I was back at the clinic this morning for another experiment in that Evil Demon known as Socialized Medicine. (Cue the Carmina Burana soundtrack.) I was in the dressing room about to change into the ultra-flattery hospital gown for an ultra-fun test when I looked in the mirror and saw this:
Me looking "pleasantly plump" - and liking it! 8/27/2009
I thought, “Wow, I look really cute. I like how I look in this shirt and these jeans. I like my curves. I look, dare I say it… pleasantly plump?”
I was feeling pretty good about myself when I walked out to the small waiting area. Well, that is until I noticed the story on the morning talk show (I think it was the Today Show). The perky, skinny host and guest were talking about how important it is to reduce inches around our middle sections to reduce our risk for heart disease and other fun afflictions.
What the hell, universe? I couldn’t have even one moment of feeling good about myself without being reminded I’m an unhealthy pig?
I guess the larger question is, what is the balance between striving for better health and still maintaining a good self-esteem? How does the media educate the public on prevention and wellness and not make us hate ourselves at the same time?
I don’t have any answers. In fact, after my appointment, I decided to give the cosmos a ginormous “Screw You!” and headed to McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin meal. With a Diet Coke, of course.
Some on the right, such as the birthers, deathers and teabaggers, have insisted their anti-Obama rhetoric and behavior is acceptable because “the left did the same thing to Bush.” When he appeared on Meet the Press recently, FreedomWorks’ Dick Armey tried tried this argument again:
DAVID GREGORY: Do you bear some responsibility for the tone of the debate?
FMR. REP. DICK ARMEY (R-TX): Not, not whatsoever. Not when you see the kind of extreme thing you just saw, the—you know, I had my differences with President Bush, George W. Bush, there’s no doubt about it. They were well aware of that. But when moveon.org ran those ads that compared President Bush with, with Adolf Hitler, I thought it was despicable.
MS. RACHEL MADDOW: They never did that.
REP. ARMEY: They did do it. I’ll show you the ad.
MS. MADDOW: They didn’t do that. They never ran an ad that compared…
REP. ARMEY: All right. Anyway. All right.
MS. MADDOW: MoveOn never ran an ad that compared Bush to Hitler.
Um, Rachel, you know I adore you and all that, right? Moveon.org did do that. Here’s the ad. It’s not cool.
Still, the “Bush is Hitler” didn’t take root with most of the Democratic party. Despite what we thought about what happened in Florida and the Supreme Court decision in 2000, those of us who voted for Al Gore accepted that George W. Bush became the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001. When the transfer of power from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration was complete, most of us took a deep sigh and hoped for the best.
I believed (and still do) that George W. Bush was a good man. I wasn’t sure he was up to the job of being president but was reassured that he had chosen Dick Cheney for his Vice President. Foolishly, I thought Cheney’s competence and experience would be enough to keep our country afloat. How could I know he would use his political expertise to advance his personal agenda?
But as usual, I digress. I do like a tangent.
Most Gore voters accepted Bush as our president and moved on. (No pun intended.) He was our commander in chief on September 11, 2001, and all of those scary days that followed. He was our commander-in-chief as we went to war in Afghanistan. As the Bush administration began to make the case for the Iraq war, many people had doubts. There were anti-war protests but the anti-war/anti-Bush sentiment didn’t take root with the American left.
Maybe I can only speak for myself and my family, friends and neighbors who share my beliefs. (There are many who don’t.) We may dislike Bush’s decisions, policies and actions, but I highly doubt anyone of us would say he is evil. As far as the Nazi and racist imagery the right is putting out, the worst the mainstream right can be accused of is portraying Bush as a monkey in web cartoons (which doesn’t have the same connotation for white people), a doofus on comedy shows and feeling a perverse pleasure that all the “W”‘ keys were missing from the White House keyboards when the Bush administration arrived on January 20, 2001.
Moveon.org’s ad was not appropriate and they apparently got the message. It didn’t seem to get a lot of airplay. The Democratic party never encouraged its members to yell at their members of Congress. I never went to a local park and saw a picture of Bush depicted as Hitler or any other terrorist. It may have happened elsewhere but it wasn’t often. There was a fringe movement; it wasn’t mainstream.
When I went to the health care rally, I saw people carrying awful signs. These were not awful people. They were people who go to church, care for their families, and work hard at jobs they may or may not like. They shop at Wal-mart and go to brunch at the Pub on Sunday. They watch Fox News and listen to the Republican Party hate machine.
I don’t know what the answer is but there is a crazy divide in this country that’s got to stop.
I woke up this morning at 5:00 AM, two hours before my alarm was set to go off and couldn’t fall back asleep. Why? I am so furious about the supposed demise of the public option I could spit, or scream or both. I don’t care if it’s not lady-like. It’s true.
Why the hell is the public option even up for negotiation? How many times have we heard President Obama say he wants a “uniquely American solution” to the health care crisis? I understand not wanting to dismantle the health insurance industry, if only because of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people it employs. Still, the health insurance industry is currently failing at least 46 million people who don’t have insurance. Those are the ones we know about. Then there are the underinsured. Don’t forget the illegal immigrants who emergency, stabilizing treatment in emergency rooms, which hospitals are required to do and adds to all of our health care bills. (Not mine, obviously. I’m one of those “socialized medicine” Medicaid leeches. Yes, I’m that furious today. The sarcasm meter has been broken it’s so high. It’s either that or just have this entire post be a string of @#%&*(!)
Her’s what Howard Fineman had to say about Obama appearing to back away from the public option last night on Countdown:
“My sense of it is, and it has been for a long time, even going back to the rhetoric on the campaign, that Barack Obama has been much more interested in the idea of universality and in making history that way than in the public option, per se”
Thankfully, the fight doesn’t appear to be over. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senators Russ Feingold and Jay Rockefeller all pushed back in a Washington Post article this morning. Rep. Anthony Weiner has been on the offensive over the last 24 hours. Finally, this morning, the White House seems to gotten their act together – sort of. From Thehill.com:
Gibbs reiterated that the president’s preference to create competition and quality in health insurance is through a public option, but Obama is willing to listen to other ideas that would achieve the same outcome.
I’m not asking for a handout. In fact, just the opposite. I’m asking for help in getting off Medicaid, off the government programs. I want to be self-sufficient. I want to buy my own insurance.
Today is one of those days where my body is laughing at me saying, “Ha! You really think you could ever work a normal full-time job? Seriously? Are you out of your blooming mind?!” I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say that mobility returned to the extremities but not all of the internal organs. You figure it out. In any case, my full-time job over the last few days has simply been taking care of my physical needs.
I guess that’s why I’m on disability. I really wish I weren’t and I am working hard towards the day when I won’t be. As I’ve said before, I need low-cost health insurance (and a living wage) to get off SSI and Medicaid. That’s why I’m in favor of the public option.
But what the heck, President Obama? Over the past 48 hours, the Obama administration appears to be backing away from the public option. At Saturday’s town hall, President Obama gave a long-winded, three-point answer in response to one question on the public option. Later, while discussing whether or not a private plans could compete with a public option, he said:
This is a legitimate debate to have. All I’m saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform. This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.
Then, yesterday HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told John King on CNN that the public option is “not essential.” Watch:
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was on CBS’ Face the Nation, where he where he said, “the bottom line for this for the president is, what we have to have is choice and competition in the insurance market.” He did say that the president favored the public option “thus far.” Watch:
On the one hand, I can live without a public option. My only main objective is that health insurance is affordable for low-income people like me. On the hand, seriously?! What the hell have we gone through all of this crazy B.S. for if there won’t be a public option. I’ve shed tears over this. Last week, I stood on a picnic table in front of strangers and briefly told my story. I let Sen. Russ Feingold tell the entire world my story on the Senate floor, all the freakin’ hope that maybe someday I will be financially independent again.
If Obama was going to cave on the public option, why bother even talking about it in the first place? This country has been torn even further apart because the Fox News crowd is using “socialized medicine” to stir up racial tensions. Members of Congress have gotten death threats. In my personal life, I fear I have lost or damaged at least one relationship with a loved one over this issue.
If Obama was going to cave on the public option, why did any of us even bother? Why did we elect him in the first place? I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary and I’m really proud I did. Where is my fierce advocate in the White House?
Progressives, if you believe in the public option, now is the time to get busy. Call, write, email, fax or tweet your representative and senators. (Find your representative here and your senators here. See top of page on both websites.) Last night on Twitter, Melissa Harris-Lacewell (@harrislacewell) suggested that everyone contact the White House demanding they support the public option. You can do that here.
The time is now. We need health care reform. We need a public option.