Posted March 14, 2014on:
Good afternoon Widdershins — I hope you have plans to take advantage of the first vestiges of Spring lurking about. Please enjoy!
A word of caution today — more than a word, several sentences in fact. I’m hunting gnats with an elephant gun today. While I don’t mean to rant, I’m just exasperated. In the following paragraphs, I hope whatever finds its way from my head to my fingers isn’t too negative or off-putting, but “I just gotta say it.” Who knows, maybe you are feeling the same way.
Here we are — a full four freaking years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act and there is no sustainable political narrative holding with the electorate! That is unbelievable to me. Honestly, how can this be?
The most recent NBC/WSJ poll shows the electorate evenly split between total repeal versus keeping and fixing the Affordable Care Act. A 50/50 split after four years and Democrats, with vulnerable Senate seats this cycle, are tepid about even talking about health care for fear of igniting a firestorm. Well, here’s a news flash: Republicans and the paid mouths of the Koch “billopede” are going to be talking about it, or rather lying, with all the eloquence billionaires can buy.
Here’s the deal — Alex Sink should have won the Florida 13th District Special Election over David Jolly, a dyed-in-the-wool Potomac huckster/lobbyist. Alex Sink was the better candidate, she essentially spent as much or more than Jolly, and the Republican powers had given up on Jolly. So what happened?
At first glance, the pundits will say, “Obamacare sunk Sink.” The Koch affiliated billopede ran millions of dollars of the lying ads about the “$716 Billion Medicare” cut in senior citizen heavy Florida, but that is not the reason. The reason Alex Sink lost was turnout. Sink needed 200,000 voters to turn out in the election, but only 180,000 voted. So it wasn’t Obamacare that sunk Sink, it was a lack of voter enthusiasm. The question then becomes: How can a Democratic base be excited and motivated if there is no clarity about the main issue — access to health care.
Hiding from a skunk doesn’t make it smell sweeter. Instead of hiding, what if the message was: Seniors, do you want the donut hole for prescription drugs reopened? Republicans do. Do you want to go back to double-digit increases in health care premiums? Republicans do. Do you want Medicare to be weakened by giveaways to the insurance companies? Republicans do. Do you want to be bankrupt because of a pre-existing illness? Republicans are okay with that. Do you want your insurance cancelled because of lifetime caps? Republicans are okay with that too. Do you want to do absolutely nothing about getting control of health care costs because Republicans don’t?
It is nigh impossible to gin up enthusiasm when the home team’s cheerleaders are afraid of the opposing team —
and that is exactly what is happening. Even in the face of Republican voter suppression efforts, Democrats win when more people vote. It is that simple. What is intergalacticly stupid is to expect voters to be motivated to vote if the Explainers-in-Chief aren’t explaining a simple message that can be understood.
You can bet the Koch billopede is going to be out in force this year. What no one is explaining is that the Kochs have already won. Total inaction is a win for the Brothers Koch and their ilk. Total gridlock is where they like to ride. Through the affiliated groups of the Koch brothers, they are ensuring plenty of pile-ups on the way to the mid-term elections. In the last three months alone, they have spent $1.35 Million against Mary Landrieu.
The Kochs have brilliantly attracted to themselves a bunch of itinerant goat farmers to run their affiliated organizations. These goat herders are poster boys for the term “over employed.” I did a little research on how much some of these “professional Tea Partiers” have been paid and suffice it to say they would have never seen this kind of money if not for the kindness of strangers donating to their seeded organizations.
For instance, Dick Armey got an $8.0 million severance in his divorce from FreedomWorks. The ambulatory mutton-chop who calls himself Matt Kibbe makes $469,897 a year as CEO of FreedomWorks. Tim Phillips double dips from Americans for Prosperity and the AFP Foundation to the tune of $252,918 and $138,691. Sal Russo of the Tea Party Express, through his P.R. firm, raked in $845,000 in 2010. The list goes on and on.
You can bet these people are motivated. Motivated for the best paying jobs they will ever see. Motivated to carve around the edges of the truth in order to foment anger, hate, intolerance, and any other fear based emotion to keep their paychecks and their overlords’ profits rolling.
The message ought to be simple — either we can go back to being at the mercy of insurance companies or doing something about it. The Republicans are happy to send us back to the insurance guillotine and by their silence, the Democrats are complacent and happy to watch.
Malpractice by its very nature is paying for the wrongs of a professional who should have performed better. If the President and the Democrats continue to flirt around the edges of defending the ACA, righting the wrongs of their malpractice will be paid for by all of us.
This is an open thread.
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