Monday, December 21, 2009

Booman: "Call it a Victory"

I don't share Al Giordano's goal of replacing capitalism with something else. It's not that I necessarily disagree with him, it's just not my focus. But I agree with Al about his assessment of the Johnny-Come-Lately anti-corporatist movement in the blogosphere:

Also forgotten in this born-again anti-corporatism is what Alinksy, Gandhi and others have demonstrated: To create and sustain successful political movements and revolutions, you have to turn small triumphs into ever increasing larger ones. If you don’t have victories along the way and call them that, the people lose hope and motivation to back any movement or revolt.And yet that is precisely what the bill-killer tendency (and we will surely see them behave the same incoherent way on future battles: immigration reform will be next) is pushing: This sense that nothing is progress, nothing can be defined as a win, and that winning itself is evil if it doesn’t overturn everything.

I also want to emphasize another major point that Al is making. It's all about the people "down below."

In lieu of any real plan, we are offered “feel good” solutions of lashing out against corporations. Lost in that discourse: the people down below. That is what has defined the health care debate on parts of the blogosphere. It doesn’t matter to some that 30 million people who don’t have any health insurance at all will now have theirs subsidized. To them, if the insurance corporations also benefit from it, then it is a moral “evil” that must be stopped.

Perhaps it is our shared history of on-the-ground political organizing, but Al and I tend to see things the same way. That our government and society are dominated by corporate power is a given. We'd both like to lessen that power, and breaking the backs of the health insurance companies would be a huge victory that we would both celebrate. But that wasn't the battle we just went through. Bernie Sanders recently estimated that his withdrawn single-payer amendment would have had the support of five senators. If you want to know why Hillary Clinton and John Edwards and Barack Obama and Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson didn't propose a single-payer plan, that is why. It would never have won the support of even a sixth of the Democrats in the Senate. Does that mean you don't fight to get access to health care to the forty-some million people who don't currently have it? Of course not.

The Senate just agreed to subsidize health insurance for every American citizen who cannot currently afford it. If you couldn't buy it at any price because of a preexisting condition, you don't have to worry about that anymore. You won't have to worry that high health care costs will ruin you financially. You won't have any reason to put off going to the doctor for a check-up because you are afraid of what they might discover about your health.

We lost the battle to destroy the health insurance industry because no one was really willing to wage it. We lost the battle we did wage, to create a public alternative. But, for the people "down below" we won a giant victory. And, I don't know about you, I couldn't look them in the face and tell them they'll just have to wait...again.

People in dire need don't have time for ideological battles. They need small victories, and that is what this is. We ought to call it that.


Brittanicus said...

Once Health care is reformed or not, President Obama and the Democratic leaders intend to force on us into another Amnesty, or what they like to call IMMIGRATION REFORM at the beginning of 2010. THAT WHAT THEY CALLED THE 1986 IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL (ICRA) THAT WAS NEVER ENFORCED.

The cost of immigration to our society is propagating through the years enormously The most recent estimate places the net cost of post-1969 immigrants at $61 billion in 2000 alone. That is $35 billion from legal immigrants and $26 billion from illegal immigrants) This is--AFTER--immigrants’ contribution in taxes has been subtracted. As outrageous as the cost are now to the unsuspecting taxpayers, the rising tide of immigration will lift it even higher in years to come. Where now illegal immigrants poured into the country, faster than regular immigration numbers. In 2002, the annual net cost of immigration had risen to $66 billion, with no end in sight. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, based on the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, analyzed the cost of immigrants based on their specific use of (means-tested) welfare entitlements (both direct and indirect), and revealed that the total immigrant receipt of benefits in 1996 came to $180 billion.That annual amount has to grown to out-of-control proportions, as the population of legal and illegal immigrants imported to one million new people a year. After these numbers were released, there seem to be an intentional reluctance to offer costs for both legal and illegal immigrant cost to the US taxpayer. Just last year the number of--LEGAL--immigrants ratcheted-up to 3.5 million. JOBLESS AMERICAN WORKERS NEED TO SPEAK OUT. WE NEED TO INSTALL E-VERIFY IN EVERY COMPANY THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. IT WILL GUARANTEE THE REMOVAL OF EVERY UNAUTHORIZED WORKER, ACCEPT A LIMITED NUMBER OF PERSONS USING FAMILY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION. SOME WILL GET A POSITIVE VERIFICATION, BUT NEW UPGRADES AND INNOVATIONS TO THE SYSTEM, WILL CATCH ILLEGAL FOREIGN LABOR IN THE FUTURE.

Whereas the administration keeps imposing millions of poor, uneducated people into America, because of poor national enforcement of which the majority of foreign nationals become public charges. Just before Obama signs new Immigration reform, taxpayers better realize that there are expectations from millions of more destitute people just waiting to slip across our undermanned borders and past airport control If there was a time to call and harass your Senator or Representative at 202-224-3121, this really is the most urgent of times. Just your vote and voice can--HALT--this innocuous law becoming active. We cannot keep on accepting the world indigent, as it will lead to OVERPOPULATION as stated by the US Census Bureau. Just read the demographics and expenditures that will tax you even more. No more lies and read the facts and inferior enforcement grading at NUMBERSUSA. Understand the undisclosed corruption in Washington and different states at JUDICIAL WATCH.

Howard Martin said...

wingnut alert (above)