Brown Wins Massachusetts Democrats Teabagged?
Somebody got tea-bagged! I think it was the True Believers of the Democratic Party and the True Believers in Modern Liberalism.
The provocative term, (in some circles), is now being used as a metaphor for the result of yesterday's election outcome in liberal Massachusetts. The quote above is hoisted from the comments in a Now Public story and is attributed to Roy C. I don't know if I'd go as far as to say the Democrats got tea-bagged, but the coming months in the Senate and the Congress in general will determine just exactly who got taken. The election should surely be a wake-up call for Democrats, and President Obama in particular.
Pundits,the chattering class from the MSM and right wing bloggers are telling the populace that this was about the repudiation of the left wing liberal agenda. Really? Let's look at the health care bill. The public option, expanding Medicare, importing less expensive medications from Canada were all initiatives supported and suggested by the liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Public option; torpedoed by Conservative Independent, (former Democrat) Joe Lieberman. This in spite of the fact that opinion poll after opinion poll showed overwhelming support for the proposal. Importing cheaper drugs from outside the US: co-opted by big pharma. Expanding Medicare: killed by the health insurance lobby, the AMA and hospital associations.
Massachusetts, a state with health care coverage for most if not all of its citizens, may have had a different agenda. Perhaps, the nationally proposed plan, modeled after Massachusetts, is as bad or worse than the proposed plan in Congress. (Scott Brown voted for Massachusetts health care.)
Maybe, Scott Brown tapped into a cynicism and basest fears shared by many Americans from the disaffected members of the Republican Party.(The Teabaggers). Maybe Scott Brown ran a better campaign than Martha Coakley. Maybe the people of the state of Massachusetts expected President Obama to let the banks and the auto industry fail in the "free market."
Here's a comment from a post on Roy Edroso's alicublog: Roy is amazed, and so am I, and I'm probably more cynical than he is. Where else but our blinkered nation would the sentence "Medicare beneficiaries were so exercised about national health insurance they took to the streets" be understood by all to describe adamant opposition to it? Every time I begin to think that healthcare's long-overdue time has finally arrived the eruptions of willful ignorance and toxic drivel -- stoked by entrenched interests and a complaisant and complicit media industry -- is even more insane than the last half-assed attempt to drag us into the 20th century. The Brown win, which in ordinary times would have been insignificant, will provide a useful pretext to abort a plan that was never conceived in the first place. It's a sad fact that a safe majority of our population* is in favor of some form of national health insurance, but a Democratic president and congress wasn't about to make it even an option -- given our new triumvirate of Baucus, Nelson, and Lieberman, the 60-vote majority was always a phantom, but still. My naive question: why is it, in a country whose majority wants national healthcare, the absolute and total Republican opposition to it, in any form, is not even an issue, no less THE issue? (Or even the anti-democratic idea that it now takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass it or anything else.)
If the Democratic leadership, and the President learned anything from this defeat, (and I'm not confident they have), it should do the following with regard to the health care issue: Start over. Include a public option, expand Medicare for anyone 55 and over, include an opt out provision (for those citizens that don't want government taxing them to death), allow for the importation of cheaper drugs from outside the US, remove the anti-trust exemption currently in place for health insurance providers, remove the provision that national insurance is to be provided by private insurance companies and most importantly, change the rules in the Senate that requires 60 votes to move the bill to the full Senate for approval. In other words: show some leadership and take bold decisive action. The health care, pharmaceutical industry, hospital association and US Chamber of Commerce lobbyists, will vehemently oppose this type of plan, which will signal to the populace that it's most likely a good deal for the public and not a good deal for "crony capitalists." It has a populist appeal, and should be embraced by the populists on the left and the right. If not, well then we will know who got "teabagged."
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