The Massachussets election is being recognised as a ‘wake-up’ call by Obama and Democrats, but the immediate knee-jerk reaction by Democrats is baffling – like watching hapless animals woken from a sound sleep and, blinded by the light, scurrying madly and bumping into the furniture. Only not quite so amusing.
First, we had Senator Jim Webb (D) breathlessly insisting that the Massachusetts results was a 'referendum on health care reform,' and the way to restore the respect of the American people for government was to ‘suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.’
…say, whut?? Capitulating to the right-wing demands, with Mitch McConnell and the rightwing hooting with delight is going to restore my respect for government leaders? Remind me again, Senator Webb – who won the last election? You’re sure not acting like a winner.
I’m still shaking my head in disbelief when Senator Dianne Feinstein pipes up with her equally peculiar reading of what exactly is the message voters in Massachusetts were trying to send to Congress… apparently, when the boat is sinking, that’s the time to slow down bailing out the rising water.
'I can tell you the situation has changed dramatically,' she said. 'And I think it’s a sweep across the country (…) everything is jobs and the economy and education. People are worried about education. You see anger. People are worried. And when they’re worried they don’t want to take on a broad new responsibility.' Like health care reform. Oh, and climate change, too, far too much trouble with the economy in such bad shape. So much for any legislation on capping carbon emissions.
Besides – and this is where I bristled – us poor little ordinary folk aren’t smart enough to understand things like health care reform or climate change. 'It is so big it is beyond their comprehension. (…) In my view when people are earning, when their home is secure, when their children are going to school, and they are relatively satisfied with their life and there’s a problem like health care -- they want it solved. It doesn’t threaten them. The size of this bill threatens them. And that’s one of the problems that’s got to be straightened out.'
Riiiiiight. Lemme see if I’ve got this – the bill for health care reform, which started out with what the vast majority of people on just about any poll you want to name said they wanted, namely single payer, then got bipartisanized and watered-down and added and subtracted and amended and debated and distorted and delayed to satisfy all those lobbyists and Big Pharma and health care insurers by gutless Democrats is now too bloated and complicated for the poor brains of us little people. Dianne, you’re doing my head in.
The Democrats are still not listening. The people (that’s us over here, the little people standing by the ballot boxes) don’t want you to 'slow down' on health care or climate change. Or the economy, or financial regulation of corrupt banks, or reforming oppressive labour laws, or working on solutions for unemployment relief and job creation, or restoring civil liberties, or ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan or any of those issues you all ran on. That’s what we elected you to do – not to decide what issues are too complicated for voters to ‘understand’. Because we understand all too well when we’re being patronized – something Coakley found out the hard way in Massachusetts.
Us little people might not like what you’ve been doing over the past year, but that doesn’t mean that we want you to not bother doing the job at all. The health care bill may be a piece of crap – because you made it a piece of crap. So, go ahead, scrap the bill. But don’t slow down on health care reform. Wake up and listen to what the people in this country are desperately trying tell you! We’ve had enough of Democrats dragging their feet. We’ve had enough of ‘going slow’. Going slow is killing the country, and is killing the Democrats. The United States is the only western industrialized nation that does not have universal health care for its citizens, the only one – and we’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for it since 1912. How much slower can we possibly get?
It can’t be that complicated, as Norway has it, and Japan, and the UK, and Sweden, and Italy, and Portugal, and Cyprus, and Spain, and Iceland, and even Kuwait and Bahrain and Brunei and the United Arab Emirates, for crying out loud! It is unconscionable, it is inhumane, it is a dire neglect of duty for Democrats to tell the people who voted them in on the promise of health care reform (among so much else) that America cannot do what Iceland can do. What Spain can do. What the UAE can do.
Slow down? The people of Massachusetts just gave the Democrats the biggest kick up the rear they could and that is the message Feinstein heard? Slow down?
Somehow, I don’t think it’s the little people of this country who are having trouble with issues beyond their comprehension.