The last few months have seen Congressional town hall meetings all across America become raucous fodder for the tea-bagger crowd, hungry for an Obama defeat. Sensing blood in the water, anti-health care reform pit bulls began a feeding frenzy on irrational assertions about what health care reform is. “Death Panels” judging on when “Grandma should expire” were some of the most egregious forms of political poppycock our country has seen.
As the debate shifted, a wave of despondency swept over progressive circles as rumors of a complete corporate sellout had infected the White House. Where was the leadership on health care? How could the radical right, crazily accusing Obama of attempting to foist “Hitlerian” policies on America, dominate the debate?
But like a good player on the court, it was only a matter of time before our President would sharpen his elbows, fight back and answer the pit bulls with his bully pulpit. And tonight he did just that.
Addressing a joint session of Congress, President Obama decried,
“I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it, if you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out.”
Most importantly, President Obama amplified the moral message of health care, how in America, we take care of our own, and that no citizen of our great nation should become subject to bankruptcy and abject poverty due to merely becoming sick. Lending a helping hand to those in need goes to the compassionate character of who we are as a nation.
Here in the heartland of America, tea-baggers and the anti-reform crowd take cues from certain talk radio firebrands, like Dana Loesch, a frequent guest on Fox News. In response to tonight’s speech she said,
“The examples that the president is citing, while heart-breaking and emotionally charged, are not the norm. Sure, insurance companies need a modicum of reformation but what the Democrats are proposing is suicide.”
Suicide? Saving the 45,000 folks that die from preventable causes due to lack of access to care is not suicide, however, letting this go on is, fratricide.
Tonight the tide turned; like Social Security and Medicare, history will not condemn the progressive transformation of the American health care system. It is part of the cultural march of progress, and as our nation moves past the obstruction of anti-government provocateurs, the proof will be felt viscerally in the level of relief millions of Americans without care today, will experience tommorrow. No longer living in fear, all able to breathe just a little more easily.