Monday, March 22, 2010

Conservatives wrong . . . again

It’s always surprising to me that a political party that lavishly embraces creationism always resorts to Darwinism when it comes to caring for the weakest among us.

With conservative Republicans it shouldn’t, I know, and here’s why.

I don’t listen to popular talk radio because I understand it’s the greatest obstacle to clear thinking. I try and stay informed, but when something as massive as Health Care Reform comes along, I am overwhelmed and turn to the one reliable bellwether in an obfuscating world of spin.

I turn to history. And if there’s one thing being a student of history has taught me, it is this:

The most conservative people in the nation have been wrong about every major issue since the movement in America was founded by Benedict Arnold.

That’s why I was so pleased by the passage of Health Care Reform. Because the vitriolic opposition of the most shrill conservatives convinces me that in the very near future, the bill will be deemed such a stunning success that Americans will wonder how we ever did without it for so long.

It happens with wars, with great social issues and with the very founding of the country these alleged patriots contend they revere.

It all started with America’s most notorious traitor, Benedict Arnold. He was the Revolutionary War general who plotted to forfeit the fort at West Point, N.Y., over to the British. He escaped to Britain where he led the conservative Tory movement that believed America should remain under the oppressive thumb of King George.

Beginning a trend that endures through John Kerry and the late Ted Kennedy, conservatives like Arnold despised liberal Massachusetts agitators like Founding Fathers John Adams and John Hancock.

Here’s a handy clip ‘n’ save list of all the things seasoned conservatives have opposed and the ones they thought would make the world a better place:

They thought U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy would have been a fine president; many of them cheered when John F. Kennedy was slain. And I think we all can surmise how many of the most conservative Americans immersed in the Tea Party movement would feel if anything bad befell President Obama.

They're saying the same things about Obamacare as they said about Civil Rights, Social Security, Medicare, and extending the right to vote to women.

The most conservative people in America cheered when South Carolina triggered the Civil War by seceding from the Union. Echoes of those sentiments were recently shouted to thrilled conservatives by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

They were outraged by things like the Emancipation Proclamation, Jackie Robinson playing professional baseball and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

They thought losing Vietnam would trigger a dominate effect of countries falling to communism and sneered when shots fell long-haired war protesters at Kent State.

They led demonstrations to burn records by people like Elvis and the Beatles.

They worked tirelessly to keep Richard Nixon in office and tirelessly to throw Bill Clinton out of it.

They’re outraged that people like Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres are involved in long-term monogamous same-sex relationships, but consider a thrice-married recovering drug addict like Rush Limbaugh a paragon of family values.

They thought the Iraq War was a really swell idea and that those of us who opposed it were sissy traitors afraid of an easy fight.

They thought Sarah Palin was qualified to be John McCain’s veep and that Barack Obama was a Muslim tourist who’d spend his days palling around with terrorists.

Of course, some of these could be fairly considered overwrought generalizations. So I’ll stop here.

Any more overwrought generalizations and somebody might accuse me of being conservative and I wouldn’t want that to happen.


lexcade said...

as always, highly entertaining, chris. and yeah, there's quite a bit of truth in it.

to me, it's so sad that the state of our union is one in which people would haphazardly deny to others what they have enjoyed for so many years. since when was basic healthcare a privilege for the wealthy? shouldn't basic human rights be RIGHTS and not privileges? it's disgusting. all conservatives want to do is keep poor people poor. that's it.

they're also notoriously poor mathematicians, so i can't wait to see how dumb they feel when their doomsday predictions prove false.

Chris Rodell said...

Just saw a poll on The Daily Beast that said 23 percent of Republicans think Obama's the anti-Christ. How do you deal with that kind of rampant lunkheadedness?

And you're right. When did helping the poor become so un-Christian?

I just tried to put a comment up on your blog telling you to hang in there and thanking you for all your encouragement. The dang thing kicked back! But keep fighting the good fight. We can only hope the scars and mistreatment will all be worth it.

Good luck!

Max Power said...

Please tell me why I should HAVE to buy health insurance, would you? If it's such a great idea pehaps you could shed some light?

The Poor already have better (free) insurance than I do since I choose not to "give" five hundred dollars of my hard earned pay to the industry. When I need to go to the doctor I pay cash - wow, what a concept.

Chris Rodell said...

Hi Max,

You have to buy it for the same reason you need to buy it to drive a car. If you wreck or require emergency care, then someone else is going to have to pay for it.

I'm in a stretch right now where I'm without and I'm comfortable without it, too. I'll bet on myself every time and am healthy as a horse.

But if I fall off my ladder while cleaning my gutters someone's going to have to pay for that. That wouldn't be fair, would it?

And, me, I just want to help less fortunates. I'm a rough stretch right now, but I know there are people way worse off than me. My heart breaks for fathers who can't afford insurance for sick children. I don't know what I'd do in that situation.

But maybe that's just me. I'm so liberal I even love conservatives.

Like you!

Thanks for checking in and making a reasonable point.


Max Power said...

Chris - so you see where I'm coming from. First off if people treated health insurance like car insurance we wouldn't be in this mess.

Do you ask your mechanic to bill your insurance company for an Oil Change? To put gas in? No, you use it when there is an accident. The health bill should have been pointed at Major Medical coverage, that I could accept. To fine me because I decline to send 500 dollars a month to a medical insurance company is taking it a little to far.

I'm far from conservative but am just the little guy living in rural America hoping that BO keeps his hands out of my pockets.

I'd love to buy you a beer sometime at the office below your office, however I may not be able to afford it soon.

Please keep up the Great work you do, even if you don't get paid for it.

Chris Rodell said...

It's not going to be easy, Max. I fault Bush for recklessly cutting taxes as we waged two wars. I think that would have stemmed off a lot of today's difficulties.

I certainly do see where you're coming from. In a perfect world, I'd be doing just as you are, handling my own problems and letting others handle their own. But I've seen too many cases where people through no fault of their own are getting screwed by misfortunes that could easily happen to me.

I refrain from writing about politics much because it's so divisive. But I'd do it more if I knew all my readers could engage in a friendly debate the way you have.

You're welcome at my bar anytime you wander over into western Pennsylvania. In the meantime, good luck and fight the urge to be a pessimist. America's overcome many more daunting challenges than this.



Anonymous said...


I enjoyed reading your post, but I have a few questions.

Are you writing out of anger?

I see that you have alot of sweeping generalizations about Conservatives and ne real proof listed for any of it. Post some links to some facts.

I am sure that there are many Conservatives who can call names just like you do.

Are you sure that Conservatives have been on the wrong moral side in nearly every major incident in American history.

Just a little over the top, but it is a blog so I guess anything goes.

This is a battle over the basic tenets of Utilitarianism, which the U.S. Constitution wasn't a big fan of.

Health Care Legislation, in it's current format, will have a hard time passing Constitutional muster. Most notably, the 8th Amendment prohibiting excessive fines and 14th Amendment
involving the "in the market" clause of the Dormant Commerce Clause.

We have both seen the Supreme Court's majority reaction to President Obama's scolding during the State of the Union. Seems to me like Chief Justice Roberts will move this case to the fron of the line.

Chris Rodell said...

I framed it, musicsmith, to be provocative. But the essence of the argument is true. The conservative Republicans were as opposed to Medicare, Social Security and Civil Rights as they were to Obama's health care.

Those are all landmark legislative victories for the American people that are ingrained in our collective conscience as beneficial to everyone.

I don't have the time to research links to all these arguments -- as you note, it is a no-pay blog. But but any knowledge of basic history supports my arguments. So will Wikipedia.

And as I stated earlier, one prominent conservative famously said "Medicare is the end of freedom as we know it." That was Ronald Reagan.

I believe so much of what is firing the Tea Party movement is racism, latent or otherwise. One recent poll said 23 percent of the movement believe Obama is the Anti-Christ. That's stunning.

I encourage you to read former Bush speech writer David Frum's posts. He's making news today for laying out just how badly the Right has misplayed this one. They're trapped by the rabid hostility fanned by Limbaugh, Beck, et al.

I recommend you find a reputable middle of the road news source -- maybe the Christian Science Monitor -- and see what they're take is. Reasonable people are saying this is reasonable and long overdue legislation.

Time will tell. As with the issues I mentioned above, I believe time is on my side.

Thanks for making your points here. I hope you'll stop back when I go back to something silly which will likely be tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

I understand your point of view, but I also think it leads to the type of divisiveness that we hear from the other side about communism and socialism.

This is a socialist program, no one is denying that. So was Medicare and Social Security.

Here is why I don't like government run programs that have no private, relevant competition.

1. When was the last time you had to stand in line at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles? Here in New York, it can be an excruciating experience. Three-and-a-half hours of my time wasted with bogged down bureaucracy. Four different forms to fill out by hand and multiple documents of proof needed. God forbid you forgot a vital piece of information. I mean, we have computers that can do all this stuff, why am I filling out multiple forms, by hand, in the crowded Dept. Motor Vehicles office. Inefficiency at it's worst.

2. Socialized medicine, like Medicare forces decisions about what drugs and procedures are covered. Let me give you an example. My mother has a rare blood disease called ITP that effects her blood platelet count, basically she can bleed to death without proper treatment. She is covered under private insurance and receives transfusions about six times per year. The drugs she uses are terribly expensive, in some instances up to $30,000 per year.

What are her choices when the drug is not approved for Medicare?
Steroids with terrible side effects, that will not work as well, and will cause her body to blow up like a balloon therefore effectively killing her quality of life, and still leaving the possibility of not working.

Can she sue the Government for better treatment?

She has been suing for disability payments under Social Security?
It's been over two years now and her case hasn't been heard.

Government Bureaucracy more times than not, leads to inefficiency.

Show me a Government program that is efficient with my tax dollars.

Seriously, I am open to debate.

I am not a Conservative or Liberal. Progressive or Libertarian. I just believe in common sense.

BTW, health care has always been accessible in the U.S. Lack of accessibility is truly a false argument. Medicaid, Patient's Bill of Rights etc... You take out insurance to keep your property and money when medical catastrophe hits.

Chris Rodell said...

You make some good philosophical points, but the country in a sense already decided our argument in Nov. 2008. It was up to Congress and Obama to follow through on what was then the will of the people and the majority of the people showed with their votes that we want this.

And my essential point stands: conservatives have been wrong before about the biggest issues of our lives.

They'll be wrong about this.

I am very sorry to hear about your mother. I'm sure that's a terrible hardship. It's an absolute outrage that she or anyone has to pay $30,000 a year for any drug.

It sounds like something Barack Obama could relate to. I'm sure you've heard him mentioning his own mother's deadly bout with cancer as motivation.

I do know a lot of mothers are dying because they can't afford the insurance for these drugs. I'm optimistic the changes that are being implemented will change that for all of them.

I hope so.

Anonymous said...

In response,

I do not know anyone who thinks or has said this bill is reasonable. Prominent Democrats have had their arms twisted to vote for this.
Dennis Kucinich didn't think it was reasonable, Howard Dean didn't think it was reasonable. Barack Obama himself, in the campaign, didn't think a health care mandate with penalties was reasonable. Do you remeber his debate with Hillary Clinton when he pointed out the difference between his plan and hers (his didn't have mandates at the time). Look it up. It's easy to find.

Reason does not have anything to do with this, obviously.

A reasonable person would strive for the most efficient process to save the taxpayer money. 2000+ pages of a bill does not seem reasonable to me. I bet we could have Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey write a 20 page bill that would be reasonable and efficient.

I read as many blogs, newspapers and AP stories as I can about the subject.

Health Insurance already exists for the poor, elderly, impoverished families and the medically needy.
A family of two that makes under $15,000 a year is eligible for Medicaid, policies are three months retroactive, so long as you are eligible at the time of treatment.

It is false to say a poor person somewhere is not getting treatment because they can't afford health insurance. It just doesn't exist.

Emergency care is available at every hospital in the United States. It is illegal for them to turn away a sick person in the emergency room. Again, access exists. It is false to say someone dies because of the lack of $$$ to afford treatment. If they have no $$ then they are eligible for Medicare, three months retroactively.

Health Insurance is about protecting $$$.
If you have no $$$, then you don't need insurance, the government will hook you up under current social welfare plans. Simple as that.

Please explain to me if I have it wrong. I have an open mind.

Are you sure you have your facts straight?

Mothers who are dying from disease, die from disease not lack of health care.

It took me five minutes to find all these facts on a government website, and I haven't even started digging.

When you make sweeping, name-calling generalizations, how is that any different than Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh blaming all the Progressives for ruining the country and swinging it towards Socialism?

The reason you haven't shown me an efficient Government program is because they don't exist.

Do your research, stop name calling, become part of the solution, not just another one of the voices of anger and ignorance.

Your post may be entertaining, but so is Glen Beck and Keith Olbermann. That doesn't mean any of it is true.

Hit me with some facts.

Again, I am open to factual debate, not sweeping stereotypical generalizations and talking points.

Chris Rodell said...

Okay, I'll try and be open-minded, too, and let's hope no blood gets shed over this hysteria.

I'm moving on.