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It..........Passed? It Passed! Well, I always thought it would........mostly.............sometimes

Health Care Reform

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 24, 2010.

The most attractive thing about Sunday's passage of the Health Care Reform bill so far is that reactionaries and their goober satellite of Tea Partiers are running around like cats hit by a shovel. They don't seem to know or believe what happened, and only now realize the depth of their failure, the shallowness of their public regard, the vaporware of their political handlers' toolkit. All the idiots who claimed Armageddon and Commie-Fascist government coup and the end of the world if the bill passed now have a new political landscape to face. And what they see is a Democratic Party that is, suddenly, not afraid of them for the first time in decades, willing and able to face them down, even risk seats for an idea. The passage of this bill took outright courage by some Congressmen and Senators and that alone is worthy of mention. And despite the inevitable whining by the supposedly progressive left, deserving of regard and thanks.

I've mentioned often before that when the New Deal was in force, a Frenchman observing this nation from afar noted that FDR had separated virtue from wealth in the public eye and government policy when Social Security became law. Various interpretations of the Great Chain of social Being had been installed for centuries and there was a lingering and strong assumption that wealthy families and even the nouveau riche were somehow blessed by deity, with the reverse for the poor. Since churches were and are to a large degree totally dependent on the donations of the wealthy, it was a concept vague but set in concrete with convenient Biblical quotes justifying it handy. Social Security's existence rebuked it, and a progressive counter theory, one rather more Christian, was installed that neither Boston Cabots nor Okie Smiths deserved to starve or freeze to death in their old age in this nation or, by extension, anywhere. Now, neither a Boston Cabot nor an Okie Smith will be absent access to medical care that won't bankrupt them.

The bill's open attack on the existing class system in the United States - which is often denied but is now on ugly display - is what both infuriates and scares the supposed conservatives. Although many in media and the left profess confusion over what unites Tea Partiers, it's this: the simple threat to their perceived social standing that they see in Obama's election, progressive legislation, and virtually any change, even that which benefits them. That's the toxic glue that appends old school southern race bigots to helmet haired northern society biddies whose lives were mostly involved with, and dependent upon, the Junior League variants that still exist. They want to believe that accidents of birth are reflective of divine approval, both in substance and in image.

Health care in the United States has become a status symbol, and worked into conversation much like people used to discuss foreign travel. Lesser folk marvel at tales of expensive test results known in one day and competent, efficient care where once they'd swoon over tales of pyramids and Grand Canyons.

It's not over, and should not be. But I'd like to try and emphasize that with a victory like this one, future and more substantive victories come easier. It would be a mistake if the Democrats get all testosteroned and try and take advantage of the conciliation process to install single payer or even the public option and allow the reactionaries to impede implementation. Later. Now: jobs and infrastructure, and that atop the reanimation of Prime Minister Rehoboam and his potential strike on a nuclear Iran, and two wars. Progressives need to learn to win wars, rather than battles. Winning all or even most battles is not necessarily the way to go. For illustrative examples, look at the Vietnam War or, better, our own Revolution. So beware those on blog or air demanding too much too soon. That creates blowback, and whether Robespierre then or the Daily Kos now, it can produce unforeseen and painful consequences.

Obama knows all this, but what sets him apart is he is prepared for victory as well as defeat. He is not given to off the cuff stupidities like so many others. He cannot be denied to have tried and tried hard to achieve bipartisan legislation. He still does. He isn't, seemingly or particularly, vindictive. He remains above and outside the kinetic energies of Congress. He really is a remarkable figure, and as has been our often undeserved lot in aggregate, the United States has lucked out again.