04.19.14 “This thing is working” (or, why you need to write a check to the Democrats now)

President Obama was spot on when he said this week that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working. Eight-million enrolled. Thirty-five percent of them under 35 years old. Millions with health insurance who wouldn’t have it, otherwise. Millions more who will be covered in coming years, people whom our convoluted health care system would have left to die impoverished. It’s hard to be more successful than that.

Writing in the New York Times, columnist Charles Blow noted today that the president’s words came across as more defensive than triumphant.  Indeed. And the president and Democrats are largely to blame. Obama’s lies (yes, that’s what they were) about no one’s having to change plans,  and nearly incomprehensible mismanagement of the site’s rollout, took the country’s mind off of the GOP government shutdown last October and directed it back to the screaming “death panel” liars on the right. No matter that the ACA is now working — the majority of the country still opposes it and the GOP have staked their entire campaign on portraying its (made up) horrors. (Note that the GOP, as usual, has neither proposed any alternative to the ACA nor positive plans to fix any other problem the country faces.)

As Blow points out, this vapid GOP tactic should fail. Why might it not? Because the spineless, inarticulate Democrats are refusing utterly to shout (or even gently mention) the truth: THIS THING IS WORKING. Even without Obama’s help, the Democratic Party has a long history of trying to seem Republican, because they are t0o scared or too bought off by corporate power to stand for a fucking thing. GODDAM IT, YOU LOSERS: STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!

Midterm elections following a president’s reelection always go badly for that president’s party. The deck is further stacked against the Democrats by a supreme court that is deeply hostile to democracy. If someone doesn’t stand up and fight, “badly” will end up being “disastrously,” making 2010 look pretty. GET THIS, YOU STUPID DEMS: YOU COULD LOSE THE SENATE!

I have written plenty about Obama’s flaws. This is hardly the first time I have characterized the Democrats as misguided losers. My disgust with the president and his party is overwhelming. (It is not by accident that I am not referring to the Dems as “us” in this post.) If you are a progressive civil libertarian and support economic justice, you no doubt agree with at least part of my critique. But, here’s the thing we can’t forget: we may be critics, but we are critics from the left. The Koch brothers are real. The Supreme Court’s persistent evisceration of democracy is real. There is unmitigated evil on the right and it must be stopped.

I gave up on the Democratic Party, per se,  years ago. But, this is the year to choke back moral queasiness and write a check to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. There isn’t a chance in hell the Dems will take back the House in 2014, so forget about it. But we must, must, must stop the Koch brothers and company from owning the Senate. Even though Democratic elected officials are failing to do their job — hell, because they are failing to do their job — we must stop the right-wing behemoth by any means necessary, including by writing checks to a bunch of losers whose only redeeming characteristic is being less evil than the other guys.

PS. For readers in Montgomery County, Maryland: Don’t forget that Hans Riemer is a liar. Do not reelect him to County Council. (Just as Gail Collins in the NYT reminded us in nearly every 2012 column that Mitt Romney once strapped his dog to the roof of the car on a trip to Canada, I will proudly remind voters in every post between now and the June primary about Mr. Riemer’s persistent problem of pretending that he has done things he hasn’t and is something he isn’t. We owe it to future generations to stop Riemer’s political career here and now.)

©2014 Keith Berner


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