If you listen closely to the health care debate in this country, you might figure the debate isn't really about health care at all. The pitched signs of tea baggers that answered the call of Glen Beck and marched on Washington on September 12th, concerned mostly socialism and amnesty--spelled out in all its erroneous forms, not health care.
While most Fox News programs and AM talk radio is tailored to fuel the ire of working-class white people to keep the country divided and ratings up, immigration is an issue that crosses racial and economic divides as proven by the inclusion of section 246 of H.R. 3200 that prohibits illegal immigrants from being covered by public health care. Yet, despite the fact that the House's health care bill clearly states that illegal immigrants would not be provided for, conservatives are still milking illegal immigration for all it's vote-proffering effects, insisting illegal immigrants will be covered under the president's health care agenda. South Carolina's Congressional representative slandered the president on the floor of Congress no less, calling him a liar in relation to the provision. The outburst was either the result of his own illiteracy or a desperate maneuver to appeal to a constituency that wants to make every issue we face as a country an issue of illegal immigration. This campaign of lies and distortions is much like the "it wasn't me" defense, where the cheater just keeps repeating the bold-faced lie until their spouse, in this case the country, is exhausted and gives up. This tactic works especially well these days with the president being a racial minority, and therefore in the minds of disgruntled simpletons, a natural ally of illegal immigrants. The truth of the matter is that the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, particularly Latino immigrants, that cost the country an estimated $11 billion in health care expenditures take up disproportionately more time in right wing media than the hundreds of billions needlessly wasted by insurance companies and hospitals on administrative expenses. Nevermind, the $177 Billion of taxpayer money that went to big agribusiness to make us all less healthy, that money was thieved by white people.
Shame Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh didn't mobilize these outraged citizens during the eight years of the Bush administration's compulsive spending. Seeing as though it was Bush, not Obama, who promoted illegal immigration on a national level as he had done in his home state as governor of Texas, it seems an exercise in futility to cry about illegal immigrants now. These days fewer and fewer workers are willing to take the risk of crossing to the United States only to struggle to find work in our ailing economy. Where were these guys when Bush was pushing for the ole temporary guest-worker permit (semantics for amnesty) to match up immigrant workers with employers for "jobs Americans won't do." As if Americans turn their noses up at working construction or cooking in restaurants or cleaning offices. Americans do and will do these jobs and just about any other job but they'd prefer to do so at a livable wage.
Bush made the statement about guest-worker program during his campaign against Kerry and Glen Beck constituency still voted for him. While today they make signs about the use of Spanish in the U.S., they voted for Bush who reversed the Republican Party's support for English-only public education. They supported Bush who believed our economy rested on the cheap labor of immigrants and not fairly compensated labor of Americans, stating:
"We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy, even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction, toward a stagnant and second-rate economy."
Shame these outraged citizens weren't taking it to the streets during the previous six years when we spent an estimated trillion dollars on the Iraq War mostly for contracts to Bechtel and Halliburton, (because we sure weren't spending it on the soldiers). We could have used their righteous indignation when Rumsfeld threw millions of Saddam's money at militants so they could buy more weapons to kill American soldiers and innocent civilians. No, when the Bush Administration was spending like a bandit, ya know, when it counted, that's when these concerned citizens were the "silent majority." Now we are left with a choice of victimizing victims, rounding up impoverished immigrant families, and foregoing reforms in health care and education because the budget is so tight.
Some say these demonstrations are an inspiration for American democracy. I strongly disagree. Watching these day-late-dollar-short dissidents march on Washington in an uproar over spending and illegal immigration is not inspiring in the least. Watching these tea baggers march on Washington is like watching the guy who burned down your house dub himself a hero 'cause he threw water on the ashes.