A commenter on this blog challenged me this morning to talk about something positive or learned for a change.
I don't know about the "learned" part, but I think the New York Times comment I wrote last night on Paul Krugman's latest ode to the wonderful Democratic Party was pretty damned positive.
Pushing his own glass half-full scenario in the midst of the government shutdown, he lavished great praise upon Gavin Newsom, the new and untested governor of California, and applauded all-blue New Jersey's strict enforcement of the Obamacare rule that everybody must buy private, for-profit health insurance, or face tax penalties. The result of this mass extortion is that the extortion is more broad-based, and premiums have come down.
But even better, one of the bluest of all blue states (Washington) now has a public option supplement to the private insurance cartel, thus absolving the still-thriving cartel from using more of its record profits to treat the sickest of the sick, instead passing on such costs to the taxpaying public while cartel CEOs pocket the difference in stock buy-back schemes.
And on the other liberal coast, New York City Mayor Bill di Blasio even wants to build more affordable housing in the Wealth Disparity Capital of the Universe and provide more access to medical care!
Therefore, there was no need for Krugman to even mention the Los Angeles teachers' strike, the housing crisis, and the continued and growing public demand for non-profit Medicare For All. Because Democrats sure know how to govern, unlike those nasty old Republicans.
My published response to Krugman's column:
Why no shout-out to the striking L.A. teachers exerting such effective pressure on the new governor and other Democrats? Without the resurgent labor movement, it'd be business as usual, even in the bluest of blue locales. Forty children per classroom is a shame in such a rich state, home to many a Silicon Valley and Hollywood billionaire and mogul.
Bill di Blasio isn't making new proposals for better health care and low-income housing just out of the goodness of his heart. It's taken citizens with the courage to confront him at his gym workouts, cell phone cameras at the ready, over the shameful conditions in the city's public housing projects as well as the homeless crisis. Although he's made strides in the construction of more "affordable" housing, NYC's homeless numbers are still at near-record highs.
The homeless also just happen to have their own Coalition.
If Dems are moving left and finally beginning to abandon austerity, it's because the public is forcing them to.
Regarding health care: individual states implementing public options is no substitute for a federally administered single payer system. The House majority thus far is only paying lip service to Medicare For All, with the chairwoman of the relevant subcommittee, Anna Eshoo, just announcing that she might not have time to hold hearings after all. She represents Silicon Valley, home of many a tech billionaire.
So a Women's March group plans to storm Congress on Friday to demand Single Payer.
We have miles to go before we sleep.(I have a sneaking suspicion that the DNC has disassociated itself from the Women's March for more reasons than just the alleged anti-Semitism of one or two of its founders. Protesters are branching off from the original Democratic-centric/centrist intent of the enterprise, independently evolving far beyond simply "resisting" Trump and the Republicans. Good.)