The Petty Politics of “Messing With” Obama(Care)

obama ford

President Obama greets Ford employees after delivering remarks on the economy at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant . (White House Photo by Pete Souza)

We have witnessed five years of political obstructionism come to a head this week, as the nation prepares to launch its first nationwide comprehensive health care plan, the Affordable Care Act. This should be a period of euphoria. But it’s not. It’s a period of grand distortions.

When the Affordable Care Act passed three years ago, the middle class and poor people finally got something that says society hasn’t forgotten about them. Forty three million uninsured people now could receive care and shop for their provider. 43 million. That’s a major accomplishment. But it has never been recognized as such.

The entire time health care reform was debated and legislated, it was mischaracterized and distorted. Politics gets petty like that sometimes. While the President of the United States has tried to, by and large, ignore the pettiness – he can’t ignore the reality. The Republicans have been able to distort the reality of what the Affordable Care Act means and can do for Americans.

Since the Republicans can’t deal with the truth of the Affordable Care Act passing, they’re going to spend every waking hour trying to tear it down – trying to distort what it is, what it will cost and what it ultimately mean for the people’s “quality of life” health care.

When you can’t fight the truth, you distort the reality – hoping the lie becomes the truth.

The Republicans have spent the past three years licking their wounds while trying to distort the reality of what universal health care means to the nation. They have even sought to racialize the distortion by tying it to the President in a way that reminds you who he is and where it came from. You can’t separate the health care policy from the man who signed it into law.

They even gave it a name, hoping – one, it would be his downfall in re-election; and two, it would cause people to reject it on its face before even understanding what it could do for them.

They call it, “Obamacare.”

As the January, 2014 launch comes closer to reality, the Republicans have raised the stakes. Just when you think this Congress can’t become any more obstructionist than it already is – already the lowest rated Congress since they started conducting approval ratings polls for Congress – it uses rudimentary powers it has as tools to run the government as leverage points to undermine the funding of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. This month, it’s holding up the budget approval process until Obamacare is defunded. The House has already passed an Emergency budget bill that only takes the government’s 2013-2014 funding through December, 2013 and it is without funding for Obamacare. Political posturing of the worse kind. Outrageous.

On the Senate side, Senator Ted Cruz is attempting to filibust a budget that includes the Obamacare funding. It’s clowntown U.S.A. (all over again). Next month, they will refuse to raise the debt ceiling (again). Last time they played that trick, the nation fell off the “fiscal cliff” into a forced sequestration. Massive layoffs and forced government service cuts followed (including the closing of the “People’s House,” White House tours). Economists are predicting that if they do it again, the recession could return and hurt the American public even more.

The Republican’s don’t care. This is about political survival for them. They don’t care how many people they hurt in the process, if it means they get Obama.

Some people are reckless like that. It shouldn’t be ignored (and it won’t).

Every other word out of the Republicans mouths are;

“Kill Obamacare.”

“Defund Obamacare.”

“No Obamacare.”

They scream it in the most extreme and damaging language they can muster. The goal is to try to turn the people against it before they can enroll in it, because they know once the people enroll in it – they’re gonna find out it was better than they had been told and the lies of the distortionists were solely for the purpose of political deceit. The funding schedules have been released and it is being reported that the Affordable Care Act will cost less than previously forecasted. So, already the distortions about Obamacare have begun to prove false. This is only the beginning.

When the people find out the Republicans lies about Obamacare were untrue, the Democrats will go into 2016 on a real high. Particularly when you have the “Presidential Hopefuls” of the other party (Cruz and others) leading the lie.

Is that what the country can look forward to as a political option for the future? Distortion is not leadership. It’s fool’s play. Some people like to play with fools though. That’s why you must ignore them and stay focused on reality, play past the distortions, or get your head bumped.

The politics of distortion can only play out for so long before the truth takes hold – and that’s generally not long at all. The President knows this, but the distortions are hard to ignore. The pettiness can create grand distractions away from more meaningful business (like a peaceful solution in Syria).

The President has been masterful in ignoring the distortions and distractions. This week, he let ‘em know what’s up on the threat to shutdown the government over Obamacare. He told autoworkers in Missouri that a government shutdown, over something that had nothing to do with fiscal policy, is irresponsible governing and will only hurt the recovering economy.

In the end, the President reminded the people that Congress is not focused on them, they’re focused on him. “They’re focused on trying to mess with me. They’re not focused on you,” meaning they could care less about the residual fallout that results from their petty politic.

I thought it was a great line.

And he was in the middle of a Republican stronghold, and received a standing ovation, when he said. It was a lesson in political reality. People are not the fools grand distortionists think they are. They see political and personal realities quite clearly.

Anthony SamadThere will be a number of town hall meetings on the Affordable Care Act in the near future. President Obama and former President Bill Clinton begin their meetings this week. Assemblyman Steve Bradford will have one in Inglewood on October 12, 2013. The states are preparing to roll out Obamacare. Don’t get your head bumped. That’s quite an easy proposition in this day of grand distortions and grander distractions. Call your state or federal elected official and demand to know how you benefit for the new Affordable Care Act.

Don’t let nobody “mess with you.” Keep the focus on your health care needs.

Not their petty politics of grand distortions.

Anthony Samad
Black Commentator

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Published by the LA Progressive on September 26, 2013
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About Anthony Asadullah Samad

Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad is an author, scholar and the co-founder, Managing Director and host of the Urban Issues Forum. Dr. Samad's most recent book is entitled "Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom". His national column can be read in newspapers and cyber-sites nationwide. His weekly writings can be read at www.blackcommentator.com. For more information about Dr. Samad, go to www.AnthonySamad.com.

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