Fighting Words

09/02/2009

Could you imagine what would happen if we happen if we had the kind of leadership that could throw down like this (thanks to Daniel Libit at Politico):

“My fellow Americans, we say that healthcare is a right of all citizens. The other party says that it is a privilege for those who can afford it. If you agree with them that healthcare is a privilege, not a right, then vote for them. We would like to persuade you to join us, but if we can’t, then we are going to defeat you. “Decades ago our opponents tried to block Social Security and Medicare, using the same bogus arguments that they are using today against healthcare reform. They said Social Security and Medicare would bankrupt the country. They were wrong. Once we fix the cost inflation of our broken medical sector, with some minor tweaks Social Security and Medicare can be made solvent forever. “Decades ago, our opponents said that Social Security and Medicare would turn the United States into a fascist or communist police state. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. And not only are they wrong, they are hypocritical. Many of our opponents who claim absurdly that universal healthcare will bring tyranny to the U.S. have defended some of the greatest assaults on civil liberties and the rule of law in American history during the previous administration. “They can draw a Hitler mustache on me. They can draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa, for all I care. They are wrong and we are going to defeat them. “We won the elections and we are the majority. We would like to build the biggest consensus possible, but progress is more important than consensus. Our job is to help the American people, not split the difference between right and wrong by giving a veto to the party that the American people have rejected. “In this fight, as in earlier struggles, powerful interests are opposed to the needs of the people. In the 19th century, we the people defeated the Southern slave owners, freed the slaves and saved the nation. In the 20th century, while fighting alongside many other nations to save the world from militarism and totalitarianism, we the people here at home tamed the corporations for a generation and fought segregation based on race, gender and, more recently, sexual orientation. “Today the campaign for affordable healthcare as a right, not a privilege, is opposed by powerful interests in the medical and insurance industries. They seek to deceive and confuse you. And they seek to bribe or intimidate your elected representatives into serving their will rather than the needs of the public. “They may win this battle. They may win the next. But we will never stop fighting for the needs of the many against the greed of the few. For more than 200 years, from the time we threw off the tyranny of the British empire and established our republic, we have worked to realize the spirit of ’76 on this continent and in the world beyond. The enemies of progress have money on their side. We have history on ours.”

Read the whole story here.

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