Friday, September 18, 2009

All That Populist Anger

The anger exploding all over this country isn't populism.  It's hate and fear masquerading as democracy. 

David Brooks's column in the New York Times today disputes this and calls the anti-Obama protests a populist movement.  David's right that there's always been struggle between the haves and the have nots in America.  But he's wrong when he says it's a conflict between "educated urban elites" against those hard working townie people.  The protesters have good reason to be upset but they're channeling their righteous anger in the wrong direction.  There is a huge problem in this country but it wasn't caused by President Obama.

It wasn't Barack Obama who fused the powers of Wall Street and the rich corporations with our government.  That happened a long, long time ago.  It got worse when Reagan called government the problem not the solution and then proceeded to weaken the unions, destroy social welfare programs and cut taxes for the rich.  And got even worse when Clinton and Bush deregulated Wall Street and gave even more tax cuts to the rich.

This is about rich people sucking the life out of poor people.  It's about insurance companies letting people die to make a profit.  It's about Wall Street investors making huge bonuses by playing Russian roulette with our economy.  It's about deregulation and globalization and free market conservatives sending our jobs overseas.  Being rude to the duly elected president of the United States and denying he's a citizen and dressing him as a witch doctor in a protest poster has nothing to do with populism.  It's racism.

These sycophants, like Brooks, and the screaming, scheming blowhards, like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Fox News, who are egging those people on, don't speak for ordinary, hardworking people.  They represent the very corporations and money interests destroying the middle class and turning America into a third world nation.

If this is a populist movement, I guess, this time, I'd rather not be one of the people.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Joe Wilson Already Receives Government Healthcare

I hate to give more publicity to the disrespectful moron who called the president a liar the other night, but I was outraged when I read this, although with people like this, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

As a retired National Guard colonel, Congressman Joe Wilson from South Carolina receives TRICARE, a government health care program provided to active and retired servicemen and women and their dependents and paid for by the Department of Defense.

Here's what good old Joe said according to Newsweek:

"As a 31-year Army Guard and Reserve veteran, I know the importance of TRICARE," he said in a press release. "The number of individuals who choose to enroll in TRICARE continues to rise because TRICARE is a low cost, comprehensive health plan that is portable and available in some form world-wide." He went on to call TRICARE "world class health care," concluding on a personal note. "I am grateful to have four sons now serving in the military, and I know that their families appreciate the availability of TRICARE," he said.
Government health care is fine for himself and his four sons but not for the rest of us.  I'm so sick of this kind of hypocrisy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Obama's School Message Scrambles the Right Wing

The noise coming from the extreme nutball right over President Obama's message to school children really got on my nerves.  Is there no place these blowbag radio and TV talk show hosts won't go, no American institution they won't stoop to attack?

Using school kids like that?  Really?

Fox News reports that the Democrats did it too.  (The Democrats did it too!  Ha ha!)  It's true that when George H.W. Bush, the father, announced a similar speech, the Democrats accused him of using government money to play politics and improve his image.  The difference is that in 1991 there were no calls to keep kids out of school.  No overwrought parents calling the principal because they feared the president of the United States would use their precious darlings for some kind of zombie mind control.

Both sides are more than capable of following a political agenda.  What's unforgivable is when teachers and principals are suddenly thrust into a game of partisan tug a war over the kids. 

What kind of sick mixed message are these parents sending their kids?  The president wants to tell them to stay in school and they turn it into a skit from the Colbert Report.   What happened to respect for the office, if not for the man? 

Even former first lady, Laura Bush defended the president, which I thought was pretty classy, and kind of cool.  

If you missed the speech, because you were at recess or something, you can read the full text of it here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nutballs and Hope

The health care debate rages on. It seems that President Obama is getting ready to sell us down the river when he gives his health care speech next Wednesday. If he decides to jettison the Public Option, it will be a betrayal of the worst kind. I really believe that without some kind of government-backed plan, the reform we're hoping for will not happen.

How did all this get out of hand? The president started out so well, with support from Congress, public opinion far in his favor, and a fair wind blowing in his sails. Then the sweltering heat of August hit and it all seemed to go down the tubes.

I cringe watching these awful town hall meetings. When was America taken over by rude, ill-informed, mean-spirited, selfish people? How in the world are we going to take it back?

If President Obama turns against us and sides with the lobbyists, the corporations and the crazy nutballs screaming for him keep his government hands off their Medicare, I don't have a lot of hope for the rest of his presidency. And up until this point, hope was all we had.