How does it feel to live in a nation that is controlled by a small radical, religious minority? Welcome to California ladies and gentlemen. We can’t govern in this state because a super majority is required to do anything important. So a small radical conservative minority controls everything. And now the same effect is occurring in our national government because a minority of Democrats (Republicans just vote no) demands their pound of flesh. So every important piece of legislation has to accommodate this small minority and that legislation becomes so watered down, it loses its original purpose.
Look at health care. Since the Republicans aren’t playing, this has to be carried on the backs of Democrats. The real meat of health care reform is access to a public option. All of the rest is certainly noble, but without real cost control of a public option, this bill will not be able to control the spiraling cost of private health care insurance and will ultimately fail. So what does the small minority demand? Gut the public option. Oh we will let you have it, but at such a small sliver it will be ineffective to control costs. Did I forget the opt-out option? You don’t have to play if you don’t want too. Both of these pieces of the health care reform demanded by the minority are designed to gut health care reform and leave the private insurance companies in the drivers seat.
Oh but it gets better. Evangelicals and Catholics in the House with behind the scenes help from Republicans in both Houses, decided that they could legislate their religious beliefs by crafting a “compromise” that prevents health insurance from covering abortion. The effect of this language is to make abortion throughout the nation unreimburesable and therefore inaccessible to most even if it results from rape, incest, or is a medical necessity. We already have the Hyde Amendment which is bad enough, that prohibits public funds from being used for abortions, but this goes way further to say if you receive any federal funds, you can’t perform them. That is way different. It basically says that no insurance company in this country can offer insurance for abortion. This even applies to the public option which is totally funded by premiums.
Now think about this a minute. Here truly is a religious belief, that life begins at conception, being codified into federal law. Second it puts the government in the driver’s seat to decide what medical procedures are appropriate. For those conservatives who are afraid of big government, apparently they only fear it if they don’t agree with it. But if it is accordance with their religious beliefs, then government should force it on the rest of us.
So the state of the state is getting worse and worse. The majority can see the way forward, but what they want is negated by a minority because we have instituted minority rule in our Congress. Then of course we have the God syndrome best evidenced by Joe Lieberman when, this weekend on FOX noise, he explained that he would have to block (read filibuster) health care reform if it contains a public option. He said he could not in good conscience allow a program to go forward that would bankrupt our children. Two problems here with this thinking: The Congressional Budget Office says it will save money and he is playing God. Americans want a public option but he is so important he has decided to decide for us. Another good American who has no understanding of Democracy and has let his ego grow to unbounded proportions.
I would be the first to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. So we don’t legislate laws that say you must have an abortion. That would be tyranny of the majority. But when the minority forces its views on the rest of us, Democracy no longer works.
So what does all this bode? No real reform for years to come. If people were awake they would understand that if we want to really have change and move forward, the makeup of the House and Senate must change. And in the next election that probably will happen, but if the jobless rate doesn’t get better, that makeup may shift to those who are holding us back. I can’t wait to see what they do with the Climate Bill. Have a nice day.