I was three pages into this blog (long hand!) when I realized how much I hated this post. I was writing for my other blog, Health Insurance Issues With Dave, but I was tired of facts and statistics. No one wanted to read one more well researched lecture that poked holes in the preconceived notions of Congressmen from both sides of the aisle. It didn’t matter. And the truth is that I found the whole exercise depressing. I tore it up.
It was 10:26 PM, moments before the big vote. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was still talking. Minority Leader John Boehner was the next to the last to speak. As an act of both patriotism and masochism, I had listened to and watched much of the last 10 hours of process and debate. I was on overload.
The Republicans, who adamantly refused to participate, bemoaned the fact that the bill wasn’t a bipartisan effort. The Democrats trotted out a collection of fairy tales and hyperbole that surprised and sickened me. It wasn’t frustrating to be a Democrat. It was frustrating to be an American. It had been that kind of day.
My day began with coffee at the Panera in Solon with two Republicans. Phil is in the army reserve. His issues tend to be centered around military defense and taxation. My friend David, a borderline Libertarian, delights in noting the foibles and failures of every Democrat. If you had overheard our conversation, you might have thought that I was Nancy Pelosi’s neighbor and Eric Massa’s oldest friend. I, in turn, asked David about his good buddy John Ensign. It was all good natured fun until we got to the health care bill.
It isn’t an act. There are a lot of people who really fear President Obama and Speaker Pelosi. They are afraid that our country is going down an irreversible path to ruin. Don’t ridicule them. It isn’t right. How many of us felt the same way about the last administration?
It was easy to mock George W. Bush. I still have my copy of Shrub. It was easy, but it wasn’t productive, unless you consider feeding the base your goal. It was hard to fear W. Dick Chaney? That was a different story. But W, with his broken English and aw shucks mannerisms, was too easy to dismiss. Obama is an entirely different story. Where many of us may have underestimated Bush, the Republicans have overestimated his influence. They built him up so high that he actually succeeded just by showing up. Think about this. After months of benign neglect, Obama got his bill passed this week with a minimum of arm-twisting and an executive order on abortion funding that is more about good faith than law. He couldn’t have done this without the Republicans unwitting help.
My Republican friends, sensing my frustration, have sent engraved invitations to join their party. I can’t. The other side doesn’t look any better.
My problem is that I really do appreciate facts. Any semblance between the vast savings this new health care bill will yield and the WMD in Iraq is strictly coincidental. I’m tired of 1 + 1 = 7. I’m tired of the disingenuous stories told to motivate us to move in directions we, as a country, should not go. I’m tired of the lies. And I’m frustrated with myself that I keep hoping for better from people who can not, and will not, deliver.
This isn’t a Democrat issue or a Republican issue. It is an American issue. We were sold two wars on the cheap. We are being told that we can increase the number of people covered and the type of health care coverage we are all getting, and that it will save us money. NO IT WON’T. And I don’t care, at least not about the money. I care about the lies.
Tell us the truth. We can handle it. At the very least, we can learn to handle the truth. We are going to have to. The US is becoming the confused bank customer, facing a barrage of bounced checks, dumbfounded because there are still checks in our checkbook. How can we be out of money? We still have checks. We refuse to grow up. We have expressed little interest in becoming adults, responsible for our spending.
And so I find myself lost again in the middle, a political orphan, homeless and alone. I am certainly not well represented by my current Congressional delegation. Our state budget, though nowhere near as bad as some, is less than a year away from a major shortfall. I would be hard pressed to name ten politicians I truly admire and respect.
So my question is, “am I truly alone, or are you, too, spitting in the wind?”