barack Obama won the presidency, was tearing him down and defeating everything he has tried to do and defeating him and his party in ensuing elections. What a classless, despicable lot they are.