As I've pointed out before, vetoing federal funding for stem cell research won't keep a single embryo from being destroyed. The veto is pointless.
The other bill would allow Medicare to use its market power to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors. Big pharma justifies drug prices by saying that it pays for research, which makes you wonder -- how do they get those multi-million ad campaigns for prescription drugs for free? Obviously, they must be free. Otherwise, pharmaceutical companies are paying out big bucks to convince people to look into drugs they may or may not need -- money that, on the other hand, they argue they absolutely must have for research. Like most PR claims, this one is ridiculous on its face.
Like the stem cell veto, the Medicare veto is pointless. That is, unless you're a pharmaceutical company. And I'm not, are you? Probably not.
Looking at these two vetoes and what they would do for people, I've got to ask, what the hell did we ever do to him? Why on earth does Bush hate americans so much?
Back to the popularity of these bills. The stem cell bill is supported by a simple majority -- 56% answered the question, "Should the government ease the restrictions on use of federal money to research embryonic stem cells, or not?" with 'should.'
The Medicare bill is wildly popular.
Washington Post (emphasis mine):
There is considerable pressure on lawmakers to do something. A poll last month by Kaiser and the Harvard School of Public Health found that 85 percent of adults surveyed -- including majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents -- favor allowing the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for the Medicare program.
Again, what does Bush have against the american people? It pays to look at these vetoes in context. Bush has vetoed exactly one bill so far, these two would make three. Every veto will have been of a bill that was meant to help people. In other words, Bush's vetoes are exclusively of bills that help people. Bill after bill after bill handing out your money to military contractors and corporations were signed without hesitation -- if it's a big government giveaway to the already unbelievably wealthy, Bush is all for it.
If, on the other hand, the bill would help people with diseases or injuries, Bush is against it.
This is the Republican party under George W. Bush. If you're a Master of Finance or a Captain of Industry, you count. Otherwise, you're allowed to vote GOP and then go screw off -- you don't count. One of Bush's first acts as president was to rollback standards for drinking water, allowing mining companies to release more arsenic into groundwater. His record hasn't improved since.
Putting aside his casual use of military personnel -- none of whom are likely to be among those luminaries of finance -- Bush has never missed an opportunity to put money over lives. As much as he casts his veto of the stem cell bill as principle of his 'culture of life,' it's actually putting GOP fundraising over the lives of people. A 'culture of life' wouldn't be responsible for the massive death toll in Iraq. Bush's 'culture of life' is a sham -- a sop to the religious right over the needs of the vast majority of americans who aren't religious zealots. Bush doesn't give a hot bowl about life. Even before he became president, George W. Bush showed a contempt for human life.
The state of Texas executes more people than any other jurisdiction in the Western world. The death toll is astounding: of the 74 executions carried out in the United States of America (USA) during 1997, one-half (37) occurred in Texas, a record number since the reintroduction of the death penalty. Between the resumption of executions in 1977 and the end of 1997, the USA put to death 432 prisoners nationwide, with Texas alone accounting for one-third of the total (144).
Amnesty International does not seek to excuse the brutal nature of the crimes committed by many of those on death row or detract sympathy from the victims of violent crimes and their families. However, the organization is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty as a violation of the most fundamental human right: the right to life.
That was 1998, when Bush was governor. Under Bush, seven inmates were released from death row, having been proven innocent. Yet, despite all evidence, Bush said, "I'm satisfied that everybody who has been put to death in the state of Texas has been given full accord under the law." Innocent or guilty doesn't matter -- whether or not the executions were legal were all he cared about. 'Culture of life' my ass.
Bush hasn't really faced a hostile congress so far, which is why so much of what he's done to the american people has flown under the radar. He got the legislation he wanted from a pet congress and signed it -- no fight, no press. This is no longer the case.
If Nancy Pelosi's 100 hours plan does anything, it will illustrate just who Bush and the right wing extremists he represents really are. Of course, that was the purpose of it -- to get people on record. Anyone who thinks that voting against these bills or voting to uphold the vetoes won't come back to them in a campaign ad is dreaming. It's the first step in culling this pro-business, anti-people movement from federal government. And, with 85% supporting the Medicare bill, it's really going to hurt. The bills are meant to embarrass the GOP and Bush's supporters. Shaming the shameless won't change them any, but it will make it harder for them to be re-elected.
He probably didn't mean to, but House Minority Whip Roy Blunt summed up his party's attitude toward the people nicely:
"Republican discipline was critically important when we were passing legislation and moving an agenda," House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said. "The Democrats will soon move from these issues that poll at 80, 90 percent to issues that really matter."
There it is, folks. People waiting for cures from stem cell research don't really matter, seniors spending all their savings on prescription drugs don't really matter. The issues that really matter are tax cuts for the wealthy, writing big checks to corporations, and killing a whole bunch of people around the world. That is today's GOP.
Technorati tags: politics; stem cells; Medicare; veto; democrats; congress; Nancy Pelosi; Bush and the Republicans care about 'issues that really matter'; tax cuts, corporate welfare, and war in Iraq -- average americans can go screw themselves