Thursday, August 17, 2006


You know, I was reading my friend WTL's magnificent post on universal health care this morning. And when I got down to the comments, in which some tool identifying himself as "Sgtlarry" made the following statements:

Why do you think it is morally ok to steal from me (in the form of taxes) to pay for someone else's health care?

The last time I checked, a few assholes thinking something was good for the country was all it took, Larry.

For example: A few assholes ignored every argument against it and started a war in Iraq. I have to foot my share of the bill for that--- $307.5 billion so far, and thanks to some piss poor planning, there's no end in sight. There are 290 million Americans, so by my count, the federal government owes everyone that disagreed with the war somewhere around $1100. I was going to ask for my check from the government, but since I'm guessing you believe in it, you should pick up my share.

And the next time I do my taxes, I'll pull up the amount of money spent building a wall on the Mexican border. I don't want it there. It exists simply because Republican politicians wanted to toss some red meat to the bigoted part of their base. Therefore, I'm hanging onto the amount I would be paying for that.

I'll also take a few moments to figure out exactly how much money I'm blowing by footing the bill for presidential travel as he flies around the country to campaign for his party in the midterms.

There are all kinds of expenses I disagree with. Can we send the bill for Congress's time debating Terri Schiavo to Tom DeLay and Bill Frist? I know a lot of Tommy's money is tied up in his legal defense these days, but he surely took enough under the table to cover my share.

In the Republican mind, all of these expenses are legit--- Yet caring for the sick is "stealing".

A few weeks ago, WTL and I were at Drinking Liberally. We stayed pretty late into the evening just because we're pretty good friends. A young woman came over and sat down at our table. She launched into a littany of right wing talking points and asked us why we were Democrats.

I wasn't really in the mood to discuss politics by that point. Everyone seems to assume that any time there are two progressives in a room, that we want to talk about politics. Me, I was in the mood to discuss a beautiful woman I'd met earlier in the evening.

So when she asked us why we were Democrats, I looked at her and said "Because when you strip away the bullshit from any right wing talking point, you find a "me me me selfish prick" ideology at the heart of it all."

I don't just mean "asshole". I'm an asshole myself. My personality has been compared to Dr. House's.

But even I have enough compassion to know that caring for the sick isn't "stealing". It's our responsibility as human beings to ease suffering where we find it. It's how we pay our room and board on this planet.


bob said...

Here is the simplest and most potent argument for Larry:

It's not about stealing from you to give to others. WTL is talking about Universal Health Care. Everybody pays. Everybody gets the assurance of a basic level of health care and protection. Those that want to buy more can do so, just as elderly can buy suuplements to Medicare.

John Harvey said...

Hey Free,

Put the broadbrush up. I'm a Republican and I think we owe healthcare to those who can't afford it. Terry Roland is also in agreement. As a matter of fact, he wants to take some of the 1.5 billion dollar roads slush fund and pay for healthcare for Tennesseans who can't afford it.

I've been called a social conservative. I guess that fits. I simply believe those who can work, should. Those who are legitimately unable to work, we are obligated to help. I have never agreed with the social welfare programs that reward people for not being productive, when they were totally capable of doing so.

So, put the big brush up and get a smaller one!

Freedonian said...

Thank you, Bob. That is indeed a terrific argument.

John, I would LOVE to put that broad brush away. You have no idea. And I'm truly grateful to see that you and Roland aren't down with the program.

But when I think back a few months to S.1955 - A bill that would have deregulated the health insurance industry to the point that they no longer had to pay for mammograms, pap smears, most prenatal care, etc--- Not a single Republican in the US Senate voted against it. Not Chafee, not McCain, not Snowe, not Collins--- None of them. It failed only because we were able to keep most of our usual suspects from straying off of the reservation.

I'd love to be able to think of Republicans as not being anti-healthcare. Guys like you and Roland need to take charge of your party.