I’m tired. I’ve been fighting for 2 years now. First to elect Obama and then to get health care reform passed. I’m only one person and it’s not like I’ve seen this as only my fight, but I always felt like things would be fine because I had allies in the fight. I was one part of something larger than the sum of the parts. That was then.
As Republicans continued to stall health care reforms, lied about it, and were given a free pass to do so by the press and even bloggers, I fought. I fought through townhalls, vigils, endless calls to representatives, Senators and others, handwritten letters, faxes, and other means to reach them. Face to face meetings, endless requests for donations, petitions, sponsorships. Still, I wasn’t tired. I believed we had a just and right cause, that we were all focused on the end result, that we would celebrate seeing that bill land on President Obama’s desk.
What makes me tired now is having to fight the same people I’ve fought alongside. I’m not leaping for joy over the Senate version of health care reform. It feels so centrist. It’s insulting to have Republicans turn their noses up at it because honestly? They could’ve written the goddamn thing. I don’t love it. But I need it, and I need it now.
Forget the politics. This is me, the human, the one who made a choice to invest most of her time and energy into this over the last year. I’m tired. I’m discouraged, and after today’s Supreme Court decision, I’m afraid.
It would be simple enough for me to tie a bow around this blog and walk away from politics forever, from activism, from participation. I could do that, but I really couldn’t. I couldn’t walk away any more than I can walk away from my son, who needs this more than I do.
This is what they do, these moneyed interests. They wear you down, they suck the enthusiasm away one bite at a time until the only thing left is a tearstained memory to remind you of how hard you tried and how bitter failure feels. If we can’t agree on this as liberals, we’re done. We should just call this a day and walk away, all of us. Find a nice comfortable job wherever there might be one — like maybe at Denny’s or McDonald’s. If we’re really lucky, they might even have benefits.
We can’t be divided and win, even a small victory. We just cannot. If we can’t agree that pre-existing conditions exclusions and rescissions should be gone as a matter of principle then what have we been doing for the last couple of years? Wasting our time?
So it’s January now, and I’m faced with some decisions. Do I toss in the towel, turn off the computer and start putting applications in for entry-level positions wherever they’re hiring with benefits, or do I keep going? I don’t have an answer for that, not yet. At this point, I’m leaning toward finding what I can where I can to get some sort of health insurance so we can pull ourselves out from under water.
Tonight, perhaps because there has been so much bad news and negativity this week, feels especially heavy. It feels like failure. I don’t like failure, I don’t accept it well, and I do everything I can to avoid it. But I also know that as a practical matter, success is out of my grasp if I’m fighting those I agree(d) with along with those who actively oppose. The irony is that my positions leave me on the record when I look for jobs with activist organizations, too. I’m not liberal enough for most, too liberal for others.
What frustrates me most is that I know this can work. I know it can, even with the current suckage in the Senate bill. Congress passes technical corrections and Omnibus Reconciliation acts all the time. They tweak all sorts of things in those bills, even big things like excise taxes and Medicare revisions.
So tonight I’m tired. I need a break from it. I need to feel like there’s someone in Washington who gives a damn about this. I don’t care about finance reform or any of the rest of it until this is finished. I don’t want to hear Nancy Pelosi tell me we’ve got plenty of time when we don’t and I don’t want to make more of an investment if the plan is just to kill it softly in Washington anyway.
Tonight, there is no plan. I’m just tired of the fighting and the fight. I’m tired of hearing John Boehner and that squealing Gohmert slimeball lie to Americans. I’m tired of seeing United Health earn 30% more profits this quarter than they did in the last quarter. I’m tired of realizing that this may well be 1994 all over again except for the fact that in 1994 my net worth was considerably higher and my paycheck was about double what it is today.
It’s hard to come to a point where you see what you worked for trickle out the back door of Congressmen and their keepers because we cannot seem to put our eye on the prize enough to actually get shit done.
That’s my rant and I’m sticking to it. I’m also going to keep comments closed because I am not up for a bunch of celebratory conservatives coming over and hammering me with taunts and punches. I’m tired of that, too.