The Litany of Fear. Even those who've never picked up a single Dune book have probably heard these words: Fear is the mind-killer. And those of us around here routinely get our jollies by pointing out how irrational fear is killing minds over on the Freeper side of the spectrum. Freaking out over gay marriage. Seeing scary commies around every corner. The list goes on and on. But lately, I can't help but keep shaking my head at how fellow liberals, who've already been through so much, seem ready to throw in the towel when it comes to the Affordable Care Act's clumsy implementation.
And it's making me sick.
Let's start with the obvious, shall we? This law has already survived a Supreme Court challenge (more or less), and entire presidential election surrounding it, a government shutdown and TWO debt ceiling standoffs. Considering the good this law has already done, and its potential to do more, are all of you REALLY WILLING to give up NOW!?
Yes yes, I know, Democratic lawmakers are getting wobbly at the knees up on Capitol Hill. Oh don't worry, we can grill the 39 Democrats that voted to gut the law in due time. But by the base showing such defeatist attitudes now, how in the HELL do you expect the typically skittish Democratic lawmakers to find the political will to stand firm? Throughout the shutdown crisis, Democrats in the House and Senate were urged to stand firm and resist being manipulated into accepting GOP demands. Keep yourselves in panic mode, and unable to form coherent sentences, and more defections will follow.
I'm sure I'm not the first to point out the atmosphere is very similar to the aftermath of Obama's asstacular first debate with Romney. The freakout mode was palpable then, but at least then it seemed to motivate Obama to improve. And the situation is, in many ways, better. The next big election is almost a year away, not a month or so. And there was ALREADY an election that showed wavering Teabagger popularity and a big win by a Democratic gubernational candidate running on a liberal platform...even in the WAKE of Obamacare woes. Sure, the so-called 'librul' corporate media tried to downplay our successes on that day. Did we listen then? Will you let their determination to sell fear, and manufacture scandals to sell their products, sap your will now?
Another thing to keep in mind: just because the mainstream media have manufactured a credibility problem for Obama and the Democrats, that doesn't necessarily mean the GOP will win on issues by default. Hostility toward ENDA, immigration reform and raising the minimum wage can still work in the Democrats' favor. And that's not even considering if (oh hell, WHEN) the Republicans are overconfident enough to go through with another shutdown. Oh, the Teabagger base is still out there, and their only tactic is to keep shouting louder so GOP lawmakers will still hear them. Must we not ensure that Democrats in Congress don't heed their insanity as well, just like this last shutdown?
Was Obama's 'apology' frustrating? In some ways, absolutely. But let's face it, the public at large is not attentive enough to absorb a long explanation of how insurance companies could've continued grandfathered pre-ACA policies but chose not to, and also kept selling policies they KNEW would be canceled afterward. Besides, if he had gone that route, Republicans could've just said he was shifting blame. It sucks that the GOP and the corporate media put the President in such a spot. But perhaps a tactical retreat was in order. By using such an opportunity to look like the bigger man and fess up, then offering a 'fix' that puts the onus for continuing policies on the insurance companies, where it BELONGS, time was bought and possibly opportunities for future offensives were created. Maybe there's something to that 11th-dimensional chess BS after all.
And lastly, the buzz in other recent diaries seem to indicate that the functionality of the website is improving. Wind in the sails of those venting poutrage, slowly but surely taken out.
Has the last month or so been frustrating? Absolutely. To go from everything being rainbows and ponies on the political scene after the GOP shot itself in the face, to this drastic reversal of fortunes thanks to MSM boobery, is quite galling. But I've tasted disappointment, shock and fear before over the years. And though I'm relatively young (31), I think my capacity for paralyzing fear is being burned out. Too much is riding on this damn law working. If Paul Atreides is to truly rise as the Maud'Dib, he'll need the support of as many motivated Fremen as possible.
Don't let fear be the mind-killer.