Above Photo: Replace ACA with Medicare for All. Photo from FOX13 Salt Lake City
If politics is the art of the possible, what do supposedly progressive politicians and political organizations fight for after they decide that jobs, justice and peace are impossible? Do they fight for their positions and prerogatives? For the biggest campaign contributions? It’s not hard to tell who is on the side of the people. There are after all, bright lines.
Last week Physicians for a National Health Care Plan released a press statement declaring the Republican plan to replace Obamacare “a re-branded and far meaner version” of the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act. This ought to raise a pertinent question: If all Republicans have to do is “re-brand” and tweak Obamacare, was it really much good to start with? The fact is that Obamacare was written by and for insurance companies in the first place, and from the beginning it left out roughly half the black uninsured, who lived in states where Republican legislatures and governors were able to block Medicaid expansion. For many of those who did receive coverage, high deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays made using your new Obamacare policy unaffordable.
So why are Democratic special election candidates like Georgia’s Jon Ossoff whining that they want to work with Republicans to “fix what’s broken” in Obamacare, when the entire premise of trusting for-profit insurance companies to deliver health care is bankrupt and useless? The answer is that this is what Democrats do.
Jon Ossoff is running for the seat vacated by Tom Price, the nutcase anti-abortion doctor who is now Secretary of Health and Human Services. Osoff is endorsed by Our Revolution, the reincarnation of the Bernie Sanders campaign, and Congressman John Lewis, who has been coasting on his lifetime civil rights hero pass for two generations now. He is also embraced by a host of pro-privatization Democrats like Atlanta’s Stacey Abrams.
This is one of those political moments where there are bright lines which distinguish friends from foes. The American people have always wanted real healthcare for everyone and the only practical way to get that is to simply lower the Medicare age down to zero. Those who say it cannot be done or should not be tried are on one side and the rest of us are on the other. That is a bright line and Our Revolution has placed itself on the wrong side.
The question of war and global empire is another bright line. Ossoff touts his top secret security clearance obtained by working on Capitol Hill as a national security staffer. But so far, in the tradition of warmongering corporate Democrats he has little or nothing to say about Trump’s one-upping the warlike Democrats with his ten percent hike in the military budget, and when he does have something to say it will be about Russia. This is the kind of Democrat that gets a DNC endorsement and a million dollars from the likes of Tom Perez, and the endorsement of John Lewis and Our Revolution, again on the wrong side of another bright line.
We haven’t heard from Ossoff on school privatization, raising the minimum wage or championing the right to organize unions and strike, but apparently those too are outside and beyond the pale of respectable Democrats, and Berniecrats too. These constitute still another bright line.
Revolutions are not made by people with their eye on this week’s polling or next week selection. Revolutionaries set lofty goals that some deem unachievable, and that their foes declare illegitimate. If politics is the art of the possible, politicians and political organizations who deem opposing war and militarism, fighting for Medicare for all impractical and impossible are peddling a politics of uselessness, in which the people’s needs cannot be satisfied, a politics where peace, jobs and justice are impossible. Maybe “Our Revolution” ought to change its name.