Monday, February 08, 2010

The Real Conspiracy No One Talks About

I won’t write about Sarah Palin anymore. I made the decision a few months back here at Random Thoughts. These latest allegations of how she may have abused her elected position by having her husband inserted into administrative roles nor the allocations of special flights for her family members will not do anything to further lower my estimation of her, -anymore than it could disappoint her followers. They’ve bought in; I have “opted out” from the moment of her selection as John McCain’s running mate in 2008. Sarah Palin was a short-sighted GOP ploy to get at disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters to vote Republican. It didn’t work.
The woman quit her elected office, that’s all anyone needs to know.
Sarah Palin’s importance is directly proportionate to the extent to which she is utilized to sabotage legitimate debate. A bright light needs to be shone on the wealthy power brokers interested in her continuing centrality in the minds of working class Americans angry about all the things they cannot bring themselves to blame the GOP for directly. Ultimately, it’s a job for legitimate journalists.

Moving on.

I’m of the mind now more than ever that no reform, no meaningful lawmaking that protects the lives of citizens and enables their pursuit of happiness is possible without the outlawing of lobbying in Washington DC. This is no radical idea: Remember that the nation’s capitol was moved to its present location (a swamp at the time) to get it away from business interests looking to corrupt its purpose.

Tort reform is a despicable ruse. It is the most dangerous thing the Republican Party has tried to push since their overall blanket attack on regulation as a concept for the last couple of decades.
To hear lobbyists, trade associations and lawyers tell it, -the runaway costs and problems of the Healthcare industry are a direct result of greedy little Americans suing their doctors and providers. To hear lobbyists tell it, -one would think that there was no such thing as a legitimate lawsuit. Read all the communications from Healthcare lobbyists and you would think the Healthcare industry wasn’t posting rising profits year after year after year. You’d think in fact that they were in need of defense from the very Americans and businesses that they overcharge and then fleece with technicalities and rescission.

Proposing Tort reform and opposing the Public option or Single-Payer proposals for medical coverage is no different than the Healthcare industry insisting that it be allowed to operate as a mafia; in unbridled collusion with all of its supposed competitors against the people, and not ever to be held responsible for the quality of service it provides.

The Healthcare industry is growing and profiting off of human misery. Enabling the Healthcare industry to operate with less regulation, without the threat of court action will not lower costs, it will raise them. Anybody who opposes this administration or any of their representatives’ efforts at Healthcare reform to the extent that they will protect the interests of a for-profit industry is a sucker.

The Healthcare reform battle is one aspect of a long-running civil war going on in America; the haves are never satisfied with just how bad the have-nots have it. The haves cannot abide have-nots at all. They’d prefer America be populated with generations of have-nones. The interesting question is: just how did the haves convince so many have-nots to defend, fight and yell for them at all those town halls in 2009? How were so many people convinced that reigning in the Healthcare industry and getting coverage for everyone was somehow un-American? How did such a basic right, -a right to health and medicine, come to be ascribed to “Socialism” when so many Senior citizens already have that right?

This question, this puzzle of how Americans are convinced to act against their own best interests first arose in our costliest war, waged in the 19th century within our own borders. Why did so many indigent poor southerners fight a war on behalf of wealthy slave owners? The system of slavery was invariably responsible for their joblessness at the time, much as the mistreatment and exploitation of underemployed immigrants wrecks the fortunes of working class Americans today: -but if you dare to suggest that everyone be paid the same minimum wage the world over, you’ll be attacked from all sides with a reflexive ignorance.

Think about it. -If we pay everyone the same minimum wage, there will be less to no incentive to hire illegal immigrants; Americans might take those jobs. But no one gets angry at our abusively hierarchical economy and the businesses, manufacturers, and farming operations forced to work within it by the lowballing, colluding corporations that they often supply as vendors. There are entire swathes of American industry that won’t hire any workers at a living wage, and American citizens instead turn and blame the “illegals” themselves, as if they set their own wages. Let’s not kid ourselves, when corporations and industry can’t exploit “illegals” who will come to America, said Industry will go overseas for the opportunity to pay workers less. This is what free markets really add up to: the sidestepping of regulations and standards that American workers fought to have put into law. This is also what is at the heart of Tort reform: the attempted removal of any consequences for abuse, exploitation or just plain negligence or malpractice on the part of corporations.

How is Healthcare reform deemed oppressive, un-American and “Socialist,” whereas Tort reform is ascribed no negative connotation whatsoever? How are Americans repeatedly convinced that the fortunes of the Wealthy, the concerns of the corporations are their own?

The answers are as ugly as the often self-inflicted inequality we perpetuate when we stand against ourselves in defense of industry’s ever expanding control and power.



Holte Ender said...

The willingness for people to campaign and/or fight against their own self interest is nothing short of mind-boggling. From what I have seen and heard from the TeaBaggers, they would be among the beneficiaries of meaningful Health Care Reform, unless they are all eccentric millionaires.

Jack Jodell said...

I salute you for an absolutely brilliant post. Suzan over at also has an outstanding and thought-rovoking post dealing with this very topic of people voting against their own best interests. Check it out. I found it to be very informative.

SJ said...

@ Holte,
Agreed. I don't expect it to change anytime soon. It really is a kind of denial almost worthy of a Eugene O'Neil play or something.

SJ said...

thanks for the link, Lazer's Edge over at Mad Mike's America also posted and excellent slice of life look at the phenomenon.

TRUTH 101 said...

These jokers will appeal to any base human emotion they have to in order to keep people from seeing through their bullsh!t.
I could go on but my comment would end up longer than your post.

SJ said...

I know what you mean. I battled to keep this simple, -unsure if I succeeded.

Oso said...

"as if they set their own wages".

That's a new line for my "bag of tricks for talking to teabaggers".

Very,very good post man. You're probably familiar with Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas". He touches on much of what you've written and includes the interweaving of Christian fundamentalism with the factors which suppress wages and spread inequality.

SJ said...

I know the title, but never read it, I'll check that out.

Blaming the dispossessed in the middle of a country's conflicts is an old tradition. What separates the citizens from the tools is the willingness to look for the cause of a problem no matter where it leads, no matter how ugly the answer. The Tea Baggers are tools. They will be used by the GOP as soon as the Republicans can figure out the exact terms on which to win their loyalty, and then they will be lied to. It has to play out that way because the Tea Baggers are misinformed angry mobs who don't want change, they just want to be happy again, even if that happiness is founded on lies.
We've moved past the America that Tancredo wants: we left it behind in the 1950s and 60s and good for us.

Beach Bum said...

I've tried to be a moderate person taking into consideration the more reasonable concerns of those on the right.

The trouble is all I seem to get from 98% of them is reiteration of mindless talking points that only serve the rich and powerful at their expense.

Simply put I don't believe much of anything can be done now. I hate to sound fatalistic the government is no longer just owned by the rich and powerful but completely dominated by them.

And laying blame where I think it need to be put some of this falls on President Obama. I believe he left far too much of the structure of the health care bill to the democratic leadership and wasn't willing to play hardball with the people in his party when they got in the way. Early on he had enough political capital to tell those like Lieberman that if you defied me I would so everything in my power to see you defeated in the next election.

I'm afraid part of leadership is knowing when to cut the balls off those that are supposedly on your side.

SJ said...

@Beach Bum,
I've talked with Mycue23 about this, and he very astutely brought up the process of "reconciliation" to get Helathcare reform passed as well as other legislation. As I'm sure you know this is a somwehat arcane process and extremely divisive long term (more unpopular than filibustering), but what's more divisive than what the GOP is currently pretending?
If enough of the Democrats are serious about reform, (which I'm not sure they are,) they can pare down Healthcare reform to its nastiest most progressive consumer protective bits: the sweeping changes that don't require funding such as outlawing rescission, outlawing previous condition rejections, outlawing coverage caps and on and on. Regulate Healthcare the way transportation is regulated, and the obstructionists wouldn't be able to do shit about it.
The GOP should be very fearful of this, it's what they did when they had majorities throughout the 1990s.

Oso said...

you are one profound Dodger-lovin' MF bro.You did it again, a perfect line-teabaggers don't want change,they just want to be happy again.
It hadn't completely clicked till I read that.Yeah.That sums it all up right there.

Manifesto Joe said...

Chickens for Colonel Sanders! Harlan's my man, cluck cluck cluck.

It's amazing how this opposition by people to their own interests can happen, and yet it sometimes makes "perfect sense." Well, something like that.

My grandfather was what could be described as a yellow-dog Republican. That wasn't popular in the Texas of his day, and I suppose that made him all the more obstinate. But he had no idea what was behind this. As a student of history, I found out, long after his death.

He was born and raised in the southern Appalachian region, in far western North Carolina, near the Tennessee border. That area, and far eastern Tennessee, was an oddly Republican enclave in the South going back to the Civil War. Why?

These were hard-core mountain folk who hated the rich bottom-land cotton and tobacco plantation owners, who happened to be slave masters and Democrats. That area became astonishingly Republican and abolitionist in the 1860s, and Lincoln's pick for VP in 1864, Andrew Johnson (later an impeached president), was a former Democrat from the region.

Unfortunately, a lot of people like my grandfather forgot, over generations, why their forebears had become rebel Republicans in the first place. It was a reform party at its inception, and had absolutely nothing to do with the likes of Barry Goldwater when my grandfather was voting for him a century later, in 1964.

Oh well -- just a bit of history, since you refer to the U.S. Civil War.

SJ said...

thanks. It's too bad too many of us will trade what feels good to them for is good for them.

SJ said...

@Manifesto Joe,
-and don't forget "Roaches for Raid!!!"

Your perspective is spot on MJ. The personal examples of how the shifts in these parties are manifest in your own family only speak to the point with more authority.
The Republicans were a reform party as you very astutely point out here and that you have before on your blog.
...In the 1960s the GOP decided they would reach out to the fearful, those alienated, in a part of the population that the Democratic party at the time felt it should ignore if they were going to enact real social change and complete the process of making civil rights for all a reality.

Meghan McCain, bless her soul had some choice words for that fearful, alienated population, -the Tea Baggers who want nothing to do with an America that has voted in a Black president.
The GOP is making the same mistake it made in the 1960s all over again.

MadMike said...

SJ I made that same promise over a year ago, you know the one about not writing about The Palin. I also made it about 6 months ago, after I broke my first promise. Then I made it as a New Year's Resolution. I am jonesing....It is almost as bad as when I quit smoking several years ago. Great post here.