SocraticGadfly: Why I am likely not voting for Beto — it's personal

October 19, 2018

Why I am likely not voting for Beto — it's personal

Beto O'Rourke is a nice enough guy. Per Shrub Bush, maybe you could have a beer with him more easily than with Al Gore or John Kerry. That said, Barack Obama offered beers to both Henry Louis Gates and a Cambridge, Mass., cop. Solved nothing, and Obama remained a bankster-friendly neoliberal anyway.

Beto ORourke

I've interviewed, as well as photographed, Beto. (Link is dead, but it was after the primary and in the general election campaign.) Yeah, kind of photogenic. A Texas Kennedy.

And? Today's Congressional Kennedy is a neoliberal who hates national health care.

With that as the entree, let's dive in.

Personal? You bet.

"Access for all" as a "shit in the one hand" option to "Medicare for all" is getting personal for me.

I'm over a certain age. An age at which job discrimination happens. Age discrimination is harder to prove than racial or sexual discrmination, but it happens, and I believe I've been the victim of it before.

I'm also in less than the most stellar career field, even as I try to get out.

Should 2 + 2 = the end of decent jobs at some point in the future, it would be a LOT easier to face that before age 65 with national health care than without. Indeed, this is part of why I say single-payer national health care is more important for the working people of America than the basic income Scott Santens touts. (That's doubly true with his favored versions of basic income, which he wants to replace unemployment insurance, replace SSI and SSDI, and partially replace Social Security itself. Pass, Scott; I want no part of libertarian, or even neoliberal, versions of basic income. Hit the tag for it below to get the details.)

Back to our topic, though.

Beto-Bob (since friend Brains never tires of pointing out his given name as Robert) has touted that he is for "access for all" on medical care.

WTF is "access for all"?

Bob, Republicans will tell you we've got "access for all" right now, and they've said that since Reagan's time.

If you're making a bit too much for Medicaid, or have a crappy pewter-level Obamacare program with a deductible so high you can't use it unless you're dying, you've got that same access for all the GOP has been selling for more than 30 years —

Your local hospital's emergency room.

C'mon, Bob, stop peeing on our legs and telling us it's trickle-down health care.

I mean, for fuck's sake, a writer at The American Conservative recently wrote out a conservative case for single payer, either an insurance-driven or a straight government version. (Chase Madar is personally not that conservative, it should be noted, but, BUT ... American Conservative ran it!) Hayek favored it, too. (Yes, libertarians, he did.)

In addition, per The Hill as of Oct. 20, A MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS want Medicare for All.

Speaking of, Beto either does know or should know that big biz prefers the current system of health insurance "benefits" because it lets them keep their employees as serfs.

Any real liberal, progressive, left-liberal or leftist (I'm one or another of those last two) knows that capitalism is an octopus which has killed equitable, sensible, low-cost health care in this country.

And, it's going to take a single-payer system, at minimum, to fix that.

Actually, I've argued it's going to take an American version of the British NHS to really fix it.

"Access for all"? Please.

As noted in my original post about him this year, he's a squish on health care issues. He has called single-payer "one way to get there" on health care access, stresses "access for all," and never signed on as a co-sponsor of HB 676, the House's "Medicare for All" bill. (See more here on my post about nuancing details of "universal" health care.)

For people who are Big Beto Backers, per that post, I agree that HB 676 had the flaw of not including for-profit hospitals. That said, per the Texas Observer, he said he couldn't support Bernie's bill in the Senate, either. Why? He wants everyone to have both a copay and a premium payment. I might "accept" that as part of a compromise to get something passed, but making that my starting point? No way. And, even then, my finish line would prefer to have only one or the other. (Most countries with national health care operate with no premium, but still having copays.)

This all said, per my "nuancing" post, MediCAID actually covers more than MediCARE.

We haven't even talked about how you're a bankster-loving warmonger.

Now, I know some Democrats will say "but the SCOTUS." Really? When two of the librul justices, Breyer and Kagan, both said cops can continue shooting people with impunity, what Supreme Court justices will a ConservaDem support? And even Ginsberg isn't all she's cracked up by some to be all the time.

Besides, let's look at recent history. Within 90 days of joining the Senate, and three years left until a primary, let alone the general election, Doug Jones had already moved to the right of Joe Manchin.

So blame him. Or Manchin. Or Heidi Heitkamp. Or blame Dear Leader for not campaigning for vulnerable Dems in 2010 after they passed Obamacare.

If "you" want a ConservaDem to tie the Senate at 50-50, assuming all else stays equal, throw former Tennessee gov Phil Bredesen money or other love. He's more likely to win than Beto, though his own chances seem to be fading. Or send some love to Kyrsten Sinema, just to piss off Arizona wingnuts.

Brains offered up one updated round of thoughts a couple of months or so ago. Basically, his thought is similar to what I wrote a month ago — Beto has one foot in the ConservaDem world. And, not only do I not expect him to withdraw that foot, I expect him to continue to plant it more firmly.

He's got something newer now, as of late July, which tees off more, and like me, is skeptical about his actual chances of winning.

Ditto on his staff, or at least his volunteers who keep texting me. They all seem clueless about Beto refusing to ever officially co-sponsor John Conyers' HR 676 "Medicare for All" bill.

Beyond single-payer, probably the biggest thing that cheeses me off is that Beto, by his documented Congressional inaction, doesn't walk the talk on marijuana decriminalization or legalization. Per that link, co-sponsoring a bill to force the DEA to downschedule pot from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 would seem to be a no-brainer if someone actually cared about the issue.


And, while I don't agree with every one of Brains' reasons for voting no, read him too. (He's recently noted that, for this election cycle at least, he's like in being close to a single-issue voter on this.

I've invited, on Twitter, Sema Hernandez, Beto's main primary opponent of two, who was also debate-dodged by him, to also undervote. That would require her changing her mind, as in July she said she'd pull the trigger for him. But, maybe she will change her mind. I think it unlikely, though. I think Sema has buttered her under-40 version of Just.Another.Politician bread already.

Sorry, Sema. I refuse to believe that Beto Claus, after three terms in the House refusing to support HR 676 then going out of his way to attack S 1804, will change his tune next year. If you want to start entering the Just.Another.Politician world by endorsing him, that's your choice. I'll of course look at you with more scrutiny in the 2020 Dem primary, if I'm still in Texas and not taking a pass on that primary to sign a Green ballot access petition.

Speaking of, Michael Lighty, a fellow with the Sanders Institute and a California DSAer, has brought a Medicare for All speaking tour to Texas and Florida. Dates here, though other details are TBD. This is right before early voting starts, which leads to other questions.

1. Was Beto invited to any of these events to speak publicly?
2. If so, did he accept?
3. Dito on 1 and 2 on Sema?

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