Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thirst for Power. GOP and the Extreme Right

Cross posted at CobaltVa

I find it very disturbing that the GOP has become a simple Get Obama Party. Their seeming willingness to ride the coat tails of the "crazies" back into power would seem at first glance to be political suicide, but they see a path to power. I'm just scanning the blogs this morning and I'm amazed at what is going on back in the home districts.

Here's Congressman Wally Herger of California at a town meeting in Redding, California courtesy of reporter, Paul Boerger:

“Our democracy has never been threatened as much as it is today,”

Rep. Herger is speaking in code. "Democracy is being threatened" because to Rep. Herger and his conservative brethren, democracy is all about preserving business interests, corporate profit, the private sector, and unregulated, laissez-faire free markets. He truly feels that his idea of democracy is being threatened. He's absolutely telling the truth if you can read the code.

“Health care costs have soared, but I will oppose a public option with everything I have.”

Here he acknowledges that health care costs have soared but offers as solutions only that we should let the private insurance companies sort it out. He offered some of his ideas about health care reform, again from Paul Boerger reporter for the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers:

After denouncing the Obama plan to wild cheering, Herger offered a few solutions of his own including opening up competition among private health care companies by forcing companies to sell policies nationwide rather than just within individual states, tort reform to bring down malpractice costs and “risk pools like automobile companies” for those with preexisting conditions who Herger conceded are unable to get coverage. He also suggested “bargaining groups and associations” could help bring down costs.

These "solutions" are free market solutions that must be foisted upon the insurance companies. They haven't done any of these things yet and aren't likely to unless their feet are held to the fire. They are going to be very unwilling to give up their huge profits unless they are forced to. Mr. Herger's precious free market principles are at stake. Would Congressman Herger be willing to use the power of the federal government to force the health care industry to kowtow to his suggestions for reform? How would that sound given his following statement?

“There are things we can do with health care, as long as the government is not running it,”

Would Mr. Herger and his colleagues simply send go to their friends in the health care business and ask nicely that they should make "risk pools" and increase competition among themselves? How has that worked so far? In my reading of the way conservative governance works, it's the other way around. The health care industries go to the Congress critters with cash in hand and ask for what they need in order to increase profits.

The real motives of Mr. Herger became apparent later in the meeting. Forced to be unspecific in his proposals, and refusing to "out" himself as a corporate carpetbagger he turned to the "crazies" in the audience and called on a supporter.

One speaker said he could trace his ancestors back to the Mayflower and said “they did not arrive holding their hands out for help. I am a proud right wing terrorist,” he declared to cheers.

Herger had found his voice. No mention of the issues at hand, no indication of any awareness of what the debate over health care is about, just simple ignorance and fear. No need to explore the Herger's desire to hand over the care of American citizens to profit takers and carpetbaggers. Ignore all that and embrace the "crazies!"

“Amen, God bless you,” Herger said with a broad smile. “There is a great American.”
There's hope for reform. Even with all of this demagoguery going on, at the end of his town meeting Rep. Herger said this:

“They can vote in anything they want, the only thing standing between you and them voting in anything they want is you."

Is this a plea to progressives and liberals to put him out of his misery? It's convoluted, but try and follow this: Mr. Herger and his ilk are hamstrung, tied firmly to the stake of corporate oligarchy. They are completely bought and paid for, they've sold their souls and are pleading for help. The "crazies" are helping them in an inverted sort of way by showing us what America would be like if we didn't jump in and save him. It's as if he knows his ideas are empty and can't or won't do anything to change the status quo.

Personally, I think he simply can't sell his ideology so getting cool with the crazies is the way to go. Keep everyone's eyes on the smoke and ignore what's going on in the boardroom and the lobby. Go talk about crazy and we'll keep on scooping up the cash. Can't change, don't want to change, we're talking the American way here!

Or perhaps it's a dare. "Democrats, put up or shut up. You won the election, now fix this. We're playing our role, now you play yours Dammit!"

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