Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's felt like this for more than a year now.

Charles Schulz died ten years ago, but his strip lives on. Whether that's a good thing is debatable, but given the strip's longevity, I am confident that even young people know what this panel means.

For me, it's an analogy to the health care debate we are now told is mere days or weeks from being resolved.

If I can pick at my own analogy, the flaw is that in the comic strip, it was always the same football, it was always Charlie Brown hoping to kick it and it was always Lucy Van Pelt pulling it away. With the health care debate, the football has changed, there have been several hopeful kickers and several people happily pulling it away at the last second.

The Republicans are barely in the Charlie Brown-Lucy metaphor. Maybe for a little while Olympia Snowe was playing hard to get, but for the most part, the part of Lucy has been played by Democrats or independents. Max Baucus had a few weeks when he got to pull the football away. When the public option died early on and the Medicare buy-in plan was the strong fallback position, it was the despicable scumbag Joe Lieberman who played Lucy, opposing a plan he had supported mere months before. House Democrats as different as Bob Stupak, Nancy Pelosi and Dennis Kucinich have all taken their turn pulling the football away, whether the thing being pulled away was the whole bill or just the public option. The death of Ted Kennedy and the result of the special election was yet another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

There are a lot of parts of the bill as it currently stands that I don't love. That's politics. I'm not convinced that the defeat of health care is the end of the Obama presidency. Bill and Hillary Clinton lost the heath care debate early in his first term and he still won re-election. Presidential elections have a lot to do with the actual candidates running, not just the electorate's mood towards the parties, and right now the Republicans are not inclined to put forward a nominee as moderate as Attila the Hun. With all that said, I do want the House and Senate to get a bill together that Obama can sign. I know it won't shut the Republicans up, but it might get the press off their narrative that Obama can't get anything done when in fact a lot of changes have been implemented.

People allegedly in the know say we are at the end game. Still, it feels like there's a football, there's someone trying to kick it and someone else promising to hold it, and we've seen this story before.


CDP said...

Very good metaphor, and your description of Senator Lieberman is quite accurate.

Matty Boy said...

Thanks, CDP. I try to moderate my feelings somewhat, my mom's voice still echoing in my head "He's probably a really nice person." But I have more contempt for Lieberman than I do for even Sen. Inhofe, who I would classify as evil and stupid. I don't consider Lieberman stupid and I think that is why I dislike him even more.

dguzman said...

Amen, brother. We just keep running at that damned football and falling on our uninsured asses.

But politics, I've determined, is merely the same few games played over and over without end. See the "Israel building more Jewish settlements" stories now -- how many times have they done this, then everyone is "outraged" and "condemns Israel's actions," and then they build whatever the eff they want. Then in a couple of years, it happens AGAIN precisely the same way.

Margaret Benbow said...

You're right, dguzman. And maybe we should be outraged at ourselves. We bankroll Israel's bad-neighbor actions by giving them HUGE foreign aid. Essentially, Israel is our foremost welfare recipient.

Also, Matty, I think "despicable scumbag Liebermann" goes too easy on him, but it's a start!