fresh voices from the front lines of change







My good friend the struggling single mom has recently taken a job in the insurance industry. (It pays terribly so she has to work two jobs, of course, but it’s better than nothing.) I spoke with her yesterday and she tells me that the votes to defund Obamacare have resulted in thousand of frightened calls from people who think they won’t be able to get insurance or they’re losing their insurance. (Surprisingly, nobody’s calling to celebrate the defunding …)

I asked her what calmed people down and she says she tells everyone to think about their high school civics class and remember that laws have to be passed by both houses and signed into law by the president. Without proselytizing at all, everyone immediately realizes what an absurd exercise in futility all this nonsense really is.

When even this guy gets it, you know it’s a loser:

Republican Sen. Rand Paul says President Barack Obama’s health care law probably can’t be defeated or gotten rid of. And he’s suggesting there are few ways and little time for him and other congressional Republicans to stop it.

Speaking to reporters Saturday at a gathering of Michigan Republicans, the presidential prospect said Republicans in Congress could use votes on measures in the House and in the Senate to come up with compromise legislation that could make the law more palatable. Some provisions, Paul said, include removing caps on health savings account contributions or deductibles for health policies.

Still, there is a method to the madness. The late summer blitz with the right wingers getting increasingly hysterical and screaming that the sky is falling will go some way toward convincing a portion of the public that the whole thing is a disaster and that there’s no point in signing up. Which is what they need to do to make it fail. And even if they doesn’t succeed in the long run, all of this will inflict a lot of unnecessary stress as citizens in various states literally have to suffer and die so that these right wingers can make a political point.

I thought I understood the right. But this meltdown over a very tepid health care reform that keeps the system fully in the hands of the private insurance companies just floors me. They should be celebrating their victory. Still, I take heart in the fact that in the end most people are fairly practical in these matters and will find a way to rationalize their acceptance of it even as they rend their garments over it in the abstract. (Tea partiers on disability and Social Security offer the template for such self-delusion.) But in the meantime we are watching behavior so absurdly over-the-top that it’s downright surreal.

I guess we’re just proving our “exceptionalism” once again. How lucky for us.

I’ll just enjoy this, I guess, and wait for the mass hysteria to pass:


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