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HISSYSPITTING!
Posted by Hissyspit in Political Videos
Tue Mar 23rd 2010, 12:35 AM

 
MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show - 22 March 2010: "A Clarifying Moment" - Rachel Maddow puts the health care reform bill passage into context, the context of history, civil rights reform, the recent right-wing epithets, Gingrich's idiotic 'radical social experiment' comment, and taking on a long-standing problem.

MADDOW: "I would not have expected it, but the fight over health reform now is turning out to be clarifying. Health reform is not civil rights. This is not a desegregation order, this is not a voting rights bill, it's not the same thing. But this IS government trying to take a major step to remedy something that is wrong in the country. And we haven't done that in a long time. Taxes have been cut and raised. Wars have been ended and started. Standards and rules have been imposed and they have been repelled.

But, when is the last time we took on - head on - a long-standing intractable problem that is hard to fix that was not going to fix itself. Actually doing health reform is a demonstration that government is not just for show. Government is for fixing problems. We have a government not just to give people shiny political celebrity high-profile jobs so they can win popularity contests against other people who want hiny political celebrity high-profile jobs.

We have a government to work on problems we have as a people, as a country, problems that aren't working themselves out interpersonally or in the marketplace. Government is for something. We have one for a reason.

And so that's why you're hearing people now talk about this passage of health reform in the same breath as civil rights, as social security, as Medicare.

- snip -

Not because what's happening now is Medicare. It's not. Not with single-payer off the table and not even a public option, it's not. But it is a call back to the time when Medicare was created... a time when Democrats behaved in a way that made clear that they thought government could do something. And the Ronald Reagans of the world, the conservatives, thought that government really shouldn't. Ronald Reagan, you'll recall, campaigned against Medicare, calling it 'socialized medicine,' saying it would be the beginning of the end of freedom in this country.

- snip -

It's clarifying, right?

Some people thought Medicare was a good idea. Some people thought it was the end of America.

We are back to that clarity of conflict again.

Supporters of health reform think that the reason we elect people to government is so that they can take on the big challenges, like: our disastrous lack of a health care system. The Republican budget map they have put forward as an alternative to President Obama's agenda, on the other hand, would repeal Medicare over time, it would repeal Social Security over time, privatizing it, and they're against health reform, universally. Not a single Republican vote for it is expected now.

It's clarifying, right?

- snip -

All of the most principled Republicans and conservatives I've ever known say that they relish the prospect of a big ideas debate in this country. They relish the chance to give Americans a choice between their vision of politics and the liberal vision of politics. Through all the name-calling and vituperation and proxy war of this health reform fight, we are finally getting down to that clear choice.

Do you want a government that does something, or don't you? When you look back at the legacy of government doing stuff, of establishing Medicare, and social security, and government protection of civil rights. Do you regret that or do you think that's not regrettable, that the government did right when it did those things?

Republicans are banking on the American people regretting that legacy. Democrats are banking on the American people thinking we got those big things right, and we can get other big things right, too.

It's a big choice. It's never been clearer in my life. "Hell, no you can't." or "Yes, we can."

Either we can and should, or we can't and shouldn't. The debate has never been more clear.

So, are you ready? Set?

Talk amongst yourselves."
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