Monday, March 22, 2010

Woo-hoo! Health care bill passes!

And gee, wow, amazingly enough, the stock market didn't go down.  Hmm, could that be because the market was aware that President Obama threaded the needle of corporate opposition and made it clear that he wasn't a business-hating radical?

The blog firedoglake has written very extensively on the health care issue and delivers a mixed verdict on the results.

There are still a few details left to go, but this appears to have been the real "heavy lifting" task that needed to be done. Now the Senate has to do its thing and then the President has to sign it.  Unfortuately, the traditional media deserves a grade of "F" for their coverage of the debate. Coverage was very, very heavy on "political process and Beltway politics" and very, very light on "serious policy analysis." The rap in this post is that Howard Kurtz tries to make believe that this is all a recent or easily-explicable development and not a long-term, systemic problem.

The right wing has really gone over the edge about this. The false equivalence that the traditional media likes to engage in (Establishment reaction to 911Truthers and Birthers and Vince Foster conspiracy-buffs are the same) is difficult to pull off here as we see even Congresspeople engaged in getting tea party protesters riled up and waving protest signs along with:

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol , angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “nigger” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis , a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.
The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus , lawmakers said.
“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s okay, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.”

Former Bush aide David Frum agrees that the completion of the health care bill is "Waterloo," but disagrees as to which side suffered that implied fate.

Update: The Speaker outlines benefits more or less immediately available for Americans from the just-passed health care bill.