David Sirota's indictment of our corrupt political system's lame performance on the issue of health care for everybody is the sort of thing you'll never see or hear in any corporate medium. It begins with a brief review of the sad history of the past decade:
The 21st century opened with a handful of Supreme Court puppets appointing George W. Bush president after he lost the popular vote—and we all know the costs in blood and treasure that insult wrought. Now, the decade closes with another cabal of stooges assaulting the “one person, one vote” principle—and potentially bringing about another disaster.
Here we have a major congressional push to fix a health care system that leaves one-sixth of the country without coverage. Here we have 535 House and Senate delegates elected to give all 300 million of us a voice in the solution. And here we have just 13 of those delegates holding the initiative hostage.
He proceeds to name them -- six senators and seven representatives who control key congressional committees -- and to divulge how much money they have collectively gotten from the health insurance lobby to do their dirty work -- $12 million. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much the government we have today resembles that of the late nineteenth century, in those grim days before Teddy Roosevelt and the progressives began putting some mild restrictions on the corporate dictatorship of that era, and hedging the power of the trusts.
I found Sirota's conclusion to be the most important part:
Of course, there is talk of circumventing the 13 obstructionists and forcing a vote of the full Congress that cannot be filibustered. Inside the Washington palace, the media court jesters and political aides-de-camp have reacted to such plans by raising predictable charges of improper procedure, poor manners, bad etiquette and other Versailles transgressions.
But the real crime would be letting the tyrants block that vote, trample democracy and kill health care reform in the process.
This is a crucial test for Obama. If he has any serious intention of actually becoming the leader he represents himself as being, he'll demand such a vote, and will not flinch at the accusations of disrespect for congressional procedures, traditions, and protocols.
It's really too bad, but it's going to take a bit of dictatorial heavy-handedness to straighten out the parliament of whores.
If Obama fails this test, then the responsibility for forcing government to respond to the needs and will of the people, as Jefferson intended, will once more rest with us, and I don't know if we're up to it.