Let’s make no mistake about it: this is the defining moment of Barack Obama’s presidency. George W Bush’s signature achievement was getting us into two quagmires of wars, Barry-O will go down in history now for passing the biggest overhaul of health care since Medicare. Say what you will about the final product, this is a huge moment. Historical, even.
Naturally, not everyone’s happy about it. The right is positively apoplectic, running around like Chicken Little as though the sky were falling. I’ve gotten messages saying workers at health insurance companies are losing their minds, some “jokingly” talking about giving out horrible customer service, and others none too jokingly suggesting a civil war.
And let’s not forget Rush saying he’d move to Costa Rica.
Republicans all yesterday were yammering about the death of liberty, the death of America, the destruction of the Constitution. While I appreciate their newfound concern with the integrity of our nation’s principles, I’m wondering why none of this came up when the first and fourth amendments were torn to shreds during the Bush years, or why no one seems to give a fig about the 21st century Sedition Act that Lieberman and McCain are pumping for. If health care reform is so important, as many were claiming, why didn’t they try when they had the power?
Moreover, as sweeping of an overhaul as this is, it’s not a radical shift. The private sector remains; this isn’t like Canada just yet. And yet the reaction is not only as though we had just gone to pure socialized medicine, it’s being argued in terms of a change to pure socialized medicine. Even if it were true that universal health care were the first step toward communism (which is isn’t), the fact remains that we haven’t done that. This is an attempt to get everyone covered within the bounds of our current system. As Obama said a few months ago, it’d be nice to just snap our fingers and say “poof we have universal health care), but we have to work with what’s in front of us, in the political climate we’re in.
I’ll say this, though: if the Teabaggers want to leave the US, let ’em. Where are they going to go that doesn’t already have socialized medicine? Iran, maybe. I’m sure they’d love the theocratic model.