Thursday, December 24, 2009

Roll Over And Beg Award: The Entire U.S. Senate

Oh, please, spare me. The huzzahs have already started for Harry Reid, triumphal parliamentarian of the Senate:

Whether one sees the Democratic health care proposal as the greatest progressive policy accomplishment in a generation or a bitter disappointment worthy of defeat, it's hard to deny that the Senate Majority Leader did what he set out to do. There were plenty of times this year when it seemed the reform proposal simply wouldn't survive, but Harry Reid kept working, and managed to find -- and hold onto -- 60 votes.

Harry Reid

Reid may have done some virtuoso maneuvering to pass the health care "reform" bill , but that's utterly beside the point to those of us who will be paying with our lives and our remaining cash for this worthless piece of crap. There is, I repeat for all the fools who have utterly ignored this point, no mechanism for enforcement of these provisions. Essentially, they've left the enforcement of federal insurance guidelines to the states, who, if they'd been up to the task, would have fixed health insurance already. Of course, there's little to enforce anyway. In the end, the main difference is that now people will be forced to buy health insurance. It will still be lousy insurance that is administered solely to maintain the insurance companies' bottom line.

No one has acquitted himself well here. The Republicans played politics, trying to make the Democrats look bad. They succeeded, except in how the Democrats look in comparison to Republicans, at least from where I sit. They stayed utterly out of the fray. Here's an illustration, an AFP/Getty screenshot of the vote:

Image credit: AFP/Getty

Not a single Republican voted for this bill, in spite of the bill being one big giveaway to insurance and other medical corporations, and a huge "screw you" to the middle class. You'd think they would have loved it.

The progressives refused to stop the bill, even though they could have. Ben Nelson threatened to filibuster until women weren't allowed to pay for abortions with insurance money. Joe Lieberman threatened to filibuster because it made him important. But not one of the supposed progressives filibustered to stop a disaster for the middle class. As for the remaining Democratic Leadership Committee and Blue Dog caucus members, they were their usual, feckless selves.

Never has the Senate better demonstrated how thoroughly corrupt and dysfunctional it is. Now they're all slithering out of town so they can be home by Christmas.

Well, not so fast, Senators. I have a present for you. In honor of your triumph, I'm bestowing on you the most fitting award this blog has to offer - the Roll Over And Beg Award. In the history of the Beggie this particular award is unprecedented - never before has it been awarded unanimously to one body. But then, it has never been more well deserved. If ever there was a body that rolled over and begged for their big campaign contributors more faithfully, I haven't had the misfortune of witnessing it.

As always, the prize consists of one dog biscuit per winner, the purchase and consumption of which is the responsibility of the winner. I only wish I could make it mandatory - just like the crap insurance they're making us buy. That would be fitting, but sadly karma doesn't seem to work at this time of year.

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