A very few good gladiators

December 16, 2009 by barbara

Prairie writes:

One of my all-time favorite movies is Gladiator. Small wonder for a liberal. It shows a man of courage, standing up for his principles and his family values against a corrupt and cowardly status quo coupled with some genuine evil.

Now far be it from me to suggest that the movie version of health care reform should feature River Phoenix as Joe Lieberman, but...what the heck. Why not? And then there's Jane Hamsher as played by Connie Nielsen. And Russell Crowe? Well, I'd give him the Dylan Ratigan part. I would've assigned Viggo Mortenson, but he wasn't in the original.

Gladiators come more and more to mind these days as you watch the bread and circuses and thumbs-downing that's going on in Washington. Bellicose Senators who quisle and cave at the first opportunity. [They call it "compromise."] Read on.

Vandals and scourges leaving the rest of us rabble to struggle to plow through the arcane paperwork so that all the Sopranos can dip their beaks along the way. But I mix my moviesque metaphors....

And where does it leave us? The progressives and liberals and hope-fulls who voted for change last year? Damned dispirited that we are seeing so much of the same ol' same ol'.

And where will we be when the healthcare "reform" bill passes? Another day older and deeper in debt, said ol' Tennessee Ernie some years ago. And some things never change.

barbara posed a question to me about whether the efforts of the Jane Hamshers of the healthcare reform battle will be effective--with the parenthetical, I'm thinking, that voices like barbara's and mine, no less passionate, are so much fainter in the loud cacophony of teabagger screeching and Big Insurance/Pharma $$$$spinning and Rethuglican fearmongering.

I answered her thusly, and I think it bears repeating:

Jane is dogged and I understand where she's coming from, and dang it, she's right. Like Dylan Ratigan is right on MSNBC--just heard his Reality Check on the banksters and why we need windfall profits tax. These are Gladiators. And the Coliseum is full of good ol' boys who are way too cozy with each other. One of the reasons her action on Hadassah Lieberman is such a flashpoint is that way too many Senators have spouses, or children who are essentially doing the same thing as the Liebermans.

We may not get what we want this go-round on healthcare, but we've gotten people's attention. And I think that matters. Next time around, instead of giving away the farm before they even get started, maybe we can just get them to give away the outhouse.

Disclaimer: barbara and I met online at firedoglake.com. We've both gone through the agonizing process of caregiving and ultimately losing a beloved family member to cancer. The Senate, the Congress, the White House should consider this post a notice that although people like Jane and Dylan, each on their issues, may seem like out-there lonely voices, they speak for Legions.

(Cross-posted at Prairie Sun Rising and at Firedoglake's The Seminal.)

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