"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Monday, August 24, 2009

You're Racist, America, So Get Behind the President

Are you against socialized medicine? Then you're a bigot. A redneck. A close-minded hate-monger. And you're probably racist (or a self-hating uncle tom). You are clearly a sore loser still bitter from last November's election. Get over it and stop using fear tactics to defend the status quo. The Republicans had eight years and they blew it. They have no plan and we have to do something. America voted for change.

There you have it in a nutshell. That's the "eloquent" argument most Democrats make for President Obama's health care reform. You may have noticed that none of these counterpoints have anything to do with health care policy. Republicans are dissecting the 1016 page bill, talking about the details of the legislation, while Democrats are talking about Republicans. Why do you think that is?

The answer is simple. The president and the Democrats are losing the health care debate and probably can't win it. At least not in America. Maybe in Switzerland. But fortunately, here in the states, we have enough informed citizens who are aware of the Constitution and individual rights: most importantly life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So if your policy works against the truths our founders held to be self-evident, as Obama's state control of health care does, it's going to be a tough sell. Hooray for America!

Enter Barack the Magnificent. If the public ain't buying it, better give them a better show. Obama has attempted just that. He's bussed in his union supporters and community organizers to shill for him at overstaged town hall events as far away as Montana. He's pre-selected town hall questions from contributors to his campaign. He's told his paid astroturf protesters to get in the faces of real American protesters, in some cases leading to violence. He's demonized insurance companies and doctors. And he's conducted closed-door negotiations with drug companies, ensuring their support for his legislation by promising not to reduce or negotiate payments they receive from Medicare.

He's got almost all the lobbyists from the AMA to the AARP on his side, not to mention the trial lawyers and unions, and yet he pretends he's fighting against the special interests. Did you ever think you would see the day when liberals would champion the big pharmaceuticals over the will of the people? It's happening under Obama, as Democrats sell out on all the principles their party held sacred under Clinton, from balancing the budget and reducing deficits to defending free speech. Yes, that's right. Protesters are dangerous, radical militants now that it's President Obama and not the Bush administration being protested.

The White House seems to have two strategies when it comes to defending their health care agenda, policies that would easily pass, I might add, if a majority of the public supported them. After all, the Dems easily control Congress. If Democrats in more conservative districts felt that their constituents were behind them, they would jump on the Obama bandwagon. Instead, they are seeing real anger and frustration at a president who hasn't delivered anything close to what he promised during the election - transparency, fiscal responsibility, and bipartisanship. Words. Just words.

These two strategies are the strategies of scoundrels, but we all know what political machine Obama hails from. They are to demonize and ridicule anyone who disagrees with the president and keep the public in the dark on the details of health care reform. One day the Secretary of Health, Kathleen Sebelius, is out there saying a public option isn't necessary, and the next day she is saying she was misquoted. One day the president is out there saying he will sign health care reform without a public option, the next day he is saying it's essential to bend the curve of health costs. One day Medicare is the model for Obamacare, the next day Medicare is the problem that necessitates health care reform. If you are confused at home, that's the intention.

There's a better chance state-controlled health care will gain support if its spoken in broad terms that keep you in the dark on the details of the "state-control" part. There's a better chance it will pass if there is more misinformation than information, so that you're not sure whether anything you've heard is true. The less you know, the less likely you are to oppose it. The less you know, the more it becomes an issue of trust. If you are confused, it must be because the Republicans and right wing "extremists" confused you. That's the strategy.

Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod know this. They know Obama won the election because he effectively convinced America that he is above politics, that he is someone the American people can trust, that he can bring change to all that is broken. These platitudes and slogans still sell better than any of Obama's policies, including health care reform. Obama the Symbol polls better than Obama the Liberal Salesman. So they are doing everything they can to make this a referendum on Obama the Symbol.

That's why Obama smiles and makes the talk-show rounds. He tells wild tales of health care failures and makes pretty promises of hope. Look at the president and his beautiful family. How can you not trust him? Are you going to believe the Republicans, the ones who got us in this mess? Are you a racist? Don't you want to bring the change that Obama wants to bring to health care?

Barack Obama said it's not about him, but believe me. It's all about him. The nitty-gritty details of the legislation are too convoluted and infringe on too many liberties to pass without a celebrity spokesman smiling all the way to the bank. Eliminate Obama from the equation and my guess is support for these reforms sinks to around thirty percent.

This is the future of every policy Obama is going to push as president. Whether it's closing Gitmo, cap-and-trade, state-control of health care, immigration, or reforming social security, expect Axelrod and Emanuel to make every debate about our dear leader. You are either with him or against him, for hope or against hope. And if you're against him you're a greedy, close-minded, hate-mongering, racist. So much for pragmatism.

If the debate is never about the policy or the details of the legislation, then we are no longer living in a democracy. We are living in a banana republic, a cult where charisma matters more than reason. The executive branch is becoming more powerful than ever with a complicit media that has decided to paint dissent as extremism. I ask you, who are the real extremists? Those who want to slow the process down, listen to a plurality of voices, and analyze our best options? Or the ones telling you to stop thinking and do what the president wants now?

If we continue down this path, the rights of the individual will be crushed by the whims of authoritarian hero-worship. The best way to prevent this is to stand up against state-controlled health care right now and make articulate arguments against tyranny. Even if it means being labeled an extremist or a racist.

The race card is the new McCarthyism of the 21st century, the last refuge of a scoundrel. And the scoundrels at the White House are playing it. Hmmm. Maybe Obama was paying attention to Rev. Wright's sermons after all.

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