For having done little more than sit around all day, I feel exhausted right now.
First, there was the ridiculous nonsense of the Supreme Court decision about the Affordable Care Act (I refuse to use the “O” word. It’s stupid. It just is.) Not that the decision was nonsense (although I have to say that deciding the individual mandate is a tax was a sneaky move). The reaction, however, was utter nonsense.
From the right came the weeping and gnashing of teeth from people who don’t know what “socialism” and “communism” are. Not just because they’ve been lied to by Fox News for ten years. It’s deeper than that. America has been lying about those words since the 1950s, all while existing under a mixed-model economy that was closer to socialism than they wanted to admit.
At least, until Clinton and the “new” Democrats disassembled the whole thing. That’s a different story, though.
From the “left” came all the smug, self-satisfied back patting you have come to expect from a group of people whose largest base of support is comprised mostly of people who were politicized less than five years ago and aren’t even sure why they like Obama except that he’s not one of those Republicans (although, of course, he secretly is just like a lot of those Republicans).
Anyway, instead of clearing the way for a proper debate on real change in health care, we’ve gotten stuck with corporate welfare for the private insurance companies and the useful idiots of the right call it “socialism”. I suppose I could take heart that, according to some, the entire law is actually aimed at phasing out private insurance slowly but, as I like to ask, “Why is it that progress must happen slowly, but regress is allowed to happen instantly?”
Coming back to more local matters, today was also the day that the South Carolina House Ethics Committee held hearings on whether or not Governor Nikki Haley violated ethics rules (maybe criminally, even) while a state legislator. The claims had been brought up months ago, the committee had voted to not investigate then reversed itself less than a week later (based on what is anyone’s guess).
There was supposed to be lots of evidence that Haley acted improperly by lobbying while a state legislator. There were a lot of witnesses lined up to give testimony. Each of them described how they met Haley, in what capacity they worked with Haley, and - without fail and at least ten times - they were asked if Haley ever did anything illegal or unethical.
The answers were all “No” or “I don’t recall”.
So, then, why are we talking to you people? I mean, if you asked me if I knew someone had broken the law and I probably was complicit in it, I don’t think I’d answer honestly either (assuming, of course, there’s no penalty for perjury in front of the ethics committee. I’d ask about that, but in this state I don’t think anyone knows).
During this repeated line of pointless questioning, the US House of Representatives went ahead with its contempt vote against US Attorney General Eric Holder. I suppose Fortune Magazine’s piece detailing how everything we’ve heard about “Fast and Furious” for the last six months is a big stinking heap of crap was somehow lost on the House GOP. So, the Democrats walked out and after an awkward chant of “Shame, shame, shame” aimed at the GOP inside (where they couldn’t, of course, hear it), they all got back to being buddies and went and played a charity baseball game.
At this point, I should stop and mention that no one in Hollywood could write anything this utterly stupid.
So, back to the SC House hearings which seemed, as the day wore on, to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax. The surprise of the day was that the Governor herself took the stand in her defense. After some rote denials of wrongdoing came this exchange:
Question: Why is he (Rainey) coming after you?
Haley: With all due respect (to the people here), Mr. Rainey is a racist, sexist bigot.
You could try to believe that this was just the crowning moment to a show trial that was meant to clear the Governor. But at the time, it seemed to me that this was the most honest I have ever heard the Governor sound. Whether or not the charges (or others) are true, there’s really no doubt in my mind that Rainey seriously offended Governor Haley when they met during her campaign.
Speaking of Mr. Rainey, he apparently spent the day in a holding room in Columbia, awaiting the chance to present his case against the Governor. For twelve hours.
He was never called to take the stand.
Ain’t that America?