I spent much of Sunday following the U.S. House Representatives’ speeches and machinations as they moved through the process that led to the narrow victory for health care reform for America.  Yes, I heartedly supported it and am proud of the Arizona delegation that had the tenacity and courage to approve it. The historic vote helps move the U.S. back into the First World of nations for health care.

It was the right decision and  long overdue.  I cannot imagine the sense of accomplishment felt by the likes of Congressman Harry Mitchell.

That every single Republican voted against it speaks volumes about groupthink.  Never expect Republicans to be leaders for anything that suggests social reform, that suggest helping people in need in this country.   Their mantra is tax reform so their corporate friends who have handsomely underwritten their re-election campaigns can keep on getting richer so they can keeping on supporting the GOP lawmakers’ re-election campaigns.  From the start, Republicans en masse had wanted health care reform to fail so that the Obama Administration and Democrats would be denied and would be characterized in the mid-term elections  as inept and failures.  Well, health reform, which has eluded presidents for a century, has made it through  Congress.  The Bush Administration, rejected wholesale by voters  in the 2008 election,  boosted Democratic seats in Congress and probably made it possible, in the end, for health care reform to pass.

President Obama had the guts to repeatedly go onto the Republican turf to confront them and engage in debate with them.  In the end, there were more than100 Republican-offered amendments added to the final plan.  Yet, their noisemakers insist they were railroaded.

I am constantly reminded that it was the Republicans who pressed hard for privatizing Social Security — calling on Americans to take their Social Security funds and invest them, if they wanted, in the stock market.   Imagine how many billions of dollars would have evaporated had that loony plan been carried out and the Wall Street meltdown had come along after it.

Given their philosophy, an unchecked Republican Party would  be dismantling Medicare and Medicaid right after they finished off Social Security.  Those programs  are fundamental parts of  public policy that reduces suffering and crises in American families.   In the time I lived in South America in the 1960s, I saw how the conservative aristocracy had a lockhold on government. They manipulated government to ensure the wealthy gentry classes kept stay in control, have all the advantages,  and the proper laws that ensured their dominance. It ensured perpetuation of the haves and the have-nots.

You listen to the Republican extremists in Arizona like Russell Pearce of Mesa or Thayer Verschoor of Gilbert, and you feel this state will never get out of its economic muck as long as the word “tax” remains a virtual swear word and a demonized term. Like the dogs in the manger in the U.S. Congress who try everything to stifle social reform,  Arizona’s Republican lawmakers are locked into the mindset that unfettered, robust, free-style capitalism will mean people at all levels of life will benefit. Baloney.

Have we not lived through centuries of  societies where the wealthy and privileged have always guaranteed their perpetuation by manipulating public policy and where the poor were helpless to change things without revolution?

It is too laughable to hear Republicans say that if they could get their hands on the health reform bill and craft it as they think it should be that  Americans would have the real health care program long dreamed of.   These pawns for the health insurance industry and defenders of the status quo would accomplish little because it is a party that insists on as little government as possible.  It is a party that talked big in the George W. Bush years of reducing government but only driving up spending because it benefited so many friendly industries.

The Tea Party folks can drink their bitter tea of defeat this time. Losing is beginning to become a pattern for them.    The Republican Party can continue to spread their “Big Tent” for all the angry and bizarre groups, the Birthers, the John Birchers, their anti-gay, their anti-minority folks, eccentric right-wingers.  I like what someone has said, “Republican is just another word for selfishness.”

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