Hunter brings the shrill:
Thank goodness we’ve kept our powder dry, that’s all I’ve got to say. Thank goodness we didn’t make a big deal over warrantless wiretapping, corporate immunity, the politicization of the Department of Justice, the Blackwater murders, torture, extraordinary rendition, fraudulent rewriting of scientific reports, or blanket false public statements in an effort to sell the nation on a ruinous war — all so we could store up enough political capital for this moment. Thank goodness we didn’t sully ourselves with indictments or investigations; thank goodness we’ve kept the camaraderie of the Senate intact and not flown off, willy-nilly, and gotten angry with Senators who claim we are instituting “Death Panels” to weed out veterans and the elderly, or pushed too hard when members of the past administration flatly denied the ability of the Congress to so much as require their presence for questioning. Thank goodness we have not pressed to hard on whether Abu Ghraib abuses resulted from explicit direction of the highest figures in the Department of Defense, and that when we found out the waterboarding of a prisoner in order to come up with supposed “links” between Iraq and Al Qaeda was suggested specifically by the office of the Vice President, we knew well enough to let bygones be bygones, because we knew we would not want to expend our political capital on such trivial matters, when we were about to take on one of the most urgent domestic issues facing the nation.
Now, if we play our cards right, and with the help of our 60-seat Senate majority, we can boldly reinvigorate the collapsed American healthcare system by passing a “reform” bill that mandates everyone in America purchase underregulated products of record-profitable insurance companies that have proven unable to provide basic services to millions of Americans or even perform competent administration of their own products, but which provides only token efforts at reining in the worst of the worst abuses of the public by those companies. We need not provide any measure of “socialized” insurance, as most of the rest of the civilized world does. And we need not particularly worry about the poor and uninsured, because this is a recession, and it wouldn’t be cost effective.
I think we should count ourselves lucky that the Democrats have sat motionless with their thumbs up their asses for the last decade in order to steadfastly prepare themselves for this day.
As Hunter goes on to point out, there is still value in Democrats keeping the powder dry even longer. Obama’s political capital, after all, could be used by another incredibly important (but yet to be decided) issue down the line. Granted, it won’t be comprehensive immigration reform, ending the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, putting through public financing for all federal elections or universal access to high-speed internet connections…but it will certainly be big.
It’s situations like this one that make me profoundly question my long term commitment to staying in politics. If we can’t get our party to act with conviction in a fight like healthcare, what can we ever expect them to do correctly?