Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Care Summit

While editing photos at work, I had the live CNN video feed in the background. I was listening to the political event of the week, the White House's televised Health Care Summit w/ Congress.
I'm a political geek so I listened the entire 6 hours while I was working in Photoshop today. Tonight, I've also been listening to the cable news analysis by CNN pundits & Chris Matthews. I even flipped through Fox News to hear opinions biased toward the Republican side. Of course, Fox was concerned with the views of such intellectual luminaries as human weasel Eric Cantor & The Snow Queen, Sarah Palin, complete with her Arctic backdrop visual.

Speaking of politics, I just switched on The Sarah Silverman Program, & she supporting a mayor named 'May Kadoody'. (Get it?)

"May Kadoody, for the children!"


I was interested in the whole thing, even if it was mostly hot air. At least it's hot air being blown on camera, where everyone is on the record. Nobody's mind was going to be drastically changed by this event, but it did do several important things.

First of all, it highlighted the basic difference in health care philosophy between Democrats, who believe medical treatment is more of a human right, vs. Republicans, who believe it is a corporate privilege.

The meeting also showed President Obama is a super-confident policy wonk whose grasp on the legislative details is outshined only by his clear command of his position. I am no Obama worshipper, but I still think he's The Man, especially compared to the relentless disaster that preceded him. Watching him skillfully, intelligently debate the facts & philosophy of very difficult issues, it's hard for me to get into the heads of people who think he's some kind of negative force. There is no really rational basis for anyone to think that a McCain/Palin presidency wouldn't be anything but a total apocalyptic disaster. John McCain's embarassing off-topic ramblings today & his scolding from a rightfully impatient Obama are painful indications how horribly mismanaged McCain's Republican presidency would be in a dreadful alternate reality.

I am under no delusions that a health care reform bill will definitely be passed or that it would be guaranteed to make a visible positive difference. From what I understand about the legislation, though, it seems to address many serious issues on some level. Unfortunately, the GOP are lockstep in being completely opposed to any meaningful progess because otherwise they would be admitting that 'Comrade' Obama and the nefarious 'Demon-crats' are not a tyrannical evil destroying America. Their politically-calculated hostililty toward The Left makes any substantial cooperation difficult, as President Obama has pointed out to them.

All in all, the Republicans are simply in their usual place - on the wrong side of history - and their complaints about cost & deficits are transparently hypocritical. The conservatives would have a point... if they didn't totally tank the economy w/ completely unfunded wars, prescription drug benefit, & tax cuts for the rich. The Dark One, the undying Dick Cheney, even said "Deficits don't matter," Right? The GOP's facetious concern for fiscal responsibility is ridiculous to anyone with their short-term memory intact.

This summit was a good move by Obama to flex his institutional muscle & put the differences between the political philosophies under the spotlight. Any time you put any number of Republican officials into a room with The Mack Daddy, Obama is going to stomp on them like cockroaches trying to scuttle from the sunlight. I think it's great, because the right wing has had the entire previous decade to terrorize America, so now it's the progressives' turn to forcefully pursue their ideological agenda. Obama needs to continually be the fearless leader of that effort.

The Daily Show of course had a look at the Health Care Summit that was very good:

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