Health care reform, and the Gary Gilmore options.
In July of 1976, Gary Gilmore serially robbed and murdered two men in Utah. Following his capture and murder conviction, Gilmore was sentenced to death. Utah, being the progressive state it is, permitted the convicted fellow to choose between being executed by hanging or the firing squad. Gilmore chose the latter.
The farther we travel into the Democratic party's takeover of the first two branches of government and the play-by-play of the health care reform debate I'm beginning to feel rather like Gilmore: Which party, the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, am I more comfortable with as my executioner? Because, to put it bluntly, the for-profit, private health insurance paid-for health care delivery scheme in this country has proven such a disaster that only via the inclusion of a "public option" in any reform effort might there be any genuine reform. And sans genuine reform, the patient - in this case, the economic viability of the country, its businesses, large and small, and almost all its citizens - is going to die.
The GOP, charging into town, pretending to be the political mirrors of the Magnificent Seven in 1994, had through the long, interminable, excruciatingly painful years it held sway that there was never anything approaching "magnificent" in the gang; no Yul Brynner, no Steve McQueen, no Charles Bronson, no James Coburn.
Just a bunch of thoroughly disreputable, wholly loathsome sexual and religious and fiscal hypocrites, and plain out yellow-bellied cowards. The party's Elmer Gantry orations lambasting sexual and marital malfeasance while concomitantly themselves engaging precisely that which they condemned so harshly are now YouTube smoking-gun testimony to their innate moral depravity. Without so much as hosting, while they held the reins of political power, even one oversight hearing into the run-away spending and contractor fraud that they became enamored of, and desiccating tax policies they pushed through congress, the GOP doubled a national debt that Ronald Reagan tripled, all the while advertising themselves as the guardians of fiscal discipline. Again, sans so much as a single oversight hearing, the Party showed its patriotic fervor by repeatedly sending the sons and daughters of others to face death and dismemberment, and all of it on lies they refused to see, or question. When every pretence to human decency had been ravaged, when every tangent on behalf of minimum standards of humane treatment of prisoners had been cynically dismissed, and when even the most modest concern for the contents and spirit of the US Constitution had been cast aside, and, when the voters had finally said "enough has been much more than can ever be excused" and tossed them out of office en masse, the Party became as mesmerized cobras, unable to grasp any element of reality, but prepared to strike and envenom the nation with more of their deadly toxins nonetheless.
The most discouraging capstone, however, to the Party's disemboweled disingenuous depravity took place last week during the Senate Judiciary Hearings, to fulfill that chamber's advise and consent constitutional obligation concerning Judge Sotomayor's suitability as an Associate Supreme Court justice. And perhaps the most iconic of Southern post-Reconstruction racial intolerance, Alabama's US Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, took entire statements the "Latina" nominee had made decades earlier out of all context, to try to paint her as some sort of out of control, raving bigot. Here was a fellow who, while he was the Alabama State Attorney General, had referred to white civil rights attorneys as "disgraces to their race," who had sought to cull the black electorate of their voting rights with harassing criminal suits (All of which he lost, by the way.), who had even referred to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as a "piece of intrusive legislation," who had continually called a black male government employee "boy," who should "be careful what he says to white folks," and who could find no fault with Ku Klux Klan members being tried for murder, until he heard some of them smoked pot. (http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=8dd230f6-355f-4362-89cc-2c756b9d8102)