Flickr Photo by Barack Obama
America finally made it. On Sunday night, a health care reconciliation bill with student loan reforms attached passed in the House and Senate with a 219-212 vote and President Obama came out to make a statement and declare "government still works for the people."
Obama added, "We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things." He stated proudly, "This is what change looks like."
The president was correct when he said that. Unfortunately, this is indeed what change looks like.
The beginning, middle, and end of this process leaves an indelible mark in the records and provides an example of what any meaningful reforms or proposed radical changes dealing with issues will face in the future.
The finish shows us all that in the closing moments of a process, which could ultimately be derailed, those with the most idealism and passion for humanity will be persuaded, cajoled, pressured, and browbeaten until they fall into line and vote for a corporate interpretation of reform Americans are told to believe is for the people.
It shows us that Democratic senators and representatives with amendments and additional policy suggestions who come ready to address populist fears of a corporate giveaway will be told to sit down, shut up and get out of the way so that incremental reform can get through, so that fears based on religious doctrine (e.g. abortion) can be attended to instead.
The process demonstrates that minority groups will be forced to make a sacrifice. When politicians are incapable of framing the debate in a way that upholds humanity, women, working class people, immigrants, the poor, etc will suffer and see the expansive nature of the reform or proposed policy change greatly reduced.
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