Morally, everyone of us would like to cover every American with health insurance but that’s where you spend most of the trillion dollars plus, or a little less that is estimated, the estimate said this health care plan will cost. And I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There’s no reason we have to do it all now.
-- Joe Lieberman (CfL-CT), Sunday
Thank goodness we've kept our powder dry, that's all I've got to say. Thank goodness we didn't make a big deal over warrantless wiretapping, corporate immunity, the politicization of the Department of Justice, the Blackwater murders, torture, extraordinary rendition, fraudulent rewriting of scientific reports, or blanket false public statements in an effort to sell the nation on a ruinous war -- all so we could store up enough political capital for this moment. Thank goodness we didn't sully ourselves with indictments or investigations; thank goodness we've kept the camaraderie of the Senate intact and not flown off, willy-nilly, and gotten angry with Senators who claim we are instituting "Death Panels" to weed out veterans and the elderly, or pushed too hard when members of the past administration flatly denied the ability of the Congress to so much as require their presence for questioning. Thank goodness we have not pressed to hard on whether Abu Ghraib abuses resulted from explicit direction of the highest figures in the Department of Defense, and that when we found out the waterboarding of a prisoner in order to come up with supposed "links" between Iraq and Al Qaeda was suggested specifically by the office of the Vice President, we knew well enough to let bygones be bygones, because we knew we would not want to expend our political capital on such trivial matters, when we were about to take on one of the most urgent domestic issues facing the nation.
Now, if we play our cards right, and with the help of our 60-seat Senate majority, we can boldly reinvigorate the collapsed American healthcare system by passing a "reform" bill that mandates everyone in America purchase underregulated products of record-profitable insurance companies that have proven unable to provide basic services to millions of Americans or even perform competent administration of their own products, but which provides only token efforts at reining in the worst of the worst abuses of the public by those companies. We need not provide any measure of "socialized" insurance, as most of the rest of the civilized world does. And we need not particularly worry about the poor and uninsured, because this is a recession, and it wouldn't be cost effective.
I think we should count ourselves lucky that the Democrats have sat motionless with their thumbs up their asses for the last decade in order to steadfastly prepare themselves for this day.
But come to think of it, I'm not really sure we should be fighting this fight either. Would it really be prudent to waste our political capital at this time?
Perhaps it would be wiser to save up our political capital for later, so that after climate change has caused worldwide famine and the world oil supply has run out, leading to the collapse of civilization and leaving most of America in the control of armed, pickup-truck driving bandits who fight each other for the remaining scraps of food and gasoline in a Mad-Max-style wasteland of abandoned cities and generally bad hygiene, the Democrats can pass a bill that spells out which humans can be called organic or free range when labeling them for meat.
... of course, it goes without saying that any factory that processes more than 500 humans per day will be exempt from those rules. I mean, that just makes good policy sense.