Thursday, December 10, 2009

Afghanistan or Health Care: Which One REALLY Matters?

Health care.  Health care reform really matters.

In the scheme of things Afghanistan is nothing but a holdover from the failed policies and adventures of President Bush.  It is amazing to me how Republicans have attempted even now to rehabilitate the 43rd president. That effort to revive the cult of neo-conservatism is eerily like the ongoing attempts in Russia to rehabilitate Stalin (the only man in modern history to give Hitler a run for his money in terms of pure unadulterated evil and craziness).

In terms of Afghanistan in the end what will really matter is how effective the military will do its job and that is dependent on strategy and tactics as well as leadership.  Does Obama have the generals he needs to do the job?  One is of course reminded of President Lincoln's struggle to find the right person to lead the Union to victory.  This quote is from a paper available at the Abraham Lincoln Association website:

Army leaders proved more frustrating. Lincoln resembled nothing so much as the owner of a big-league baseball team trying to find the right manager through the war’s early years, and the documents that your students examine will show Lincoln’s early frustrations, his prodding nature, and eventually, a growing confidence when he had finally found the men best suited for the work (paragraph 4).  That paper is available in its entirety on the Association's web page. 

There is of course another factor which weighs in heavily on what happens in Afghanistan, and that is of course Afghanistan itself.  Arguably it is not even a country but a loosely associated grouping of tribes and ethnicities that do not play well together, and that has never functioned as a nation state.  I often think that the only entity that really wants, and believes in, a united Afghanistan is the United States.  We are certainly doing the heavy lifting and nobody is thanking us for it.

As I write this health care reform is by no means an accomplished fact.  The Republican party is fighting its own alarmist slash and burn policy of scare tactics and nay saying.  Support for the president is wanning as a fickle American people forget how serious problems were the day the last Bush left the white house in one piece but the rest of the world in a shambles.  This president has used up a lot of political capitol to get the initiative this far and if it fails it will fail not because of the Republicans but because of Democrats.  

Once again extremeism, and the sheer hysteria of manic voices like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coultier, and Glenn Beck (am I the only one that thinks the uniform he is wearing on the book cover pictured below makes him look like a Nazi Storm Trooper?) resonate with the American people. What is the matter with Kansas?!

Beck does look like some flavor of fascist - either that or an old fashioned elevator man or perhaps a bell hop at a posh hotel?  Look at that photograph and tell me who looks like an idiot.  And what about Ann Coulter and her obvious eating disorder?

My point is that the Republican party is being led by a group of mean spirited maniacs with serious personality disorders and worse yet people listen to them.  Those people are not wise, they are just loud.  But, maybe loud mean spiritedness ego-centric behaviors are now what passes as wisdom?  Don't even get me started on Sarah Palin.  But, what do they all, including Sarah Palin, have in common besides all that?  They are all millionaires with good health insurance who are against health care reform.

Our health care system only works if you have money and/or insurance.  If you want to live in a country where it is everyone for themselves then that is fine.  If you aspire to something higher then we need a change. Lets get health care reform.  


-C... said...

Mike, I'm catching up on some of your post and while I agree with you about Beck (looking like a fascist) and Ann - I don't think they represent the norm of the Republican party - they are the fringes, and the fringe is what attracts the all of the attention.

When W was in office, look at who was the focus of the fringes "Air America's Franken and Garofalo" Olberman, et al... I really don't think it matters who is in office, you're going to have this edu/news-tainment thing happening. All of this media-tainment madness has helped to drive our country down and shown us our own bad sides. What's the old saying 'United we stand, divided we fall' - I still believe that and feel that as a country we are not united. There is too much polarization by all of us.

mike said...

The problem is that they are the new face. I think the old face, which I miss very much, is dead. Maybe it will come back.

I dislike Olberman and his ilk as much as Beck and Ann. The problem is that the Republican party has lost its way having become hijacked by mean spirited persons with untreated personality disorders.

Unfortunately we have a parliamentary mentality (slash and burn) without the mechanics of a parliamentary system that allow for quicker changes of government at more irregular intervals. We have politicians not statesman. As one commentator said the other day politicians are now running for office ALL the time. Polarized party voting is at an all time high.

When I was an undergraduate Polly Batterson, my poly sci teacher and a political genius, was THEN talking about the dangers of our increasing polarization. Since then it has only gotten worse.