Zucker: Silver bells and glass houses
‘Tis the season for carols filling the air and smile after smile and “on every street corner you’ll hear silver bells.”
Aw, c’mon now!
Where’s the goodwill toward men and women from the country’s extremists who’d rather peddle hatred of our president than foster a better holiday season and life for everyone — as in best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year?
Sadly, the political climate in this country is awash in ill will. It does not come from both sides. It explodes from the souls of people aligned with the Republican/Tea Party who have spent years attempting to eviscerate the Obama administration and its penchant for improving our lives. Obama orchestrated eliminating our most wanted enemy terrorist. Without war, he’s taken a significant first step on the road to potentially curtailing Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. His critics refer to these positives as negatives. They trash everything he proposes. They dishonestly portray, malign and press to repeal his most notable domestic achievement, health care reform, a feat attempted unsuccessfully by previous presidents for more than 100 years. Their scurrilous attacks nonsensically accuse him of lying, of being our worst president, of heading an administration riddled with scandals.
What scandals? “Benghazi?” “IRS?” “Fast and Furious?” None of these has proved malfeasance by either the president or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, despite a year of probing and witch-hunting by Congressman Darrell Issa and Fox News and hordes of Obama-hating partisans. Even “60 Minutes,” the once proud CBS series that used to be the model for serious journalism, found its reportorial integrity compromised when its tabloid-style segment on Benghazi was shown to be based on an interviewee who literally bore false witness. Media Matters observed that Fox devoted more than 47 minutes over the course of 13 segments on 11 different shows to the flawed CBS news report.
But there are real scandals aplenty:
It’s scandalous that 217 House Republicans voted to take food from the poor by cutting $39 billion from a food stamp program.
It’s scandalous that Republican strategists met on the president’s first inauguration day to plot a campaign to resist not anything that he had proposed, but to oppose anything that he would propose from that moment on.
It’s scandalous, as the New York Times recently reported, that Republican leaders are distributing a design to let insurance companies reinstall annual and lifetime limits on your insurance benefits; to again cancel your insurance if you get sick, or to deny you insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or to reject individuals up to age 26 for coverage under their parents’ policies. These permissions, illegal under the Affordable Care Act, would be automatically reinstated if the health care law were repealed because Republicans have no plan to replace it. The ACA does not insure against the sickening hatred spewed by these obsessive extremists, these purveyors of ill who offer their own death panels that kill better health for millions. They would return you to the mercy of our long-tested health insurance system in which insurers can leave policyholders stranded on a desert of medical decay and financial ruin after contracting terminal diseases.
It’s scandalous to vote against aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy which was physically and financially ruinous to volumes of individuals and businesses.
It’s scandalous to reject background checks for weapons purchasers, an idea supported by 90 percent of us, or to fail to curtail the explosion of assault weapons that destroys thousands more than we lost on 9/11.
Last week Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, tweeted “Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-Care.” Ridiculously, he was referring to the deal between the United States, the European Union and Iran.
The president recently apologized for saying that people could keep their existing insurance policies if they liked them: “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” But like a pack of coyotes hiding in the brush waiting for another chance to pounce, his detractors charged out in earnest with shouts of “betrayal” and “evil policy” and “liar” — again!
Since last weekend, there have been reports that enrollment in the ACA is increasing exponentially. When the new system proves successful, don’t hold your breath waiting for such contrition from its detractors.
Meanwhile, the beat goes on during this season. Complaining about non-existent wars on Christmas, these holier-than-thou religious zealots irreligiously sermonize along, throwing their stones of hate and division from their scrooge-clouded glass houses.
Happy holidays and good health to all!
— Michael Zucker is a resident of South Lake Tahoe and a stockbroker with Regal Securities. The views expressed in this column are his alone and do not represent those of Regal.