The glee with which the GOP is greeting the end of any access too health insurance for millions of the working poor, even as they propose nothing in its stead to help them or to restrain soaring costs for everyone else, is instructive. This really is a game to them. But to the sincere progressives who backed this moderate bill as the best they could get, this is, simply, tragic. And to those of us who wanted politics to become something more than a game, given the accelerating decline of this country on all fronts, it's a body blow.
The whole post is worth reading.
I don't think I've ever been more ashamed and embarrassed by the political system in this country. On both sides of the aisle. The GOP is playing games with peoples' lives, while the Democrats sit in a corner and cry. Give me a break. I lost a lot of respect for Barney Frank today. I didn't start with much respect for others on the hill, but now I'm just disgusted.
I spent months knocking on doors to build support for health care reform, along with thousands of others. I wanted a strong public option, but was willing to take the bill we got. Now the Democrats are just throwing in the towel. The entire process has been spent giving in to the GOP, and this is the final nail in the coffin.
There are two reasons to hold out a sliver of hope. Only a sliver.
One: Nancy Pelosi is very very good at her job. She's a Democrat with a spine, which seems to be a rare species. I have far more confidence in her vote-whipping abilities than Harry Reid's.
Two: Barack Obama. He's still more popular, by far, than either party in Congress. He's the best thing the Dems have going for them. This is when we see what Obama is really made of. During the campaign, every time he hit a stumbling block, he took a chance and made it work. It's time to see that Obama again. If he rolls over now, it sets a precedent and nothing will get done in the next year, and Dems will get slaughtered in 2010, and probably in 2012.
UPDATE: Barney Frank seems to have walked back his comments a bit. Perhaps he had one too many glasses of scotch while watching the results come in last night and was a bit down in the dumps.