Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mutually Assured Distraction

Look, Lieberputz is indisputably a soulless, ratfucking bottom-feeder, a toady's toady whose own career (and his wife's) is squarely in the pocket of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. It is in his family's vested interest to do whatever his corporate owners need him to do in order to ensure that they continue to make obscene profits at the expense of everyone's health and financial stability. This is an empirical fact.

The Democrats get an awful lot of mileage out of pretending to care. You think Lieberman cares about anything but himself? He barely even pretends to give half a shit anymore. This is situational ethics, son. Fuck your health-care crisis. Did he stutter?

So. We have a person whose popularity 'mongst Democrats and their ilk hovers somewhere around that of Richard Nixon or Richard Cheney. His popularity on the other side of the fence exists only in his capacity to obstruct and frustrate any timid semblance of decency the Democrats happen to toddle out from time to time in order to keep up appearances. Polls consistently show a substantial margin of favor for health-care reform in general, and the public option in particular.

Yet Lieberman keeps his committee seats, and continues to caucus with Democrats, and has yet to face a single repercussion for behavior which would have gotten him drummed out of the Republican party long ago. The big threat here is that he might join some potential Republitard filibuster, along with the usual corporate shills like Baucus, Landrieu, Bayh, etc. So what? Let them filibuster; make them go to the trouble. I mean, big fucking deal -- the key to being an effective grifter is to say as little as possible; forcing these assholes to speak at length and somewhat extemporaneously is not what they really want to do. Yet the bluff is never called, they don't even try.

A party that was serious about what it set out to do could and would very easily disempower a floater like Lieberman. The fact that they consistently refuse to do so points to the value he adds for the Democrats as a convenient receptacle for their faux shock and outrage. It absolves them from actually having to do anything. Remember, Barry O campaigned to help Lieberman retain that seat -- you know, over the actual Democratic Party candidate. No good deed goes unpunished and all. But then, this is all just an elaborate good-cop/bad-cop game the parties play.

Eventually some bullshit compromise will be worked and trotted out to the particpants' own fanfare, but at no point in this entire process would it have made any significant difference, because all the proposed options address only where the money comes from, not why things cost as much as they do, which is obviously the real problem. The economy of scale of the public option would knock premium rates down, which of course is why the insurance companies will never allow it as such.

But the sheer cost of services, and the clear incentives the service providers have to avoid providing the services they have already been paid for, none of that will change. It was never even up for debate. Only the source of payment will change; instead of workers hoping like hell to hang on to a job that has a halfway decent insurance plan, it'll all just come out of the front end of everyone's paycheck. But insurance company CEOs will still bank eight-figure salaries and bonuses, and keep Joe and Hadassah Lieberman on the payroll. This is the captive market they've been praying for.

I suppose at some point some of the folks who actually are catastrophically affected by the actions of these people might take commensurate action, but hell, so far, they can't even get it together enough to turn this guy out of office. Don't hold your breath waiting around for Hopenchange to fix it -- you can't afford the emergency room visit.

1 comment:

Grace Nearing said...

Yeah, Joe and Hadassah Lieberman have a cozy deal going there. And in America, it's perfectly sane, legal, respectable, acceptable that Joe could screw over 35 to 45 million uninsured people with just his considered opinion and the twitch of his jowl.

On the other hand, however, the cable newsers are having a full-tilt moral bitchfest about Hamid Karzai's brother's hobby of pressing poppies in his keepsake scrapbook while getting an allowance from the CIA... something unlikely to have as immediate an impact on 35 to 45 million Americans as Joe Lieberman's considered and completely disinterested opinion about healthcare reform.