This summer season of political madness can't help but remind one of the frantic months of last year's Presidential campaigns. The almost hour-by-hour tension in Washington and westward all over the place--here in Raleigh last week--is about as high. No, it's not about the "election" of Judge Sotomayor, where you've got about as good an example of "playing politics" as you'll ever get. Senate Republicans unreservedly endorsed Bush's nominee, Sam Alito, despite his ethnic-Italian background and his proud admission of how it would indeed influence his judicial decision-making. I won't quote, but he and the proud Latina could be paraphrased identically on the matter. She will pass, yet with only a handful of Republican votes.
No, it's Health Care, of course. Same Realpolitik, though, from the reich--sorry, right-wing. Lotta LIES bruited about--just yesterday one of our congressman repeated a common one about "socialized medicine" abroad. "Hasn't worked in Britain; hasn't worked in Canada. Won't work here"--conveniently forgetting about our "Social" Security, Medicare, etc. Are we supposed to envisage an abattoir of dead Brits littering the streets waiting for Eric Idle's meat-wagon?--"Bring-out yer dead!" The British single-payer system dates from just after WWII, forcryingoutloud. It "hasn't worked" for over 60 years. So higglety-pigglety they must be getting something right. It certainly worked for my father some 40 years ago (DM #119). And Canada?--why, some Americans brave the cold and repatriate just for Great White North health care. It "hasn't worked" for over 40 years.
Moreover, the congressman and his venal ilk (they've been bought-off) conveniently commit a lie of omission when they direct us overseas to make a point. The British system is 100% tax-payer funded (Canada about 95%)--yes,"socialized." Grist for the commie-witch-hunters' mill. Their problem: it works. Their other problem: Obama isn't asking for a single-payer plan (sad to say). Rather, he wants a public/private mix--an "exchange" where one can choose the Public Option, or not. Now, Why is it that we hear only about Britain's miserable sixty-year "failure" with socialized medicine, and not about some other European welfare state? Answer: because, guess what, ALL of them have a public/private mix--an "exchange" where one can choose the Public Option, or not. (See DM #120.) Poor maligned Britain--"We're awright, Jack"--but the congressman DARE NOT point a derogating finger at France, Germany, or Switzerland, not to mention the Scandinavian countries. Every man-Jack and woman too ... is covered. Notice, too, that the commie-baiting is always in the abstract: "Washington is trying to make us into a European-style democracy!" As for their approach to health care ... cut me a specific slice of that!