It just seems like there's so much opposition to what should be a basic right in the richest country in the world, a program that would help a country morally, economically, on a visceral level, that should have been enacted during the Truman administration. The reason we don't have a universal health care system in the US, obviously, isn't because no one ever tried to get one set up. It's not a lack of will on the part of those agitating for it, and it's not a lack of need. It's that it's been working against political and financial forces that are a lot stronger than mere voting patterns, party labels, or people's ability to care about their own health and survival. It's real.
Rachel Maddow discusses the latest strategy:
Last week I was talking to a presumably wealthy guy who, if his brain was turned on, would have known that I don't make much money and that I don't have a job that provides health care. He mentioned that he can do whatever he wants now that "Obama's going to give me health insurance," but then corrected himself and said that he was too old, so Obama would just have a bureaucrat deny him coverage so then he'd die. He looked about 50, but I asked him if he had aged into Medicare and that's why he's worried he won't be covered by some of the proposed health care plans going around. He didn't answer, and I didn't know at that point that this was the latest myth being spread faster than Obama's secret Muslim status on the internet.
There's no shortage of people on the right who are willing to believe whatever conspiracy theory gets thrown their way. They thought Terri Schiavo was up and talking to people, they thought George Tiller would kill any baby for $5000, they thought Barney Frank caused the economic melt-down because he couldn't keep his hands off Herb Moses, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of these people are the same folks who think Obama's parents faked his birth certificate and birth announcement four decades ago. The issue isn't the fact that they're not operating in the same universe as the rest of us, the issue is the fact that they have a disproportionate amount of political power.
I have this feeling that we should be doing more than trying to pass any specific bill, that it would be more worth our trouble to reform the entire political process. If what's important in American politics, as anyone whose seen how European governments are run and wonders why America is so different has come to see, is putting on a good show, shaming the other side, strutting around like a winner, and pretending to speak for all the salt-of-the-earth, regular Real Americans (who are invariably white, Anglo, cis, straight, and fundamentalist Protestant).
And as long as putting on a good show is more important than material arguments, the left is always going to lose. The right will always have the resources and the skills necessary for better political theater than the left. While Code Pink is dancing in the streets and putting up signs on bridges, these right-wing activists go straight to the source and position themselves as Nixon's silent majority and shut down conversation and information.
I don't think, though, that many of these tactics will make it into anti-LGBT protests or lobbying. They require far too much coordination and the Big Money Boys don't really hate us enough to spend the money required to do so. But when they could lose their private insurance gravy train, their power over the working class by literally controlling if they live or die, and the myth that people through the government can't come together to help themselves, they'll pull out all the stops. And this is what that looks like.