Monday, October 22, 2007

Casualty Of The Backlash

Bill Kraus is a Republican, the kind who used to run the GOP. He's also the kind who's been figuratively if not literally excommunicated from the party. Part of his problem is that he believes politics should be about more than bumper sticker slogans. An even bigger part of Bill's problem is that he actually believes government should work. There was a time – pre-Iraq and pre-Hurricane Katrina, mind you – when Republicans were known for being able to run things.

Some of the insurrectionists – I call 'em rewinders (and explain why here) – who overthrew the likes of Bill Kraus and took over the Republican Party want gays to stay in the closet. Some want women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Others want blacks at the back of the bus. Still others are, in Michael Kinsley's words, "loners . . . convinced that they don't need society." Quite a few are probably all of the above.

Even the health care issue has fallen victim to backlash politics and the money that fuels it. The health insurance crisis is undeniably a top concern of working stiffs. The cry for reform is coming increasingly from corporate boardrooms. Yet any movement on the issue is being stymied. Wonder why? Follow the money. And then follow it some more.

The Healthy Wisconsin reform plan costs about $15 billion. But it would replace a patchwork quilt of a system with a thousand middle men that is costing us more than $17 billion. So let's get this straight . . . we could spend $15 billion and cover everyone instead of paying $17 billion for a system that leaves a half-million people uninsured? And this is a bad idea? No, it's an idea that is being sloganed to death.

Often by the same people responsible for throwing Bill Kraus out of the club.

No comments: