Shakespeare and the current Republican Party do not exactly fit within the same imagery. We do not see Sarah Palin quoting Shakespeare, something that might not surprise us to hear from either the President or the Vice President. The point is that we have long, long since reduced our expectations of erudition or even fiscally sound, traditional values from the once-revered political party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Eisenhower.
The name “Republican” was probably first truly sullied by the conduct of those surrounding Richard Nixon. Nixon was so traumatized by a defeat in a Presidential campaign by a man whom he considered to be less qualified and less focused, that he entered into a lifelong suspicion of the press and the opposition party that became a paranoia that led to his downfall. But as the darker side of Richard Nixon emerged over time, some–rather than being repulsed by it– became enamored of it. These people led to the disaster that is now evolving into a tragic transformation.
It is now quite conclusive, given evidence every single day by the proponents themselves, that the former Republican Party is now the “Neoconservative Obstructionist Party” and so shall we address them hence in this blog. The Neocon Obstructionists have given evidence of their changed nature in everything they do. Even on the floor of the House of Representatives, rather than discussing substantive issues on the upcoming debates over health care reform…into which legislative process the Neocon Obstructionists have never once entered…the minority leader, Eric Kantor of Virginia spends endless time discussing the time allowed for debate, endlessly seeks time for criticism, seeks assurance that the Neocons will have their time to delay and obstruct policies which they have largely heretofore ignored.
You see, they have no legislative proposals whatsoever. Representative Alan Grayson of Florida, said it best in his brief statement on the floor of the House when he said that their plan was simply for people to get sick and die quickly. But it was not without a serious point. The Neocons have offered no proposals on the most serious issue of our time! They have criticized the Canadian system, the British system the numerous systems on the continent, almost every one of the 30 or so universal health care systems that work–according to the OECD–far better than ours.
They have referred to the efforts of the Obama Administration and this Congress to devise a solution for a very serious problem…72% of Americans want positive changes in health care…and instead have framed it as a crucial political issue on which Democrats must be defeated for the recovery of the Neoconservative Obstructionist Party. Exactly the opposite is true. Participation, as the President sought for a mind-numbingly long time with no result, would have restored the old Republican Party to a viable, vibrant, positive force in American life. It would have been the first step in a resurgence.
Instead, they have taken a very interesting choice. They have reverted all the way back to policies which, thank God, were never successful in this country because of our free press and the emergence of a charismatic leader. But they were tragically successful in the inflationary days of post-World War I Europe. In the 1920s, before the Great Depression here, Germany experienced devastating inflation. From that untenable economy arose a variety of rebellious, militant and aggressive political parties…among which were national socialists, fascists, communists and broader more moderate republican groups. The current Neoconservative Obstructionist Party has changed from a moderate-conservative political organization to a mob-governed, anarchistic, propaganda-driven organization like many of these earlier militant models.
Rather than discussing the merits and approaches that a health care reform bill might take, they have offered only, as Senator Hatch has referred to them “technical” amendments, not substantive amendments, something that he apparently is proud of. They have referred to the proposals submitted for debate exclusively, as it turns out, by Democratic legislators as “Hitler like,” “..a plan that is going to kill you…” “a government takeover of medicine,” “asking disabled veterans to hurry up and die,” “death panels” for senior citizens, “crushing small business,” denying “millions of Americans their choice of doctor,” “Marxist, Communist, anti-Capitalist,” “…a march to Socialism…” or as being “like Havana in 1959 when Castro came in.”
The typical approach by these earlier groups, the Fascists, the Communists, all of them, was to demonize the opposition, exaggerate the effects of moderate legislation, assassinate the character of the opposition, and in those days sponsor literal assassination, and in general try to use militant private armies of thugs to disrupt the meetings of other parties. They also learned how to use the media, capturing and controlling radio, and using it to spew lies and hate-filled messages about anything and anyone who did not agree with their policies. They carried their message of hate not only to the personalities of the other political parties but to certain minorities, immigrants, and other nations to whom they attributed evil motives and anti-German objectives. The other countries were causing the domestic problems, unemployment and chaos, they said.
Does that have any resemblance to events or people or policies happening today?
Those statements, slurs, vicious lies about the legislation that merely attempts to bring us better health care are among thousands of others, and those thousands would merely be the ones captured on the media. There are more issued by individual members of the Neoconservative Obstructionist Party’s media supporters, their propaganda wing, as the old German Nazis would have referred to them. Did you find in those comments any constructive proposals on moderating the costs of a new health care system, or new ideas on health care delivery systems, or how to spread clinics economically into all areas of the country both urban and rural? Do you see in any of those comments ideas on how to streamline the information exchange between specialists and general practitioners? Or how we might reduce current waiting times to see general practitioners? No.
In the handful of suggestions offered by the Nehocon Obstructionist Party in the House and in the Senate, they always start with the same thing. First, how we must protect corporations and their current health care expenditures. And second, how we must lower the costs for medical liability insurance by reducing tort reform. Those two show how far beyond the Neoconservative Obstructionists the debate has passed. Corporations are now behind reform because the Democratic proposals offer solutions, which while they do not free the corporations from the obligation of health insurance, do show that it will be made manageable and predictable and cost-effective.
In the case of medical tort reform, Americans have somehow been able…most of them…to learn the truth. In those states where tort reform has been enacted…caps on damages to those who were maimed or killed by irresponsible medical procedures…insurance companies simply continued to raise the rates. But the good news is that even with all the legislation and rate increases and damages and hulabaloo…medical liability is less than one percent of total medical costs. That number .46% is one published by the National Association of State Insurance Regulators…the ultimate authority on this. So are doctors merely cry babies? No. They simply do not have the intestinal fortitude to take on the insurance industry which has outsmarted them repeatedly by making the trial lawyers the enemy while they continue to raise medical liability rates at will.
It is interesting that the Neocon Obstructionists in their defense point to the fact that Arab sheiks come to this country when they are very sick. They make that point often in stating that we have the best health care in the world and should not change it. Doesn’t that make a very peculiar point? We offer our best medical care to foreigners who build madrasas, schools to train people to hate the United States and yet to our own citizens, including, by the way, those who were called into universal service at periods when we happened to be between wars…not very long periods unfortunately…but those who were required to give service…but now are not helped by government when they need medical care.
So we give you the Neoconservative Obstructionists–the new political party on the Right. They stand for nothing except invective against those people in power. They offer no legislation, no ideas, no solutions to any problems except those that they are advised by lobbyists that they must undertake for the military-medical-industrial complex and the extremely wealthy. Perhaps one day there will be a return of many other citizens to a newly emerging moderate people’s party that can then take up the banner of the old Republican Party. They would be very welcome.