photo: ron olsen/workingreporter.com
There are signs the Democrats might be getting back into the game by growing a collective backbone and taking control of the United States Senate with the majority they were given by the American people. But is it possible? Are they about to finally stop what has become an ongoing tragic and painful exhibition of mousy knuckling under to minority Republican bully boys, representing corporate interests and a base that denies our separation of church and state while they eagerly look forward to being swept up in the “Rapture.”
Have Senate Democrats finally broken through their inside the beltway fog and recognized the potential for being hammered in the mid-terms if they fail to represent their constituents?
It took them long enough to get here. Our government is broken. Our Constitutional Republic, battered and bloody is down on the mat. Hopefully, God willing, it is not down for the count.
The tipping point on beginning the job of restoring our political process may have been reached.
The first half of setting the scales back into balance may have been the decision by the now totally politicized and conservative dominated Supreme Court of the United States. It was a sad day when the Court, led by George W. Bush nominee John G. Roberts Jr., decided corporations have the same rights as citizens, that corporations can throw their millions and even billions behind a given political candidate in the U.S., even if the corporations in question happen to be multi-nationals.
The high court’s decision means it will be “we the people” gathering up our nickles, dimes and dollars in an effort to push back against the millions that corporate interests have to support (buy) candidates of their choosing. If that isn’t an obvious enough blow against our democratic process then consider the ongoing health insurance monopoly that threatens to further erode our economic well being. A monopoly that continues to be protected by an anti-trust exemption the Congress refuses to do anything about.
Monopoly breeds arrogance. That may be what completed the tipping point process, knocking the scales so far out of balance that even the worst of the worst among the self-serving on Capitol Hill had to sit up and take notice.
It was Anthem Blue Cross (Wellpoint) of California announcing they were raising their rates to their most vulnerable customers, those not included in any group plan, by 39%. They were going to do it Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says, not because they need the money, but because they can. In other words, sheer arrogance and greed.
And the reason they can? It’s because they have no real competition and inadequate oversight. In the middle of what is our worst economy since the Great Depression.
It was so outrageous that the government finally did its job and interceded on behalf of the American people. Wellpoint, agreed to delay the monster rate hike for two months while the government looks into the insurance company’s motivation. Okay fine, but Secretary Sebelius has already indicated their profits are huge and their motivation is nothing but greed. At least Health and Human Services seems to be paying attention.
A government that represents the people. It’s a fascinating concept in a country with a Supreme Court that has given corporate interests control of the political process.
Trouble is, when it comes to health care, laissez faire does not work. It only gets people killed.
The question of course, is simple: Will this democracy killing nonsense be enough to shake Senate Democrats into action in spite of the millions they’ve taken from corporate interests? Will they finally stand up to the Republican bully boys and say, “enough.”
There may be hope. 18 Democrats in the Senate have indicated their willingness to get behind a public health care option and they’ve come up with a way to do it without the need for the 60-vote “supermajority.” Apparently, they can do it with something called “reconciliation,” which will get parts of their health care reform plan passed with only 51 votes. The White House says that if the Senate gets it done, Mr. Obama will back the effort.
It could be a first step toward restoring a balance to the political process in America. It could mark a return to the two party system. Remember that?