Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cal: tea parties and problematic plans

Hi Christa and friends.  I am sorry to hear of your friends troubles with his health care coverage.  His situation certainly demonstrates the need to widen accessibility to coverage.  I’m afraid that until the issues of portability and pre-existing conditions, among other things, have been addressed, people in his position will be left out.  His like yours, as I recall, is partly due to having part time jobs or being self-employed.  That needs to change.

 I don’t think we even know if these issues are being addressed in the various bills being debated.  And therein lies the problem.  Folks expected to see a reasoned discussion on reform and instead have been faced with an undefined “plan” that was being forced through too quickly.  This was a very poor calculation on the part of the congressional leadership.  They are still stuck on the “public option”, even though it appears dead.  There is still scant discussion in the mainstream about the very fundamental factors that need addressing:  elimination of fraud and conflict of interest as in your Texas example, malpractice tort reform, portability, pre-existing conditions, repairs to Medicare and Social Security, among others which should have been the first step in the discussion.  These need to be resolved before any more careless spending is proposed.  It makes sense to us in our personal lives.  It applies to government as well.

I blame congress (democrats and republicans)) for not coming to grips on this.  They have made a royal mess of it.  And they needed to be especially deliberate in the wake of all the horrific spending that was rushed through by Presidents Bush and Obama.  Enough on that issue, though I hope your friend finds some relief.

Back to the Tea Party.  We saw that young YouTube fellow and his cameraman trolling through the crowd.  I also saw them at the April 15 protest.  They make a beeline for the most incendiary placards and exhibits and have a rehearsed method of questioning that catches the subject off guard.  Asking for specific examples is an old trick that almost always succeeds in making the subject look air headed because few expect to be interviewed and it’s hard to think under pressure.  And those who want to receive attention are drawn to the camera like moths to a flame.  Their idiocy is usually immediately apparent.  There is also the exaggerated coverage of people with a religious message or point of view as if this is not a valid part of the discussion.  Example:  the bearded fellow in the red shirt railing about the “right to life” points out that something like 46% of abortions are those of performed on black babies (fetuses?) but blacks comprise only 12% of the population.  This fellow is probably a enthusiastic Christian but he makes a legitimate point.  This fact is troubling to many black leaders.  Thought provoking whether you’re pro-life- or pro-choice. No?

The point of a protest is to get your voice heard whether through united voices or signs.  People have only a small space to express themselves so sloganeering is king.  These folks were not violent or even angry.  Most of the signs were funny, clever, and or just patriotic.  The rabble rouser on stage repeatedly asked” Can you hear us now” (congress)?  If they were anywhere near the Mall they certainly could hear us.  I haven’t raise my voice like that since 1970.  Very cathartic.  Oh, and we thugs and troublemakers packed out nearly everything we carried in.  We left the lawn cleaner than before our arrival.  You know how those mid-western moms are about keeping it clean!  Not many gatherings of this size can make that boast.  Though I’ll bet there are quite a few spots of yellow grass there now.  The park service rigged it so that if you left to go to the  jiffy-johns they wouldn’t let you back in. Six hours of standing after a couple of large coffees is tough.  I’m just sayin’.


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