I would much rather be writing a happy holiday blog, but this won't be it. Alas, the United States government is on the precipice of proving again that our elected Representatives put the needs of their corporate money wranglers ahead of the public interest.
Now I know many of you out there already know this, and some live in countries where they too have big money impinging on "the dance of legislation" in their respective lawmaking bodies. And, honestly, I'm no idealist and I accept that a certain amount of this has been in the world since Julius Caesar was a pup and all that.
But there are times, ladies and gentlemen, when it gets so brazen that even I, a mild-mannered and temperate sort who holds open doors for old ladies in shops and drives the speed limit most of the time, just wants to take a nail gun to my own hand and impale my left paw unto the desk I'm typing this on---just to be diverted for a few hours by the excruciating pain---anything, anything, to spare me the disappointment of seeing another small step for ordinary people in my country stamped out by a few special interests and their toadies in high office.
Joe Liberman is the latest of these apparent toads--a Senator from Connecticut who once ran as the Vice President of the Democratic Party in the Year 2000. He lost, as did Presidential Candidate Al Gore, thanks in part to Gore's lackluster campaign style during the three televised debates with Bush. Fighting Joe then smelled a change in the wind and started becoming more conservative and hawkish on all wars, including the dubious affair in Iraq that was wildly destructive and apparently unnecessary.
Fighting Joe renounced northern Democratic Party policies--like opposition to continuing the war in Iraq--so completely he was actually defeated in 2006 in the party primary by a real Democrat, Ned Lamont. Joe held on by running to the right as an "independent" and managed to win over Lamont in the general election. Since then he has endorsed John McCain for President and become a human monkey-wrench in the fight to give the United States an actual health care plan.
There are other human monkey wrenches on this bill, like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who see the health care legislation as a way to restrict public funding of abortions. But Nelson at least has an issue he cares about, and right or wrong its his concern. But Liberman to me is the one just jockeying about to tick off liberals and his old party leaders like Harry Reid of Nevada who aren't as hot for unjust wars in the Middle East as he is. And then there's this item about Fighting Joe you might find interesting: (from "The Talking Points Memo Website")
Holiday treats came early this year for the health insurance industry—not from Santa Claus but from U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT). The stock prices of major insurers rose on Monday after Lieberman threatened to join Republicans and delay consideration of healthcare reform legislation until the New Year. Lieberman said he opposes a plan to allow Americans aged 55 and older to buy into Medicare coverage.