President Obama and his supporters are celebrating the narrow survival of his health care package, but this is what amounts to a Pyrrhic Victory, as in the ancient Greek General Pyrrhus, who often defeated the growing might of Rome, but whose victories were so costly they were later determined to be hollow.
Corporate Rome with its huge disparity between rich and poor won in the end, just as Corporate America and Romney likely will.
Romney can ask, and he's a fool if he doesn't, the same line Ronald Reagan asked to great effect in 1980, "Are you better off now, than you were four years ago?" The answer is clearly, if not a resounding no----then--- not enough better than four years ago.
Health care won't win an election.
Americans have demonstrated they'll ignore a lot that's wrong. They'll ignore endless wars against small impoverished nations in which the government doesn't explain what exactly we're trying to accomplish, and for which millions of their tax dollars are spent, not to mention thousands of lives lost or ruined. They'll forgive nation building in these states, while letting our own schools and roads rot.
Americans will forgive crooked double-dealing and philandering among their leaders as long as the leaders don't flaunt it in their faces. For example, the sort-of respectful, patriotic type of cheating like Newt Gingrich does, asking his wife for permission to boink a mistress, telling reporters it's none of their business, getting crowds of supporters to cheer him. As long as it's consenting adults, and isn't having a homosexual fling with an underage boy in the lavatory, Americans might forgive it.
Americans will forgive having their rights taken away, the Patriot Act and locking someone in jail simply on suspicion without access to an attorney, or using drones to spy on them in their houses, or the use of torture in the name of patriotism, or the National Security Letter, a subpoena that allows the CIA and FBI to study your private and financial records without a judge reviewing it to see if there's any good reason for it, called "probable cause."
They'll forgive misstatements and lying in sound-bite campaigns over the television. They'll forgive the takeover, perversion of their elective system by corporate colossus mega-monster financial corrupters.
Americans have shown they'll tolerate all this.
Americans will forgive a lot.
What they won't forgive, the only thing they won't forgive, is having less. They'll ignore ruthless sonsofbitches in the corporate boardroom shipping jobs over to China, selling out their own country to take advantage of labor at $3.25 per hour. Americans will ignore it until they have to pay the price on the other end----being out of work.
The college student who has an $80,000 debt to get a degree and then can't find work.
The millions more who have been outsourced in their livelihoods by corporate institutional thieves so that compound-interest capital vultures can pocket more money and disenfranchise clueless Americans.
That's why the health care affirmation by the Supreme Court is an Obama victory worthy of good old Pyrrhus.
Obama has not been able to fix the economy.
I refuse to believe that America is just another place on the map with a flag. Mitt Romney |
The housing market never came back. People can't afford mortgages and even if they could, they won't buy because they no longer have confidence in the system whose abuses they have consistently tried to ignore. They were too busy watching mindless reality TV shows whose producers produce them because they're cheap to make and don't require any talent.
Obama has tried to do what an old Russian proverb warned against, "Try to catch two rabbits at the same time, you catch neither one."
Like trying to catch two rabbits, Obama at times came off like a Liberal Republican, continuing wars he originally opposed that were bankrupting the country, reaffirming the unpatriotic, fear-inspired, paranoiac Patriot Act, and more.
Even his health care package was a watered-down version that satisfied few, and least of all his opponents, despite the fact he will no doubt attempt to portray this as a noble form of compromise.
So what does he have to run on?
Things aren't good, but they'll be worse if you vote for them. It's their fault. They wouldn't go along with my plans. That's what Obama will no doubt say.
There is some truth here. But it won't make up for the guy who is still out of work at the age of 56, and who has to explain to his kid why they can't ever take a vacation, and why he has to borrow money from his 79-year-old mother to make the rent.
And if the truth be known, Obama has never been very good at swaggering around and looking and acting like John Wayne. There are already enough Americans around who won't vote for him because he's black.
His Arabic-sounding name doesn't help either.
Democrats and Obama can celebrate the health care decision. What they perhaps don't realize is, they have reached a water mark that will now recede as quickly as a high tide.
America is sliding into the status of a Third World nation, and Obama is its incumbent.