Sitting in the waiting room by mattsteinglass
September 6, 2009, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Health

There are some things for which a lack of political will is not a sufficient explanation. Whether or not the US pacified Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, didn’t and doesn’t depend primarily on whether or not the US had sufficient resolve and political will. On the other hand, whether or not you pass legislation really is a matter of simple political will. And on the issue of whether the US is finally going to fix its pathetically crappy health insurance system, the question comes down to whether or not the people who want to do so have the guts to go ahead and do it.

This Fugazi video seemed the apposite one for the day, not just because of its nice linkage of health care, boredom, anxiety and repressed fury — the mood of the moment — but because in many ways it encapsulates the exasperation of a progressive left that is still waiting for its moment, twenty years after the end of Reagan’s presidency. And because the analysis of why we’re still sitting in the waiting room — “Because they can’t get up!” — is exactly correct. And also because I was at this show on December 29, 1988, home on vacation, as was the girl I was madly in love with at college, except that she refused to be there “with” me because her high school boyfriend, with whom she hadn’t exactly quite broken up yet, was there too; which is to say, wrapped up in the kind of histrionic Michael Cera dramatics of which late adolescence consists. Anyway, I’m sure every shaven-headed freak you see here stage-diving at the Wilson Center is now foursquare behind the kind of health insurance reform Barack Obama supports. And what could be a better metaphor for universal health insurance than a kid leaping off a platform onto a sea of heads, confident that every arm will rise up to keep him aloft?

[youtubevid id=”SGJFWirQ3ks”]

Add: It’s actually pretty cool how appropriate the lyrics are. “And I won’t make the same mistakes/because I know/because I know how much time that wastes/And function/Function is the key!” If only.


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[…] Matt Steinglass writes about Health Care and Fugazi’s Waiting Room. As we are all waiting on tonight’s speech, it seems appropriate. […]

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