My goodness, the attempt to pass a healthcare reform bill is becoming more and more like a third-rate sequel to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Jumping Joe Lieberman is wielding his monkey wrench like a frat boy wields a keg while Senate progressives wring their hands and shed crocodile tears over their inability to do anything about it.
Of the many productions our Corporate Congress has staged for the public, this is one of the more elaborate. It’s a classic example of running in place even as you claim you’re running a marathon.
First, there is the false deadline. “We’ve simply got to get this bill passed by Christmas, no matter how vapid it is. The deadline is arbitrary, put there for dramatic effect.
Then there are the mournful statements from Democrats whining that while they're disappointed that Jumping Joe spiked the Medicare buy-in and the public options, the progressives must put on a happy face and be thankful for the few crumbs their corporate masters allowed to fall from their table, such as:
· The bill will extend coverage to an additional 30 million uninsured individuals, as in forcing them to buy coverage from private companies thus providing a super-sized barrel of pork to private insurers. Fifteen million would remain uninsured.
· Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of a prior condition or cancel coverage because an insured has maxed out his or her benefits. (Expect the private insurers to take that one straight to the Supreme Court—illegal seizure of property, you know. Not nice because the government can’t do that to a person and everyone knows a corporation is a person.)
What is interesting is that after Jumping Joe threw his hissy-fit, not one Democrat senator threw his and threatened to allow a filibuster. The reason is simple enough: regressives are ruthless; progressives aren’t. If progressives were ruthless, they would allow a filibuster to continue right through the Christmas recess and let Lieberman and his Republican cronies face the wrath of their constituents.
Of course, we forget that the last thing the Senate worries about is what their constituents think. This is because the Beltway has become a foreign occupying power, part of a troika that includes Wall Street and the Pentagon.