Talking approvingly about the progress among the compromises made by the Obama administration to pass the puckishly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the context of America 2015: driven by profit, corporations as people with feelings too, money as speech, ad buys win campaigns, politicians vying at the corporate trough, etc. is like talking about the success of advocates against the spread of slavery in 1856.
“Half of the new territories won’t allow slaves as a result of our hard work here today,” the successful advocate would say proudly, “that’s progress. Not ideal, I know, but given the facts on the ground: slavery perfectly legal under the Constitution, constitutional amendment impossible in a nation divided 50/50 into partisan camps that hate each other, wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an armed war between these two gun toting factions protecting their interests… we were LUCKY to convince Congress not to allow slavery in half the new territories. That’s success today, and we should celebrate instead of looking at the damn glass half empty. Hell, we have enough problems trying to wipe out the buffalo herds so we can destroy the Indian culture on the prairies that we need for Manifest Destiny….”
“Do you fucking have fucking Tourette’s?” she asked me.
“Maybe,” I said, “but doesn’t everybody?”