What’s so frustrating about the healthcare debate is that even though 76% of Americans want a public option, this is somehow deemed politically unviable. Never mind that the Republicans were crushed at every level electorally and that President Obama has a 63% approval rating. Even this tepid option–and it is tepid compared to what most other Western nations have–probably won’t pass.
With that, I bring you Charles Pierce, who describes this as what it is, a complete failure of our political system:
But we no longer are a viable self-governing political commonwealth, and our representatives know that, and truly don’t give a damn, and the people in the elite political media could care less. (Hey, Mark Halperin, go clean a bedpan, OK?) It is on health issues where the gulf separating the inside and out Beltway realities swallows up common sense and, in doing so, causes the most material damage. The Schiavo case was a garish and noisy example, but the idea that a Democratic president and a Democratic congress can’t craft a health-reform package that contains a substantial public option that 75 percent of the people out there want because the Democrats are overly sensitive to intramural political imperatives is the Schiavo case writ unacceptably large. This is a political class responding only to itself, speaking its own language, operating by its own rules while real people get ground up in a system that everyone knows is a rigged game. Hell, at 75 percent, the president has enough “political cover” to put a single-payer option back “on the table.” But he won’t. Some corrupt old white man might yell at him.
And as Bill Maher notes, the real problem is that, on many issues, positions that either have pluralities or majorities (funny how most of those have a liberal bent), have no political champions:
Again, we rank-and-file Democrats did our jobs, now if only the elected Democrats would grow some balls and do theirs.