"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Working Together? What's That About?

Tom Sullivan has an interesting post at Hullabaloo that points up, more or less explicitly, how far over the edge the Republican party has gone.

He starts with a recollection of the war effort in the 1940s:

Baby Boomers are too young to remember victory gardens, bacon grease recycling, and Rosie the Riveter, the icon celebrating American women working in WWII factories to build tanks and ships and airplanes for the war effort. But that was over 70 years ago. Somewhere along the way, the Midas cult soured on Americans pulling together. That spirit is dead.

Just how dead is illustrated by Ill. GOP Rep. John Shimkus wondering why he should pay for women's prenatal care:

The Republican congressman voiced complaints about coverage mandated in the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle (Pa.) asked him to give specifics:

"What about men having to purchase prenatal care?" Shimkus replied. "I’m just ... is that not correct? And should they?"

Doyle reminded Shimkus there is no health care plan that covers only the personal medical choices of each person.

"There's no such thing as a la carte insurance, John," Doyle stated.

"That's the point, that's the point," Shimkus countered. "We want the consumer to be able to go to the insurance market and be able to negotiate on a plan."

"You tell me what insurance company will [negotiate a plan]," Doyle fired back. "There isn't a single insurance company in the world that does that, John. You're talking about something that doesn't exist."

Just think about one thing for a minute: if you could, in fact, negotiate a policy with an insurance company to include only those items you think you need, what kind of premium would you be paying?

And MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle explains to Shimkus why men should be paying for prenatal care. (Her comment is in the last 12 or so seconds, but Austan Goolsbee's explanation is worth hearing. Besides, he's cute, in a nerdy sort of way.)

I noted yesterday Paul Ryan's brilliant observation on how he thinks insurance is supposed to work, which is of a piece with Shimkus' idea.

The underlying concept here, and it's one that I think is fundamental to human society, morality, what have you that makes human sociality a viable characteristic, is just what Sullivan outlined in his opening paragraph, and it's one that pops out every time you look at our history, or any other history: human societies are the result of people working together toward a desired goal. And Sullivan notes one thing that seems to have become bedrock for contemporary "conservatism":

But what really churns my gut is this anti-American view among the likes of Ryan and Shimkus that it is somehow anti-American for Americans to pull together, to pool resources and have each other's backs. You know, all that "We Did It Before and We Can Do It Again" stuff. All that working together for the common good from before my time when America was supposed to be great or something. Now it's "American" to think I've got mine, screw you.
(Emphasis added.)

So now, according to the Ayn Rand fanatics who have taken over the government, it's anti-American to behave like a human being.

I wonder if we're going to survive until the midterms.

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