Thursday, March 18, 2010

The smartest think I've read on Health Care "reform" is at FireDogLake

Srlsy. Obama is causing the Democratic party to fracture, and Jane Hamsher lays out why:
The claims made by the administration about the virtues of the health care bill are outright fabrications. As Marcy Wheeler has documented in her post entitled “Health Care and the Road to Neofeudalism,” it does not control either insurance premiums or health care costs. Forcing 31 million people to buy a product they don’t want and can’t afford to use does not constitute health care reform. Once again, the poor get used as human shields so corporations can be the beneficiaries of massive government bailout.
Yup. She then gets to the heart of the matter:
Rather than actually helping the poor, this bill is a dangerous and unprecedented step on the road to domination of government by private corporate players who use it to suppress competition and secure their profits — the textbook definition of fascism.
You could quibble about that definition, but there's no doubt that classical fascism and corporatism are very closely linked. Big Business loves Big Government, because it lets them suppress competition that would erode their profit margins. Rather than having to compete on quality, serive, and price, they look to government to reduce or eliminate competition. Government in turn looks to the companies to finance their campaigns, making it hard for political competitors to succeed.

Nice work if you can get it. And Obama's blown his credibility over there:

Cokie Roberts said on This Week that the reason the health care bill is so unpopular is because the public option campaign dragged out its passage for so long. She’s right. By forcing the President and members of Congress to keep passing the public option hot potato and reporting on the corruption, lies and lack of affordability that were the hallmarks of the bill, it allowed the public to measure the gap between what Obama says and what he actually does.

That in itself has value, because without broad awareness of the bad faith with which the President engaged in the health care debate, it was difficult to get people to shake off the pixie dust of the 2008 election and deal with the reality of what progressives are up against.
It's been clear that Obama's goal has been a transformation of the country. What's now gaining traction on the left is that that transformation is about the Big Government/Big Business alliance.
If indeed this bill passes, people across the country will have to start examining the basic assumptions with which we have heretofore approached politics. The thing I have learned above all else in this campaign is that the corporate control of government is much more extensive than I ever imagined, and the tools we have to fight its influence are ineffective.

We need to develop new partners in the fight, because there is tremendous public will to resist and the old ones can’t be trusted. We also need a new language to describe it, because the old “right-left” paradigm is firing past the true opponent.

Amen (emphasis mine). Hamsher and I don't agree on a lot, but there is a common recognition (over there and over here) that the system is rotten, and the little guy is getting screwed.

Obama's fractured his base, in a way that's gone far beyond "blue dogs". This article is so filled with anger as to suggest that he's not going to get them back. Anything he says after this will be viewed as "pixie dust".

Highly, highly recommended.

Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.

1 comment:

wolfwalker said...

I don't understand this post at all, Borepatch. Three reasons:

1) There is no such thing as "classical fascism." The story of fascism begins and ends with Benito Mussolini. Fascism is the system he created in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s: a form of big-government socialism in which business was controlled by government through heavy regulation, and the profit motive was severely frowned on.

Postwar liberal/socialist historians effectively rewrote history to make Fascism sound like a right-wing philosophy when in fact it was, and still is, a left-wing philosophy.

2) Under a true fascist system companies do not run the government. Government runs the companies.

3) According to the very wikipedia article you linked, "corporatism" has a meaning almost opposite to the sense in which you seem to be using it. It does not mean control of the government by corporations. It means something quite different.

So the words you used simply don't fit the context you're using them in. What were you actually trying to say?