Friday, September 25, 2009

Not One Cent More

My health insurance ended today. It's been a great day, a fabulous day that promises to segue into an evening of joyless overindulgence of liquor — the only non-aspirin-based painkiller I can afford from here on out. I knew this was coming for a long time; I even knew the date. But foreknowledge only changed the terms of the anxiety and anger, moving them from sudden intense outrage to sullen, sustained brooding.

Imagine, then, my pleasure in opening the mailbox today to find another letter from the Democratic National Committee asking for more money. They're not getting any more money from me. I don't have it. I have to save it. God forbid I get a miniscule cut on my eyebrow again, like I did a few years back when I didn't have insurance and only had to spend $3,200 to sew it up.

They're getting this from me instead:

I removed all personal info. Feel free to print out a copy and send it to them yourself (click to enlarge; it's already sized for envelopes), especially if like me you're going to be paranoiacally duckwalking across rainy sidewalks because — easy now — if you so much as slip and fall, that's a $30,000 bill right there. Do it especially because, honestly, what else can you do?

In 2006, the Democratic Party achieved a majority but said, "We can't do anything without our own president in office to prevent a veto, so let's do nothing." Then Obama won in 2008, and they said, "We can't do anything without a supermajority, so let's do nothing." Then they got one, and they did nothing by couching their completely emasculated inefficacy as an attempt to reach across the aisle to a political party whose only principles are:
1. Government doesn't work.
2. When we're not in power, we should do everything to guarantee that.
It was a flawless strategy, allowing an opposition that wouldn't support any terms of a bill to dictate the terms and the debate on a bill. It's a masterful clusterfuck, because it gives all the impression of civic dedication and effort while almost perfectly foreordaining that nothing of any worth to a non-corporation will happen. And why shouldn't they do this? Give or take maybe a few dozen people, almost all of them are still going to have their jobs in a couple years, still be greedily sucking on the teat of massive checks from the same insurance companies funding the "hated" opposition.

Why should they ever give a shit about exercising any of the mandates they've actually been given when the checks keep coming whether they succeed or fail? Why should they do anything other than nothing? That's the great thing about Democratic lawmakers: the more power you give them, the more they do their damnedest to literally embody every GOP nightmare-myth about people on welfare.

Watching the Democratic Party's methodical torpedoing of decades of potential majorities that would result from passing the public option and engendering the goodwill of millions of impoverished Americans is like watching a lung cancer patient with a tracheotomy sitting inside an oxygenated tent light up a Marlboro Red. Sure, there's a chance that they will immolate themselves in tremendous instantaneous fireball, but who cares if they don't? To quote the economist they're even too chickenshit to listen to anymore, in the long run, they're all dead.

What the Democrats cannot seem to realize is that Obama's campaign was a last gasp of progressivist rescue from the earlier Clinton centralizing policy, one that was followed by Gore and Kerry to such feckless non-success. They seem to believe they can fail here and profess to "learn" from that failure and thus gain a bigger mandate from their constituents' demands for more transformative governance to fix this failure — almost like they can fail upward to a 100% majority where there is no more risk in adhering to a liberal mandate. Give them a few more electoral cycles, they seem to think, and they will be washed on an inevitable tide that makes them vote liberally.

What they do not grasp is that their heretofore gross failure even with a mandate will merely accelerate the centrifugal progressive forces that have been driving activists away from the Democratic party since 1992. They do not grasp that Bush's colossal misdeeds were a singular and exceptional opportunity, so gross in their ineptitude that they elided all those Naderite impulses that swept him into office in 2000 and temporarily — like a disillusioned master thief intent on one final caper — brought all those progressives back in 2008 for just one more electoral score.

If they fail here, despite this impetus, they give nothing but momentum to third parties that would deliver the presidency to the GOP for at least two cycles and only serve to discredit centrist and malleable Democrats who would move further right to consolidate eroding ground. At this point, I desperately wish them both backbone and success. But if they continue to effetely and pathetically collapse in a pile of ideologically undifferentiated and meaningless ooze in a middle they fail to understand has moved irreparably rightward over the last three decades, they — and we, perhaps — deserve to watch them implode fantastically and irrevocably.

I had more I wanted to write, but if you'll excuse me, I've got to carry a few things out to the mailbox for tomorrow morning, and it takes me a while to find my knee braces, pads and mouthguard.


Contacting the DNC
Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

DNC Email


  1. By this comment I hearby promise and swear that I will print no less than 50 copies of this form and mail them over the weekend. I will also take pictures and send them to you.

  2. amen. Forward and crass is about right for where I am feeling about the Dems and the lack of action. I'll be calling my ineffectual Florida Dem Senator on Monday to tell him this. And I'll start repeating this line to the various Dem organizations that think I'm going to continue to contribute to them since 2008. I've just been saying no, but now I will say why. Thank you for giving me the proper words to use!

  3. I had posted a comment above WriteBrain's, but it was so riddled with errors and polemic that I took it down and opted to rewrite it. Anyway...

    If you feel like mailing something to the DNC about the Public Option—whether it includes my profane photoshop or is far more patient—please consider sharing a personal story about needing healthcare or being lucky to have it. It's probably helpful to inundate them with horror stories or tales of a lucky break to remind them of how necessary this stuff is. I don't ask you to—nor do I expect you to—print out my petulant FUCK YOU to them and send that with your letter or email. Perhaps you think that non-productive. Personally, I feel that it's time I do something that forward and that crass and that demonstrative, because they don't seem to be listening otherwise. The longer this debate goes on, the more willing I am to believe that aside from maybe a dozen Democratic representatives and senators, no one in the Democratic party really gives a shit if poor people have healthcare. I don't think it even penetrates the fog of entitlement and self-absorption. Acknowledging that people in America could be faring that badly only opens them to exploring the noisome reality that it's only one in dozens of ways that working class Americans are fucking miserable. As Mr. Awesome pointed out to me in chat, there are people in West Virginia who bathe in water so toxic that it literally pockmarks their skin, but heaven fucking forfend we do anything about that because, hey, the Republicans will tell you strip-mining is liberty, and on the Democrat side, hey, "Clean Coal," right?

    I'm rambling on, but anyone interested in trying to equal Kalista's commitment to expressing their total impatience with this parliamentary farce would be, in my book, totally awesome. Anyone willing to try hard to say something is doing everybody a favor. Thanks.


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