Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A new center - es possible, te piensas?

Please, Blue Mandy's become quite a cynic, and a day after Internet Radio Silence day, it's grounded in the all-too-true, set-top cop chains becoming more and more invisible and stronger than ever.

But two recent articles, Ron Brownstein's LAX "Opportunity knocks for Democrats - At the state and national levels, the party has a rare chance to work with GOP executives on healthcare and immigration reform" (link) and Fareed Zakaria's Newsweek's "Beyond Bush - What the world needs is an open, confident America" (link) offer a more optimistic spin.

At both the national and California state levels, we're seeing blowback against the extremism and idiocy that our dear Dubya represents. Zakaria illuminates the dynamic:
More troubling than any of Bush's rhetoric is that of the Republicans who wish to succeed him. 'They hate you!' says Rudy Giuliani in his new role as fearmonger in chief, relentlessly reminding audiences of all the nasty people out there. 'They don't want you to be in this college!' he recently warned an audience at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. 'Or you, or you, or you," he said, reportedly jabbing his finger at students. In the first Republican debate he warned, 'We are facing an enemy that is planning all over this world, and it turns out planning inside our country, to come here and kill us.' On the campaign trail, Giuliani plays a man exasperated by the inability of Americans to see the danger staring them in the face. 'This is reality, ma'am,' he told a startled woman at Oglethorpe. 'You've got to clear your head.'
Fear, uncertainty and labels power propaganda efforts. Our country has been inundated by codes and media messages propagating fear and anxiety. The nadir occurred in the '04 elections when folks voted in a President they knew was lying. Now, we're entering surreal new stages. Brownstein expands:
A TABLOID without a spread on Paris Hilton. A snowball in July. A humble Yankees fan.

Pick your metaphor. None would be as rare as the opportunity now presenting itself to the Democratic majorities in Congress and the California Legislature.

In each case, a Republican executive has signaled his eagerness to sign into law a long-standing progressive goal: President Bush on legalization for illegal immigrants, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on universal healthcare. That convergence represents a unique but fragile asset in today's polarized political culture. Both sides may regret it for years if they fumble these opportunities.

Failure might be most inexcusable in California. With both the state Senate and Assembly approving plans to significantly expand coverage, and Schwarzenegger committed to covering all of the uninsured, California could soon finalize the most comprehensive state-level plan yet to guarantee healthcare for all residents.
Brownstein acknowledges that the possibility of compromise and a new center arising is hard to predict. Given how polarized the electorate, it's safe to say the foundation is extraordinarily delicate.

Anyone want to bet on compromises in both Congress and the state? Yo pienso que no....or following Ozomatli, Can we or "Can't [we] Stop now"?

Or, put another way, Blue Mandy was fortunate to hear Andy Stern at Annenberg in the Spring. Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, states in the Times, [Success in California] "would be the most significant thing to jolt the healthcare system [toward national reform]....If we have a California failure, it just adds to the weight of this being an issue no one can solve."

Brownstein closes,
Stern could match his words with deeds if he steers the union's powerful California affiliate toward accepting a deal that couples a higher fee on employers than Schwarzenegger proposed with a requirement that at least middle-income individuals buy insurance. Liberals may resist that price, but if they consider it difficult to impose an employer mandate now, they should imagine trying it without a Republican governor running interference.
Que tu piensas?

POSTSCRIPT: Round 1 was won by the Blue Mandy, Randy cynics. There went the immigration reform bill, adios amigo!

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