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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
March 16, 2010
It is no surprise that Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a champion of progressive legislation in the U.S. House and former presidential candidate, has become a “marked man” under President Obama. “Obama knew that, if he were to have any chance to pass a private health insurance subsidy bill, he would first have to bludgeon the Left into submission.” But Kucinich remains unbowed in his opposition to Obama’s perversion of health care reform.
“Kucinich’s refusal to go along with Obama’s horrible private health insurance subsidy bill has made him a marked man.”
If there is a left wing in the Democratic Party, it numbers no more than 60 or so members in the U.S. House of Representatives, even on a good day. But, ever since the corporate Democrat Barack Obama gained the presidency, there have been very few good days for the Left. When it comes to health care, the congressional Left has shriveled to nearly nothing, beaten down by jackhammer-like pressures from the Obama White House.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich is one of the few, the brave – a profile in courage, if you will. Kucinich’s refusal to go along with Obama’s horrible private health insurance subsidy bill, masquerading as health care reform, has made him a marked man. Phony leftist yap dogs for Obama like MoveOn and the Daily Kos – who punk out and run at the first sign of a real fight with Power – thump their chests, woofing about what they’ll do to Congressman Kucinich if he doesn’t cave in to the president on health care.
According to the London Daily Telegraph, Obama is threatening to refuse to campaign for any Democratic congressperson that doesn’t back his health bill – an invitation to the fat cats to fund challengers in November. The same Wall Street money that brought Barack Obama from obscurity to the White House would be deployed to flush out what remains of the Left in the U.S. Congress – most prominently, Dennis Kucinich.
“Phony leftist yap dogs for Obama like Moveon and the Daily Kos thump their chests, woofing about what they’ll do to Congressman Kucinich.”
The corporate media portray Kucinich as a Don Quixote-type figure, tilting at windmills, dreaming impossible dreams of universal health care free of the predatory private insurance companies. But polls show large majorities of Americans consistently agree with Kucinich. The dream only seems impossible because Democrats won’t fight for it – except for Kucinich and maybe a handful of others.
The person most responsible for placing that dream out of reach of the people is Barack Obama, who pulled a shameless bait and switch on health care, talking the language of universality while conniving to transfer trillions of public dollars to the private insurance industry. Once Obama’s private insurers’ bailout bill is in place, it will be almost impossible to dismantle in the foreseeable future. A trillion dollars buys lots of loyalty. And to make certain that nobody ever gets to cancel the corporate bailout, the Obama regime would prevent states from setting up their own universal health care programs.
Obama knew that, if he were to have any chance to pass a private health insurance subsidy bill, he would first have to bludgeon the Left into submission. In the course of a little over a year, he has largely accomplished that mission. Phony progressives pretend that they are voting for health care reform, when they are actually facilitating another massive redistribution of wealth to Wall Street. Dennis Kucinich refuses to go along with the charade; he’s still trying to expose the rip-off.
The Obama bill is not merely inadequate; it is a bad bill, a disaster that does great harm to the prospects of real health reform while further entrenching the power of the profiteers. It is worse, far worse, than no bill at all.
Hang in there, Congressman Kucinich. You are one of the last good men standing.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.