Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Obama, Health Care and Other Political Scapegoats

I remember very clearly when George W. Bush was elected - or should I say appointed by Scalia - in 2000. The media, many liberals included, placed their soft little cheeks up against Bush’s rosy red bum and chattered about wanting to have a beer with him. They happily lowered the bar and watched their new leader stumble through the White House and the English language for about a year and a half. By then it was clear to even the dullest, working reporter that Bush was not only a fool, but a dangerous fool under the control of one of the most malignant ideologues in the history of American politics - Dick Cheney. Suffice it to say that the media was roundly ridiculed by the American people and even some within its own ranks for their starry eyed refusal to investigate thoroughly and report objectively on the Bush Administration’s embarrassing war in Iraq, blundering in Afghanistan, attempted extermination of the Middle Class, and incompetent management of the economy.

I have followed politics in this country for the better part of half a century, and these things I know:
The media seems never to admit its mistakes unless it stands to be sued, with the exception of a few truly remarkable journalists like Ms.Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

The media never forgives or forgets. The media will get even, if not with the object of their vengeance then with a reasonable facsimile. Therefore, since they have absolutely no power to hold Bush accountable anymore they are hot after his successor - President Obama. Our 44th President has been over scrutinized, over criticized and over speculated about. Now at nine months in office he is expected to have fixed the economy, solved health care, solved the global warming problem, sent unemployment back into the low single digits, not to mention cleaning up Wall Street, Iraq and Afghanistan. Sometimes I wonder if some of the heads squawking at me from behind my TV screen are insane. Let’s face it, even George W. Bush, a virtuoso among the inept, couldn’t screw all these things up in only nine months.

There are a number of excuses for this behavior, but only one honest name for it - scapegoating. That is to say blaming one person for the failings, shortcomings or mess made by another. It isn’t just the media. Oh hell no, the Republicans have been doing it with increasing vehemence since Obama was elected. Those on the right are the people who followed and supported Bush, allowing him to spend the Conservative movement into near collapse. These are the people who didn’t argued with him or take issue with his policies until very late in his administration. They are dreadfully unhappy with the result of Bush’s years in the White House and would rather call Obama a Socialist then look at their own culpability.

In social psychology scapegoating is a hostile hallmark of dysfunctional group behavior. In politics it is business as usual. Still in all, the scapegoating isn’t the worst manifestation of disease-like behavior in our government. With the passage of the House’s Health Care Bill, H.R. 3962, we saw the trading of a few Democratic votes - many of which did not materialize - for the right to undermine a woman’s lawful exercise of her reproductive freedom. This was an act of extortion that suggested the psychopathology of sever narcissism.

It seems to me that there are with a few exceptions three kinds of people currently serving in government and using these and other pathological tactics to support their personal agendas. First, the whores peddling their influence up and down K Street. These are the people who routinely sell their constituents out for campaign contributions. Second, the religious zealots, career misogynists and parasitic capitalists who pick and choose the principles of the Bible, the Constitution, and the Free Market that support their bigotry, cruelty and greed. I am thinking specifically of the Democrats who promised to vote for H.R. 3962 if the Stupak antiabortion amendment was passed. After passage of the amendment many of them voted with the Republicans against reform. They are liars, and their voters should consider removing them from office on the grounds of trustworthiness, authenticity and commitment. Finally, there are the want-to-be lifers. Men and women who expect to be buried from the House or Senate and will do nothing that might interfere with that. They vacillate, procrastinate, and sit on their hands until the vote is safe. They are the most treacherous of all because they are fundamentally and deliberately inert.

Such mental and moral midgets are always casting about for scapegoats to shield them from the ramifications of their own narcissistic and duplicitous actions or inactions. Barak Obama is their goat of choice currently. However, ideas can also be used as scapegoats to cover up the real motives behind political action. For instance, this ridiculous Stupak amendment, steeped in Christianity, is being used to deny one group of people health care unless another is disenfranchised. Religion has always been used as a tool to exercise illegitimate control over the feminine mind and body. Women are entitled by law to abortion services and other forms of reproductive medicine.

Make no mistake about the fact that the purpose of Stupak is to stop health care reform not abortion. As the Democratic and Republican Right well know, the Hyde amendment passed on September 30, 1976, already prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion services. Cynically realizing that Pro-Choice will not be denied the legal options guaranteed under Roe v. Wade, the amendment’s proponents hope to force the left to vote down its own health care bill if Stupak is part of that bill. In other words, Stupak and his tribe are unwilling to say that they wish to deny the American people a sensible health care reform bill - for whatever reason - so they are making a scapegoat of a Woman’s Right to Choose and pounding the Bible to do it.

What a show some of our lawmakers put on, strutting about, talking out of both sides of their mouths, wrapped in the flag and proudly displaying many of the personality traits of a successful serial killer, to wit: over 18,000 people die every year without health care coverage in America; our infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the world - yes, a very successful serial killer indeed .