Amid all the bizarre antics attached to the recent passage of the healthcare bill, one that was most intriguing was the numerous members of Congress who pounded their fists on their chests as they proclaimed that voting for the bill was “the right thing to do.” Which raises the question, as opposed to what? The wrong thing to do?
Come to think of it, the “wrong thing” is what too often passes for, and is excused as, politics in that circle of hell known as Washington, DC. It seems to have been long forgotten that one is elected to Congress to represent the will of the people, to understand the needs and desires of constituents, and vote in a way that reflects this duty. Instead, we’re now stuck with professional politicians whose first and foremost consideration when they get out of bed each day is making certain they are re-elected (unless, of course, the first consideration is covering up who they’re in bed with). It was, therefore, almost amusing to watch the politicians mug for the camera, ranting about how they had to put aside personal concerns and “do the right thing.” Almost amusing except for the fact that most probably believe that the poor, deluded electorate actually bought it–which too often is indeed the case. Observing the Republican Party’s lock-step opposition (or perhaps goose-stepping is more apt) was both enough to make you laugh and cry. Here we have, unfortunately, a two-party system that has become organizationally dysfunctional simply because it’s impossible for elected officials to put aside politics to consider the wisdom of “doing the right thing.” The opposition to the healthcare bill, which contained many ideas and approaches lifted almost directly from previous Republican efforts, was not about having better ideas, but about winning an ideological battle that would then produce election gains. Never mind the 30 or more million Americans trying to get by without access to healthcare or hard-working employees who can’t get or afford plans because their employers are priced out of the system. Never mind the insurance companies that have been allowed to rape and pillage for years, and have grown fat and powerful enough to do virtually as they please. Even the bill that passed does little to curb the insurance companies, which is a quiet victory for them and worth the millions spent lobbying against the bill.
Of course, this is all socialism, to hear the rants from the right. But, guess what, if an approach that takes a sympathetic view of the situation and attempts to correct it has a little socialism in it, then that’s good (and I hope Rush’s head explodes).