The International Writers Magazine: US Politics
Calling a Spade a Shovel
At least we have one person in the U.S. who is not afraid to confront mass idiotism. Sorry to say it, but when the Daily Kos wing of the Democratic Party threatened to start running ads against the health insurance bill because it didn’t go far enough to suit them, Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel called them a bunch of “retards”.
This succinct appraisal of that gang of humorless, pedantic drips is just what they deserved. They earned it. I sympathize with them: there’s no work right now. But maybe they should kick back and watch some old Three Stooges videos where they might identify some shared characteristics, and the time spent there would at least give the rest of us a temporary respite from their relentless barrage of witless moralisms. http://www.dailykos.com/
Did you ever try to read Daily Kos? It’s stultifying. We got rid of Republican sophistry, half-truths and outright lies, and now we are stuck with hair-splitting, dysfunctional pedantry. Emanuel was entirely accurate in labelling them “retards”. The clock on health insurance reform was running out. The Republicans were playing for time, and the old judicial doctrine dictates “justice delayed is justice denied”. Finally the clock ran out, and where do we stand now?
I decided to review articles on medical billing that I was able to find on Google and other search engines, and what I saw sickened me as I examined narrations that recounted a scenario of insurance companies denying claims and jerking around the patients and the medical practioners treating them.
It’s a sordid mess. There is constant arguing between health providers and insurance companies on every billing issue. The patient is getting stuck with the difference, which is not insignificant. I saw an appeal from a physician who wanted to be paid $75,000 for treating a sick patient. The insurer kicked it back to him with instructions to charge $68,000 to the patient. What kind of insurance forces you to layout $68 grand out of pocket? The insurance lobby is always pointing out examples of countries where people are forced to pay cash bribes for medical treatment, but what is the difference in extorting money after the fact instead of in advance? This ain’t no Cadillac plan, more like a Toyota, where it runs you over the cliff. Recently I saw an instance of bill collectors harassing an indigent old woman for a $700 dollar debt relating to hematology testing.
And these are the lucky ones, the ones who have health insurance. The rest of us really suck wind. Got a brain tumor or a broken arm and no insurance? Nobody will even look at you. Right now health care is eating up 17% of the American economy, as opposed to 6% in the UK, where everybody is covered 100%. Where’s all the money going? You figure it out. As Frank Zappa once sang:
She got my balls in a vice but she left the dick
It still works OK but it shoots too quick
Compare this with normal countries that have medical insurance. In those countries you go to the doctor, he schedules you for a procedure and you have the procedure. End of story. Every single step is anticipated and completely covered by the comprehensive plan, and no out of pocket expenses for the patient. Everybody is covered. Nobody has to declare bankruptcy or put their house into foreclosure if something bad happens. The cost is spread around to the various sectors of society.
So, we were one vote away from putting a muzzle on these insurance companies. Whatever faults the legislation might have in not going far enough, it was still a tremendous, promising start toward extending medical care and starting to impose rationality on the chaos. The legislation seemed so imminent that Republicans were openly praying for Virginia senator Byrd, who is 92, to get sick so he wouldn’t be able to vote. But the Democrats themselves were stalling on bringing the bill up for a final vote, behaving like a bunch of rabbis who are arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Obama deserves the blame for allowing the Massachusetts election to develop into such a disaster. With so much at stake, he should have been micromanaging that election down to the last paper clip. How he could ever have left the Democratic nomination to that empty suit, Martha Coakley is beyond my comprehension. Politics is relentlessly revealing itself to be a sandbox for witless, mediocre amateurs. This Coakley woman decided to take a little 6-day Christmas break from campaigning with less than four weeks to go before the election. Did Obama ever call her from the White House to suggest that she quit stuffing her face and get out and shake some hands? Oooooh nooooo! Obama was all tied up with the underpants bomber hearings and useless freakin’ Bernanke. Coakley was so witless, she didn’t even know who Curt Schilling was, in a state which is defined by its rabid sports fans. Martha Schmuck-ley, I calls her.
So, Massachusetts was getting all mobilized to vote for male Barbie Doll action figure Todd Brown. More phony than Todd Brown is not possible, but in a world of “American Idol” (Brown’s kid appeared on that same show) more bullshit is better. Todd Brown is an attorney who drives a pickup truck. I’m sure he has the work boots to go along with it. What’s he gonna do, drive around in the pickup wearing Gucci loafers? Right on, a pickup and work boots for a freakin attorney who never did a job of work in his life! The electorate ate it up because it was so exquisitely phony, just like the voters are! Sorry, but I'm not buying into the inherent nobility of the public.
Where was big-shot Chicago sharpie Rahm Emanuel during all this Massachusetts Brady Bunch sitcom? Was he living in a hotel in Boston and orchestrating a big election victory, like an ace political operative should be doing in the midst of a tectonic battle to reform health care? No, he was down in Washington, calling the left wing of his own party a bunch of retards. Not exactly Emanuel’s finest hour. Maybe he should consider resigning.
Leave it up to Sarah Palin to put on a show of outraged decency at the retard remark. She has a child with Downs syndrome. Of course, that never prevented her from using the kid as a campaign prop in the last election, staging a campaign photo shoot of her husband taking the child on the merry-go-round in Central Park for the benefit of Post photographers. In the photo, the husband is propping the kid up on a wooden horse, the expression on her face is telling you that frankly she’d rather be in Philadelphia.
I don’t doubt for a minute that the Republicans are objecting to Emanuel’s characterization of retards. The Republican Party is the nation’s largest organized group of retards. They are presently its largest representation of retardation, having regressed to the level of little 3 year old kids, stomping their feet and throwing fits. This Sarah Palin is Exhibit One, for throwing a fit and firing the Alaska State Police chief when he refused to throw her ex brother-in-law off the force. She then went on to resign the governorship because it was too much work.
Now the word “retard” is off-limits. As George Orwell illustrated in “1984”, who controls language controls reality. Now that two-thirds of the population is obese, you can’t call anybody fat anymore, but they still are. Now it’s referred to as a disability:
“Your honor, I have an addiction to Snickers bars and unlimited pancake breakfasts at IHOP”.
“I’m sentencing you to rehab”.
What’s next? Is Conan O’Brien going to call Jay Leno an asshole, and two days later receive a letter from the Proctology Association objecting to his characterization and defending the anus as “a noble and honorable aspect of the anatomy”?
© Dean Borok Feb 6th 2010