“Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.” — Gore Vidal
NEVER MIND WHAT WE SAID; LISTEN TO WHAT WE SAY
Nothing like a bogeyman to unite a bunch of scaredy cats, no?
Back in the late 1980s when the Reagan presidency was being readied for its final nap, a bunch of conservative economists and policy wonks (including ideologues from the Heritage Foundation) got together to create a plan for health care reform.
This funny little gang was all in a tizzy because many Democrats at the time were pushing hard for a single-payer health insurance system.
Since the gang understood that such a government-run system would naturally lead to Stalinesque purges of the population with death tolls reaching into the tens of millions, they needed to come up with an alternative pronto. And so they did.
They came up with a health insurance mandate. The goal, they crowed, was to find a “market-oriented” alternative to the Dem/commie plot and to protect the righteous citizens of this holy land against “free riders” — you know, all those ne’er do wells who don’t have health insurance and then, when they happen to suffer a little sucking chest wound from a shotgun blast or some other trivial hangnail, all of a sudden want to be treated in an emergency room on our dime.
“Are You A Free Rider?”
So under this alternative, blessed-by-god plan, the conservative ideologues proposed that every American be compelled to purchase health insurance. The Republicans loved it; the plan would be a boon for their sugar daddies in the health insurance rackets. Over the years, a couple of future GOP aspirants for the White House named Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich would hold pep rallies for the health insurance mandate.
Meanwhile, the Dems decided they couldn’t survive anymore without becoming Republicans, so they adopted the plan as well.
Then, under George W. Bush, who lost the 2000 presidential election by half a million votes, thereby winning the 2000 presidential election, America embarked on a tri-fold policy of fighting disastrous wars, ignoring the plight of a major city that had been nearly wiped out by a hurricane, and giving free reign to degenerate Wall Street gamblers so they could sink the world’s economy.
“Can You Believe It? They Said I Won!”
The American electorate thought this strategy to be lacking. So they elected a Democrat to be president. Now remember, the Democrats had come to the conclusion that they could never triumph over the Republicans without themselves becoming Republicans. Accordingly, the new Democratic president championed ideas that would have made Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and even the sainted Ronald Reagan proud.
The only problem was, the new president was half black. The real Republicans wet their pants. After changing their shorts, the Republicans announced that their sole goal in this challenging, complex, threatening world was to sabotage Barack Obama.
So, my dear friends, that’s how we get to this strange day. The Heritage Foundation, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and every other conservative and/or True Republican in these Great United States, Inc. are waving their pompons in favor of the US Supreme Court overturning the health insurance mandate proposed by the half-black, half-Republican Barack Obama.
Is it any wonder why fewer than half the eligible voters in America are expected to go to the polls this November?
We were mere pups when Universal single-payer was gutted in favor of Medicare. Thus assuring a rich, endless vein of grateful voters, inadequate inertia to propel sane, rational health care policy AND the brass ring for the Rethuglicans, breaking the contract and saddling Social Security with the costs of Medicare that ensured its demise. The countless millionaires endowed by “preferred contractor” status have dutifully tithed back to the RNC in exchange for decreased accountability which enhanced their profit potentials. Sweet deal!
When RMN appointed Cap Weinberger to oversee the implementation of LBJ’s Great Society programs, he was able to spread the manna around to the faithful and make sure that only pennies on the dollar actually reached the spigot end PROVING the Conservatives’ claim that government “social” spending was wasteful and inefficient.
And they’ve been makin’ hay with it ever since.