Here's what I care about: that the 72 percent of us Americans who want a public option on health care -- so that we can stick it to the insurance companies, who have been sticking it to us -- be heard so we see prices fall. Here's what I don't care about: President Obama having a beer with a member of the Harvard elite and a "respect-my-uniform" cop from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here's what I care about: that I don't go bankrupt trying to pay for health insurance as a self-employed American. Here's what I don't care about: the moron Republicans who say that -- contrary to all evidence - our president was not born in the United States.
Is this former lifelong Republican, now an avid Obama supporter, (I quit the Republican Party notwithstanding my background as a former religious right leader, as have all sane Americans after the Republicans became the party of hate, fear, myth, needless war and obstruction) the only American with a rising sense of fury directed against the divided Democrats, who can't get their act together, in spite of a majority in both houses of Congress, and a progressive president sitting in the White House, when it comes to reforming health care?
Who are these people who have so hamstrung our political system that it looks as if a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform our health-care system may be lost?
It's time for a summer of rage, the kind of thing the French are good at. Where are the burning tractor-loads of dung clogging the streets of Washington? It's time to build a few barricades, hurl a few paving stones and generally shut this country down until our health care system is genuinely reformed and that means that the insurance companies lose and we win. If the Democrats we elected can't do better than to effectively cave to the do-nothing, hate-America Republicans and the sell-your-mother insurance industry who will act?
Let's tell the truth: the Republicans are now the party for the insurance companies and against the rest of America. They hate and disdain you and me because we voted for a black man just like they hate our first black American president. They'll do anything (from lying about where he was born to being bribed by the insurance companies) to bring him down. They'll do anything to support their corporate masters, as will the number of so-called moderate Democrats who also seem to be in the pocket of insurers and their so-called think tank's that are telling us that health-care reform is "dangerous."
It is -- to their bank accounts. Republican opponents of health care reform, including Rep. Eric Cantor and Sen. Orrin Hatch, cite the Lewin Group as "proving" health care reform is bad. They don't say that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by the private insurance company UnitedHealth Group. (UnitedHealth settled lawsuits over the quality of its data -- $50 million going to the state of New York and $350 million to the American Medical Association.)
The Republicans are disgusting but the mainstream (and not so mainstream blog media) seem to have gone insane. They are going for BS instead of sticking to the real story: reform! They tell us more and more stories about anything except reforming health care from the White House bear party to the insane Republican "Birthers."
I hope all concerned choke on their post-racial "healing" White House beer bullshit party and that every journalist who covers that stupid, stupid, stupid story (or writes one more word about where the president was born!) gets at least half the plagues the biblical Egyptians suffered. (Yes, I know, race is an issue, so talk about that if you want but not professors with the cushiest of jobs in the most sheltered environment on this planet being discriminated against!)
Speaking of race, Americans are slaves alright, to an insurance and medical industry that has us by the balls, and continues to twist them hard for profit. Mr. President, Congress, and the Media enough BS. Get serious.
Frank Schaeffer is the author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back and the forthcoming Patience With God: Faith For People Who Don't Like Religion (Or Atheism)