President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage by using a conservative model that came from one of the conservative think tanks that had been advanced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “Now it’s time for the next step. And the next step is single payer.”Tell that to the party leadership. The way a group of them showed their loathing for the now-delayed Better Call the Undertaker Act proffered by the Republicans was to literally sit down and "raucously" sulk for the cameras.
“So John Lewis and I (Sen. Cory Booker) are going to sit down on the Capitol steps for a while to protest Senate Republican’s efforts to repeal health care and give voice to millions of Americans who believe that affordable health care is a human right,” Booker posted alongside the Facebook live stream. “Watch, share & join us.”
“By sitting in, by sitting down, you’re really standing up,” Lewis said.
Ben Wikler, the Washington director of activist group Moveon.org, tweeted how he became part of the sit-in, describing the organic growth of the event as “kinda magical.”
Unlike the protesters who were cruelly yanked out of their wheelchairs last week and arrested for blocking Mitch McConnell's office, the supine and able-bodied establishment Democrats were deemed harmless enough by Capitol police to remain in place, despite blocking the entire building. It was really kinda magical. Who knew that some forms of protest are more equal and acceptable than others?
Nonetheless, Warren is gently and belatedly urging liberal lawmakers to get up off their slacktivist butts and take that next organic step and start running on single payer health care for human organisms living in the United States. She understands that Hillary Clinton's vow during her campaign that single payer "will never, ever come to pass" is probably not a winning strategy for her party. All it did was help stimulate those all-important collective passions right into the arms of Donald Trump - who, as a private citizen had himself voiced support for government-sponsored medical insurance as the sanest, most cost-effective solution.
Trump, who only a few weeks ago called the GOP reform plan "mean," put a noncommittal spin on his latest word salad: “This will be great if we get it done. And if we don’t get it done, it’s just going to be something that we’re not going to like, and that’s O.K., and I understand that very well.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to delay voting on the Better Care Reconciliation Act when a handful of GOP senators balked - either because the measure isn't sufficiently cruel, or because its draconian cruelty isn't sufficiently hidden from voters. Mainly, they were miffed that Mitch operated behind closed doors, without their own input. How can they sell a bill to their constituents when they're being kept as much in the dark as their constituents?
The Congressional Budget Office scoring reveals that under the Bitterly Callous Retrogression Act, 22 million fewer Americans would be covered by insurance by the year 2026. It's so bad that even the arch-conservative American Medical Association, which has always lobbied heavily against any kind of government involvement in health care, calls BCRA a clear violation of the Hippocratic Oath of "first, do no harm."
As Mitch cynically drawled to the TV cameras after temporarily yanking the bill, who could have guessed that big complicated cruelty could be so complex? Therefore, his most immediate challenge is to get enough of his cohort "comfortable" enough with the unprecedented cruelty for the oligarchic job to get done.
Senator John Tester cynically put in that all they really need is more flexibility to rescue the most vulnerable citizens from the pain of Medicaid covering all their health care needs. That way, the protesters in wheelchairs won't even have to travel to Washington and block Congressional offices. They'll be blissing out in a permanent state of health care Nirvana freedom.
These malevolent political clowns remind me of the feckless characters in Demons, Fyodor Dostoevsky's scathing 1872 novel which critiques both nihilism and supine, often complicit, liberalism. The "debate" really is just about how much sadism that today's reactionaries think they can get away with.
One of the characters in the novel argues for "a final solution of the question, the division of mankind into two unequal parts. One tenth is granted freedom of person and unlimited rights over the remaining nine tenths. These must lose their person and turn into something like a herd, and in unlimited obedience, through a series of regenerations, attain to primeval innocence, something like the primeval paradise - though, by the way, they will have to work."
To which the other, more bloodthirsty nihilist counters, "I'd take these nine-tenths of mankind, since there's really nothing to do about them, and blow them sky-high, and leave just a bunch of learned people who would start living happily in an educated way.