Then, this country taught the world to love. To sing. To LIVE, DAMMIT.
Sadly, this blog just received proof that our Noble Experiment has failed, and is now gasping its last, dying breath. What is our proof? This actual question from the RNC’s “2009 Future of American Health Survey.”
That is a real, actual, honest question, for morons. (via Wonkette, and The Washington Independent) If you have a sock drawer full of hash handy, I suggest taking knife hits and then following that WI link and reading the full survey. WOOOOOOO MAMA!!! Those questions hit you at the base of your skull like a black jack. Here are two (and again, these are real):
3. "Does it concern you that the liberal media has gone to unprecedented levels to only give Obama's views on health care reform and no one else's?"
6. "Do you believe that your health care decisions should be made by you and your doctor, not by government bureaucrats in Washington DC?"
Hey, they're just asking a legitimate question--namely, can the GOP continue to become more and more horrible by the hour? They confidently answer: Yes We Can.
Oh and then there's this (via ThinkProgress):
"The Oklahoma-based Express-Star reports that [Sen. Jim] Inhofe (R-OK) told a town hall crowd yesterday that he will vote against health reform legislation without even reading it or knowing what’s in it:Democracy on the march!"At a town hall meeting Wednesday Sen. Jim Inhofe told Chickasha residents he does not need to read the 1,000 page health care reform bill, he will simply vote against it.
"I don’t have to read it, or know what’s in it. I’m going to oppose it anyways,” he said.
He went on to tell the crowd we are “almost reaching a revolution in this country” due to opposition to health reform. Inhofe is not alone in saying he will vote against any health reform bill. Last week Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) told Fox News that he doesn’t think a “single Republican” will vote for health care reform."
So, this is how our country functions now. A major political party wages an aggressive war to keep their constituents misinformed about basic facts, and the leaders of that party explicitly state that they will not even take the time to read the legislation they're going to vote against. Public opinion is not shaped by facts, but by posturing. The media reports on the scandals and controversy and polls, rarely bothering to examine the base claims that cause the controversy in the first place.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who runs FactCheck.org, speaking on Bill Moyers (whose coverage of health care has been absolutely PHENOMENAL), had this to say (from the transcript):
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON:...But the nature of public opinion it's [sic] expressed in "USA Today" in-- at a front-page piece that appeared on Thursday of this week which says "Protests Tilt Views on Health Care Bill." Now that's reflecting the results of a poll that asked about people's response not to the health care bill but to the protests about the health care bill.
But the headline leads you to think it's about the health care bill itself. And it suggests that public opinion is now shifting dramatically away from the Obama health care reform efforts.
BILL MOYERS: So the protests seem to be making some people more sympathetic to the protesters?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: And potentially the press then picks that up, polls, finds that sympathy, creates a structure that suggests that health care reform initiatives are losing support. Now polls have driven press coverage which says "Obama on the defensive. Obama struggling to explain. Obama trying," when, in fact, the dynamic under that has been created by a news structure that decided to cover this in a certain way, to do polling in a certain way.[emphasis added]
She's absolutely correct. That is how our media works, and it is structurally broken as an institution. The Republican party, not surprisingly, is doing everything in its power to keep people misinformed. The Democrats, also not surprisingly, are selling out the public to insurance and pharmaceutical corporations in a revolting attempt to simultaneously achieve two ends: they don't want to be painted as too liberal, and, most importantly, they want that corporate money. They know that if they alienate the insurance companies, those companies will not only stop giving to the Democrats, but increase campaign funding for Republicans. If you are a Party concerned only with maintaining power, as the Democrats without question are, then this outcome must be fought against at all costs. The result is--again, unsurprisingly--that the public gets fucked.
August has been a month spent reading tea leaves. Within the next few weeks, in theory, Congress will begin to shape a bill that can be examined and critiqued. I, for one, am ready to see some actual legislation.
Until then, here's something to put a smile on your face. Outside my building, I heard some guy on the phone saying, "I want chicken wings, and fries, and make the fries fresh." That dude knew what he wanted and went the fuck for it. We must elect that dude!