Tag Archives: health care reform

Tea Party Hysteria Rooted in Racism

Tea Partiers & Birthers continue to claim their movement is not based on racism.

Tea Partiers & Birthers continue to claim their Tea Party movement is not based on racism, dispute all the evidence to the contrary.

I was going to open this piece with an analogy about the tea party groups and why they’re treated seriously by the press and the Republicans. The analogy would go something like: “Imagine [insert left-wing activist group here] getting a serious profile in a mainstream newspaper, and imagine serious Democratic politicians appearing at their convention.”

The problem is, when I really evaluated what the various far-left activist groups are all about and compared them with the tea party movement, there really wasn’t any equivalency. At all.

Because when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that’s left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there’s no comparative group on the left that’s similarly motivated by bigotry, ignorance and racial hatred.

I hasten to note that I’m taking about real racism, insofar as it’s impossible for the majority race — the 70 percent white majority — to be on the receiving end of racism. That is unless white males, for example, are suddenly an oppressed racial demographic. But judging by the racial composition of, say, the Senate or AM talk radio or the cast members playing the Obamas on SNL, I don’t think white people have anything to worry about.

This isn’t an epiphany by any stretch. From the beginning, with their witch doctor imagery, watermelon agitprop and Curious George effigies, the wingnut right has been dying to blurt out, as Lee Atwater famously said, “nigger, nigger, nigger!”

But they can’t.

Strike that. Correction. TeaParty.org founder Dale Robertson brandished a sign with the (misspelled) word “niggar.” So they’re not even as restrained as the generally unstrung Atwater anymore.

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Palin: I’m Not the Biggest Liar of the Year

Sarah Palin at a recent book signing for "Going Rogue"

Sarah Palin continues to draw negative attention to herself.

There’s an old story that occasionally makes the rounds in Washington. In the 1970s, a magazine (now long defunct) named New Times reported that Sen. William Scott, a Virginia Republican, had been ranked the “dumbest” senator in a survey conducted by a public interest group. Subsequently, Scott held a press conference to deny the charge — thereby proving he was pretty darn dumb. After all, he only called more attention to the accusation.

Sarah Palin has taken a Scott-like position.

Earlier this month, PolitiFact.com, a project of the St. Petersburg Times, awarded Palin the not-so-coveted “lie of the year” award for claiming last summer that President Obama‘s health care reform initiative would set up “death panels” run by bureaucrats who would decide if seniors and disabled citizens “based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society’ ” would be “worthy of health care.” PolitiFact.com explains:

On Aug. 10, PolitiFact rated Palin’s statement Pants on Fire [its highest — or lowest — rating]. In the weeks that followed, health care policy experts on both the right and the left said the euthanasia comparisons were inaccurate. Gail Wilensky, a health adviser to President George H.W. Bush, said the charge was untrue and upsetting.

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Sarah Palin is to Republicans What Joe Lieberman is to Democrats

Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman appear with former Governor Sarah Palin on Septmber 22, 2008 in Media, Penn.

Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman appeared with former Governor Sarah Palin on Septmber 22, 2008 in Media, Pennsylvania.

Senator Joe Lieberman was on Fox News Sunday this week speaking on the Ft. Hood tragedy proclaiming his committee was going to “investigate” what he believes is “the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11.” So, instead of what would usually and regretfully be called a “fragging” or “friendly fire” or some other euphemism, Lieberman used the Republican Party line to define our two wars as Holy Wars. Any act by a Muslim is a terrorist act. We are in a crusade against evil. Therefore Muslims are evil. We’re good, they’re bad.

Then the Senator from the great state of Connecticut is asked about the Health Care Reform bill. Lieberman brushes up against yet another GOP talking point and says, “The public option plan is unnecessary. It has been put forward, I’m convinced, by people who really want the government to take over all of health insurance.” Government takeover of health care. Raise taxes. More debt. You lie.

As I was watching the interview, I thought to myself, ”Wow this schmuck came dangerously close to being one heartbeat away from the presidency.”

Then it occurred to me: Joe Lieberman is the Left’s Sarah Palin.

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The Inevitability Of An American Single-Payer Health System

Supporters of President Obama's push to overhaul health care rallied September 7, 2009 on Boston Common.

Supporters of President Obama's push to overhaul health care rallied September 7, on Boston Common shouting slogans and holding aloft banners demanding "reform now."

Amidst the ideological back and forth that is the health care reform debate of 2009, recent studies reveal a growing reality that each of us can easily understand, no matter what our ideological point of view.

It will not be long until the private health insurance model will no longer work –for anybody.

It’s got nothing to do with public options or single payer advocates just as  it will have nothing to do with those prepared to defend America from socialism at all costs.

The simple fact is that single-payer, government controlled health care is inevitable because the trajectory of the private health insurance system reveals that it is doomed to fail – and sooner than we might realize.

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Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint Should Take Lessons from Ronald Reagan

Judging from conservative rhetoric, the debate over health-care reform is in truth a fight over the future of American democracy and capitalism. Stopping the health-care bill is being described as an essential step toward restoring America to its rightful owners and rightful course.

“Friends, this is a critical battle for the heart and soul of America, and for freedom itself,” Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina told a rally in Washington over the weekend. “Freedom fighters are outnumbered in Congress, but not in America. If you continue to stand up and speak out, we will save freedom in America.”

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, made a more personal contribution to the hysteria. Health care reform would not merely threaten the foundations of America, she warned, it would lead to government-mandated abandonment of our loved ones and family.

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’whether they are worthy of health care,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page. “Such a system is downright evil.”

While that’s some pretty impressive demagoguery, Palin, DeMint and others are mere pikers compared to the master of the genre. To appreciate true genius in explaining how government health care will destroy all that is good and Godly about this country, you can’t do better than the Great Communicator himself, Ronald Reagan.

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Palin Once Favored End-Of-Life Counseling

Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Portland, Oregon's 3rd District, sponsored the end-of-life counseling amendment characterized by conservative politicians as the formation of 'death panels' to euthanize seniors.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Portland, Oregon's 3rd District, sponsored the end-of-life counseling amendment characterized by conservative politicians as the formation of 'death panels' to euthanize seniors.

Portland, Ore. – Health insurance reform continues to grip both chambers of Congress and the Obama administration; it also remains a focal point of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose criticism of Portland’s contribution to the House health reform bill fueled a conservative uprising.

President Obama this week noted that the end-of-life counseling amendment, sponsored by Portland’s U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, had been used by conservatives and a “prominent politician” to spread “cynical and irresponsible” charges. Obama referred to Palin and her claim that the amendment would lead to so-called death panels for senior citizens.

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Palin No Longer Writing Her Own Script

Sarah Palin's ghostwriter working on "death panels" op-ed.

Sarah Palin's ghostwriter working on her "death panels" op-ed.

It’s already been pointed out by several others that Sarah Palin has a new ghostwriter on staff and that she is clearly not the auteur of her most recent scribbles on Facebook and most certainly not the primary author of her op-ed yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.

Yes, the latter continues her unyielding obsession with Barack Obama by trying to upstage his healthcare address to the nation today, but it’s clearly the work of someone who can write cohesively and thinks in a linear fashion. The piece doesn’t even sound like Palin. Tina Fey this isn’t. Hopefully Palin’s memoirs capture some of her peculiar dexterity with the English language. (A genius like Mark Twain might have pulled it off, but rumor has it that he’s not around any more.)

Trying to pass off Palin as a policy wonk on national health care issues is simply going a bit far. This dog simply will not hunt.

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