My thoughts on health care reform are a work in progress, so this post may become obsolete by the time it’s completed.
I am Laffy. I have health care PMS.
I’ve had health care reform mood swings that no dinky little Bayer Pharmaceutical Inc. Midol pill can remedy. One day I’m given information that has me walking on smoggy L.A. air, and the next, I’m falling to the ground with a thud. Not just any old thud, a resounding thud.
The Conservadems have confiscated my health care iPhone, which means my optimism apps are inaccessible. The Rushpublics have constructed a typically badly designed brick wall, so I keep slamming my liberal noggin on it and am running short of Bayer Pharmaceutical Inc. Bactine. Traitor Joe Lieberman has pulled away my Charlie Brown football so often that even my own cats are pointing and laughing at me.
My emotional state runs the gamut from “We can still do this, it’s just the beginning of a very long fight” to “WTF?! Screw Congress, where’d President Yes We Can go? I’m going all Howard Dean, and then I’m gonna go hide under my covers and pout and never vote again”… to, “Well, I do see a few improvements, it’s farther than we’ve gotten in years, so go for it”. And then I cry. And scream. And sigh. And start all over again.
Today Senator Bernie Sanders is introducing a single payer amendment. It will go nowhere. But it feeds into my instinct to keep fighting.
This morning on the Stephanie Miller Show, Hal Sparks said of Dems who are feeling impatient, “It’s like shaking a baby who is learning to walk and keeps falling, and yelling at him, ‘Just do it already! Get up and walk! What’s your problem?!'”
And all these conflicting emotions stem from having high expectations and seeing them crash around me. Where did those expectations come from?
This is where I may differ with a lot of you. Most of them didn’t come from Obama. I’ve always seen him as a centrist who is willing to play with the boys and girls I don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been disappointed by him, but not entirely surprised. He wanted a health care bill passed, but not necessarily a good bill, not the one you and I want. He said as much. He just said it in such a way that convinced us he was for the same bill we were.
But he revealed many a clue that suggested his idea of a good bill and mine differed.
I am more disgusted with Congress. I had faith in the Progressives, and was buoyed by their happy talk. Obama made deals early on that signaled his willingness to compromise away the best parts of real reform. Just as, during the election, he campaigned on escalation in Afghanistan, lowering my hopes for peace, he also worded his health care campaign promises in a way that told me he’d do pretty much what he’s doing. But I still wanted to believe my health care wishes would come true, and that the Progressives in Congress could make that happen.
I can’t say I’m shocked. And yes, I’m angry, but again, not surprised. Obama promised change, but my early research told me that his words didn’t always match his policies. I enthusiastically supported him because I did, and still do, like him and much of what he has done, and come on, the McCain/Palin alternative would have been disastrous. Plus, look what he inherited.
So how do I shake off my health care PMS? Today’s mood swing dictates that I fight, that we all should fight, and not give up. We should campaign hard for 2010 candidates who share our goals, we should donate when we can, we should make calls to current Congress members until our dialing fingers fall off, we should do whatever it is we can to make our voices heard.
Because, realistically, taking our toys and stomping home won’t accomplish a thing. Crawling under the covers doesn’t eliminate cramps and headaches. I’m going to self-medicate with effort, forward thinking, and action. Defeat is not an option. My health care reform PMS can be treated. As I tell my most despondent students, life is fluid. Things never stay the same, they continue to change.
But it’s up to us to do everything possible to make that change happen.
I may feel differently in an hour. Damn mood swings.