I was still feeling the glow this morning from the powerful and moving speeches made at the Democratic Convention and as I read Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times I saw that I wasn’t alone. They were all eloquent and moving and inspiring. They may not fix our many problems, but they most certainly spelled them out in detail – Americans are and have been getting a raw deal, a belief that is continually pooh-poohed by the Republicans who just can’t seem to understand what people are complaining about. But according to Krugman, the numbers support the Democrats. I’m glad to know that someone who knows far more than me sees the same dismal picture of the economic status of American families. The numbers were bad in 2007 and there seems to be little doubt that the numbers will be even worse in 2008.
And yet John McCain and the Republicans keep trying to assure us all that there is no problem.
Krugman suggests we take a look at John Goodman, a key figure in Republican health care circles, who explains that we shouldn’t worry about the growing number of Americans without health insurance, because no one is really uninsured – all you have to do is go to the emergency room, you can always get treatment there. George Bush echoed the same thought. That must explain why emergency rooms are continually overflowing, that people are waiting hours to be seen. There have even been deaths of people in the emergency waiting rooms because they were unable to be seen by a doctor due to the number of people ahead of them. And, Krugman writes, John Goodman wants the next president to issue an executive order prohibiting the Census Bureau from classifying anyone as uninsured! Yep, that should take care of the problem.
Health care, rather the lack of it, is a major problem in this country which is outrageous for the most powerful country in the world – at least we’re still considered that for now. And while the Democratic leaders – in Clinton’s words “feel our pain”, the Republicans, just sniff and shake their heads – they quite obviously do not. And, as Krugman says, “it’s hard to fix a problem if you don’t even think that it exists”. After all didn’t Phil Gramm describe us as a “nation of whiners”?
This country had better wake up and soon – it is time for a new day in politics and four more years of Republicans is no where near a new day of any kind.