In “Mississippi Burning,” the character played by Gene Hackman is an old-style FBI Man who has seen and done too much. The weariness shows in his eyes. He tells his young boss, played by Willem Dafoe, about his father who lived and worked himself to death on a dirt poor southern farm.
Seems the old white farmer had a neighbor, a black man, nearby. The black man worked hard to buy a mule so he could expand his farm, make a bigger crop and get his family a little ahead of grinding poverty. But the old farmer was envious and filled with hate. One day the mule was found dead.
“Are you telling me that’s what’s behind” the racial violence the men were in Mississippi to investigate, the young FBI man asked? “No,” the older FBI Man said. “That’s just a story about my daddy.”
And that, folks, is what happened Thursday when the House of Representatives voted to pass, in a sharply divided decision, the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. It is just as simple as the fictional FBI agent’s story. As simple as a dead mule.
It is almost certainly due in part to race, the lingering, barely-suppressed simmer of a racist nation forced to endure the presidency of a black man. Encouraged by the incessant shrillness of mouthpieces like Breitbart, fanned by the birther fabrication of Donald Trump and stroked by a legion of demons the likes of Mitch McConnell, an army of bone-pickers set out to destroy the successes Barak Obama set in place. Not, unsurprisingly, like the black farmer’s mule.
There’s more. It is almost certainly due to the conservative war on “uppity” women, those bra-burners who have destroyed the home in the eyes of the self-righteous. We need good moral values, the winners crowed. Let’s not look too closely at the bill that passed the House. We would discover things like, rape and sexual assault are now a pre-existing conditions. So are injuries from domestic violence. Companies can deny coverage for gynecological service and mammograms — like the representative from Illinois asked, we should we have to cover services for pussies?
More still. It is almost certainly due to the intolerant, inflexible religious right and their followers, Bible in one hand and a law book in the other, the new Christian Sharia Law. The group that will defy the founding tenet of this nation, religious freedom, to discriminate against religions. It’s no coincidence that on the same day Trump and McConnell bullied their way through the House, Trump also signed an executive order making it easier for companies to discriminate on religious grounds, two-for-one day at the White House against both women and LBGTQ people. The order is not designed to protect cake bakers from making wedding cakes for gay couples, it is to protect private companies from denying contraception to female employees. The order also allows tax-exempt churches endorse political candidates. Maybe we shouldn’t hold so many prayer breakfasts before a congressional vote.
It is about the all-mighty dollar. The United States of America has sunk so low that its people no longer feel empathy for another human being, care for neighbors or show compassion to the needy. Insurance companies, the hospitals they own and Big Pharmaceuticals are on a path to bleed the life out of America.
How did America become so mean and low of spirit? Look in the mirror. The hypocrites that voted for the bill are elected by Americans, representatives of the people for God’s sake. America — all of it — voted them in and now America must vote them out.
Just the day before, FBI Director James Comey stood before a congressional committee and cried about how “nauseous” he felt in making the decision to announce a federal investigation of Hilary Clinton 10 days before the presidential election.
Now that you mention it, Mr. Comey, we know exactly how you feel. You see, before passing the health-care bill, House conspirators made sure their own health-care needs were covered. They exempted themselves for what was to come.