Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bill Moyers on Democrats and Healthcare

This has been making the rounds of the blogosphere the past week. I think it is a story that deserves to be spread widely that’s why I am posting it here.

Check out Health Care Reporting: Bill Moyers Shows How It’s Done

Check out Bill Moyers on the health care debate, Democrats, and Afghanistan

The key quote:

“MOYERS: I don’t think the problem is the Republicans . . . .The problem is the Democratic Party. This is a party that has told its progressives -- who are the most outspoken champions of health care reform -- to sit down and shut up. That’s what Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of Staff at the White House, in effect told progressives who stood up as a unit in Congress and said: "no public insurance option, no health care reform."

And I think the reason for that is -- in the time since I was there, 40 years ago, the Democratic Part has become like the Republican Party, deeply influenced by corporate money. I think Rahm Emanuel, who is a clever politician, understands that the money for Obama’s re-election will come from the health care industry, from the drug industry, from Wall Street. And so he’s a corporate Democrat who is determined that there won’t be something in this legislation that will turn off these interests. . . .

Money in politics -- you’ve had in the last 30 years, money has flooded politics . .. the Supreme Court saying "money is free speech." It goes back to the efforts in the 19th Century to give corporations the right of personhood -- so if you as a citizen have the right to donate to campaigns, then so do corporations. Money has flowed in such a flood into both parties that the Democratic Party gets a lot of its support from the very interests that -- when the Republicans are in power -- financially support the Republicans.

You really have essentially -- except for the progressives on the left of the Democratic Party – you really have two corporate parties who in their own way and their own time are serving the interests of basically a narrow set of economic interests in the country -- who, as Glenn Greenwald, who is a great analyst and journalist, wrote just this week: these narrow interests seem to win, determine the outcomes, no matter how many Democrats are elected, no matter who has their hands on the levers of powers, these narrow interests determine the outcomes in Washington, even when they have to run roughshod over the interests of ordinary Americans. I’m sad to say that has happened to the Democratic Party.”

Bill Moyers in the Bill Maher Show
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

And here are links to the Bill Moyers Journal

Money Driven Medicine
Part 1
Part 2

1 comment:

Brian said...

Bill Moyers is one of the few straight talking journalists that we have left.

The Dems, in their efforts to bend over backwards to accommodate Republicans who are really only concerned with being obstructionists, have made their Party ineffective. This is why Progressive anger has grown to the level that it has.

People want to blame the Blue dogs.... yes... they could get some of the blame...but there is a larger problem.... and it has to do with the misuse of information.... the propaganda campaigns used to influence public policy. It has gotten out of hand.

The Blue Dogs got caught up in the propaganda war (a war that the White House should have been fighting much more aggressively). These Moderate/conservative Democrats have to be responsive to their voters....and if their voters are brainwashed.... then who's fault is that? This is why Obama & Co. should have launched a massive, proactive (not reactive), long and methodical campaign for Healthcare....where they controlled information and dispelled lies immediately. The Republicans used their dominance in Talk Radio (where many of their older listeners get their information) to brainwash their supporters....and a sort of grassroots disinformation campaign took off. The lies went unanswered for too long.

The blue dogs in that scenario....were put in a situation where they are now looking at a choice between political self preservation or losing their seats. They saw that the White House misplayed this thing...and didn't do enough proactively to help voters in those key States and those key districts understand what was going on. So the blue dogs decided to go their own way and act in their own best interests.... it shouldn't be solely up to them to sell someone else's Healthcare vision.... it should have been the job of the White House to take the lead, but they failed to do so. Also, by tackling Healthcare too soon after the election....they didn't allow themselves enough time to campaign aggressively on this issue. Something like this really takes a couple of years of wrangling....and heavy campaigning...and fighting of an information/PR war before any legislation gets passed. It's really an information war for the hearts and minds of Americans. And Obama misplayed his hand bigtime. Americans are very susceptible to disinformation and propaganda, particularly from the Right. And if you don't jump out aggressively to get in front of those lies....if you don't anticipate what they are going to say and do beforehand (and most of it should be so predictable by now) then you are going to be in trouble if you are a policymaker proposing any sort of comprehensive change. Folks in the White House should have known how that game is played by now. The fact that they clearly didn't know....or failed to act accordingly is a little shocking to me....considering the fact that much of the Republican strategy is an open book.


I also think it is time to bring back some form of the fairness doctrine. That's about 1/3 of the problem for Progressives. They still need to do much more to establish their own media to compete with news and radio programs that have a more Right wing Conservative point of view.

Until there is a balance in terms of who controls the microphone in this Country, we will continue to drown in this bile of lies and propaganda...hatred and ignorance.