Did you know if you Google Paul Ryan, one of the suggestions is Paul Ryan shirtless? I agree with that thing I saw on TV that he was picked to try and appeal to younger people and women. He is physically attractive. Hearing him speak makes me want to vomit, but that won't matter much to women who are more conservative and don't pay that close attention. He is very charismatic. He will either help, or seriously hurt, and I think it's too early to tell which.
If you read the book Game Change
about the 2008 election, they mention in there that part of the reason the McCain campaign staff picked Sarah Palin was because they thought she would look good on TV and YouTube and such. Unfortunately they were too busy trying to figure out how to use Palin to counteract Obama's popularity to realize that Palin was what she was until it was far too late.
Now, I'm not gonna say that Ryan will be this election's Palin. No, I really believe this election's Palin, so to speak, is Romney himself. If you watch the Daily Show, you see clips about how prominent Republicans kept punting the VP nomination ball to other people. Why?
...isn't it obvious?
I'm saying all this because what is really getting under my skin is people shooting off their mouths who know nothing of reality. People talk of government death panels, but private insurance companies have what are essentially death panels, and people are okay with this because the private insurance companies are just looking out for their bottom line. That's what a good business does. Actually, no, the people who are okay with private insurance doing this have never been very sick, and have never had a loved one who was very sick and denied treatment because of the cost.
This might seem out of place, but I was recently talking to my father (a doctor of around 30-odd years) about this whole issue, and I posed the question to him: if the President of the US came down from on high and gave you the authority and power to fix the healthcare system unilaterally, no one to stand in your way, what would you do? And he said that he had two options, both of which were reasonable solutions to the healthcare issue, but both politically unfeasible.
Option one is to use the British health system. For those of you not in the know, the Brits have the National Health Service, or NHS. This is government healthcare - any British citizen can walk into a hospital and have the NHS cover the cost of whatever treatment they might need. Alongside the NHS, however, is private insurance for those that can afford it (dad mentioned the affluent and people in unions). This is unfeasible, he explained, because your average person wants to have the same levels of healthcare quality (thereabouts) across the board, regardless of how much money you make.
Option two is Canada - the single payer system. In Canada, everyone gets government medical insurance. Period. And this
is politically undoable because the country's superrich feel entitled to a better level of healthcare than Joe Slobotnik who works construction. Because single-payer would essentially negate the advantage they get by having a lot of money.
These attack ads on President Obama are making me very angry. Yeah, things are still bad. Yes, there have been hiccups. But why is everything always the President's fault? What about the fucktards in Congress that passed everything? Yes, President Bush was a retard, but I'm also angry at the reps who licked his ass and passed everything he wanted. How many times was the debt ceiling raised without a fuss under President Bush?
From day one the GOP pledged to make President Obama a one term President. I've heard people who know what they're talking about say President Obama's 11 year plan would have worked had it gone unimpeded, but what did the GOP do? They threw two-year-old tantrums, twisted facts, and all kinds of crap so that when they got the majority in the House they made damn sure he didn't succeed. Do they mention this in the attack ads? Of course not! They only happily point out that things aren't really any better. We were thrown under the bus for political gain, and that really pisses me off. What makes me even angrier is the impatience of people that allowed this to happen. The US is the Titanic headed for an iceberg. It's not going to get turned around overnight.
Item: Everything is the President's fault because he is the most visible character (usually) out of the whole government system. Watch (if you can) South Park's 'Dances with Smurfs' (season 13s penultimate episode) for more about this.
Now that that's out of the way...
The ultimate problem we have in government is that the process by which our elected officials try and fix the problems of our country is broken. Used to be that the Dems would have one side, the Repubs another, and then they would come together and try and find something in the middle that everyone could live with. Nowadays, the two parties (though the Repubs far more than the Dems) have their agenda, and their idea of compromise, as I believe Callie has said, is 'we tell you what to do and then you do it.' Our system only works if you have the ability to compromise on the table, and that's absent and missing now.
And I hate to be the one saying this, Sereph, but maybe that big ol' iceberg is what the US really needs right now. Vekseid (or Callie) has said that people are still going along with the everyday grind is because things aren't too bad yet. Yes, the top one percent owns more of this country than the bottom 50%, and raising the tax rate on the top 2% would cause the same amount of revenue increase as taking half
of what the bottom 50% owns - see the Daily Show for this one - but things are still relatively manageable. Adults are having to take on multiple jobs, work long hours, have both parents (in a two-parent home) bringing home income so they can have a roof over their head, gas in the car, food on the table for the kids.
But they can still do it. It'll be when they can't
, that the average American is forced to choose between doing nothing and letting their kids starve or be homeless, or doing something, that they will act.
One last thing. I fully believe that this country has great people who can make it work again. I do. I pass them every day on the street corners and in the Subways (the food chain) and in the supermarkets of America. Because I believe that your average American understands sacrifice, and compromise, and not always getting what you want but being happy with what you can get. The ultimate problem is that the people we've put into government to represent us are (WARNING: making blanket statement) psychopaths. Not psychopaths in the popular definition, in the clinical definition. People who lack any sort of empathy for others. People who can damn well know that something is wrong for another person, but it's okay for them and therefore it's okay.