Monday, November 9, 2009

Got Balls?

Joseph Cao This guy does. Meet Anh "Joseph" Cao, the Lone Republican (hi-yo, Silver!) to vote for the health care bill that just passed in the House.

I was happy to become a fan on his Facebook page and leave him a supportive comment, thanking him for his vote. Of course, others in his own party are telling him to get out, go join the Democrats, calling him un-American, blah di blah blah. Again...that is some brilliant strategizin' right there. Drive someone out of the party because they have the courage to stand up for what they believe in, and work with others to actually get something done in this country, something that has been way too fucking long in coming. Just like the New York congressional race in which far right conservatives forced a moderate Republican out, resulting in a Democrat winning the seat. Somehow they don't seem to be grasping the extremely simple concept here that the majority in this country do want health care reform, and they do not agree with the narrow, restrictive, moralistic lines that are being drawn in the sand. Are we back to the culture wars? After all these years? Really, teabaggers? Really?

So why did Louisiana Congressman Cao vote the way he did?

I read the versions of the House [health reform] bill. I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health care costs are exploding – if they are able to obtain health care at all. Louisianans needs real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children . . . I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents.

I give you a standing O for that, Congressman, and I applaud you for listening to your constituents. I am reminded of the meeting I attended with my Congressman, Joe Donnelly. A woman in the audience was hectoring him, trying to get a commitment from him that he would not vote for any bill that included federal funding for abortions. Donnelly is Catholic, consistently pro-life, and I believe all of his votes have gone that way. I don't agree with him on that, but overall, I think he's a great guy who really cares and really listens to his constituents. The woman wouldn't shut up about it, and he finally said, "Ma'am, I'm not here to satisfy you, I'm here to do what is best for the United States of America."

Courage penguin I loved Donnelly for having the courage to say that, and I'm impressed that Congressman Cao also stood up for his principles to cast a vote that moves us closer to ensuring that all of our citizens are able to afford care. This bill is not perfect, and there is still work to be done. Although it is watered down, and it's got that Stupak Amendment in there, my personal opinion is that we need to do what we need to do to get this thing passed. Now is the time, and I for one am fed up with the automatic gainsaying of the GOP, immediately dismissing something that I totally believe is the morally right thing to do. The bill they introduced was ludicrous, although if there is some tort reform in there, I would be okay with that...although it really does nothing to insure more or bring down costs. Just ask Texas.

Oh, and while I was getting all indignant about this, really ramping up the Beth-O-Meter, the phone rang. The woman identified herself as from the Indiana Republican Party. My response? "Oh really?! That's interesting, because we do not support you any longer! Please take us off your list. Thank you!" This has to be at least the third time that I've said to quit calling us, and someone is on the verge of getting an ass-chewing. I don't want to be like that, because I've made phone calls for Organizing For America and I know that it would make me feel bad if someone went off on me. But I am just so frustrated with what I'm hearing and seeing from the GOP that I think I might not be very...empathetic if they keep calling.

Like The Hulk said, "You wouldn't like me when I get angry."


  1. Great as always, Beth, but it's "hi-ho" Silver.

    And "You wouldn't like me when I get angry" is obviously a quote from Hamlet.

  2. Cao is a hero, doing what his constituency asked, and voting what he thinks is right, not straight down the party line.

  3. Gawd, how many times has the RNC called your home? They are like a bad dream that will not just go away!

    Great post.. and like you, I like Congressman Donnelly, though I am finding he and I disagree on a couple of important stances. I liked what you said he told that woman at a town hall meeting. Way to go, Joe!

  4. Hi Beth,
    I agree ... good for Cao for listening to his constituents instead of the corporate interests that I'm sure are banging down his doors. It's high time someone actually paid attention to what most people say they want ... and that's affordable health care. Not a system that shuts you out if/when you actually get sick.

  5. if there is no other option available, it will cost us between $600-$700 per month for mr. m to be insured after his job ends in the end of november. this is HALF of what his projected monthly income will be and about a 1/4th of mine. i dont understand anyone who considers this *reasonable* for health care expenses for a WORKING couple who are also pursuing higher education and i am glad cao has realized that your monthly healthcare costs should not be more then your rent.


  6. Good post about a good man, Ahn Cao. It's so darn refreshing to see a person in government who thinks for himself.

    Oh, and I agree with you that it's "hi-yo". :-)

  7. Congratulations to that young man who voted with his heart and did not let it matter that no other republican has even tried , truly tried on anything Obama is for.

  8. I'm just wondering if, instead of the one Republican Congressman to vote for the bill, people shouldn't focus on the thirty-nine Democratic ones who voted against it.

    Still, this should have been a vote for the single-payer option. That's real universal health care. A shame that it was brought up right at the beginning and shot down so quickly. Anything that still involves the insurance companies is plain wrong. The most I hope for out of this bill is that it's a foot in the door for a real health care plan.

    All the other other wealthy industrialized countries with universal health care (well ok, that's all of them) just scratch their heads and wonder what's wrong there. Is it some intense case of schadenfreude that some people in your country want to see others die or go broke because they can't afford their medical bills? With America's resources and population, it should be a beacon for the rest of the world, not a place that's laughed at in some respects. For a country so "Christian", how could it have such a lack of empathy?

    And yes, technically it seems to be "hi-yo" Silver but Fleetwood Mac and Frank Zappa agree with me, so I'll take their company. :D

    Apologies for the rant, but this is an issue that's a real kick in the pantaloons.

  9. As someone who was just told her new $200 + medication wasn't covered, I fully understand the need for change. I came out of the pharamacy and told Paul "Don't let me come across a protester against the Health Care Reform Bill right now, I'll probably beat them to a bloody pulp." Obviously they don't get it.

    I recently stopped following a few people because of this as well. Other wise nice rational people have turned into rabid maniacs about this Bill. I simply chose not to read the rubbish anymore. (Hugs) Indigo

  10. It is ghoulish how the insurance lobby and their minions have influneced public opinion. Seems like a case of people biting the nose to spite the face. Congressman Cao really is a servant to his voters.

    I thought the drama in the New York race was telling. It bothers me that the Democrat still was in danger of losing to a third party canidate. The Dems really need to get their message out.

  11. i respect anyone who stands by their convictions.

  12. Cao impressed me very much when I saw him on TV yesterday. WhoooooooooooHooooooooooooo

  13. It was an impressive stance and I'm glad he didn't let pressure push him in another direction. His constituency was his main concern and I have to applaud that.

  14. Beth please leave some supportive comments for veterans on my blog. Happy Veterans Day!

  15. Cao is impressive, an elected official who actually thinks about his duty to his constituents.

    Okay, did I miss the joke? Hamlet, shamlet, the line is the Hulk's tagline. Hi-yo silver!


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