“Bernie is the most honest person in the Senate” Says Senator Lindsey Graham

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Eric Zuesse

In the CNN Town Hall debate between Senators Bernie Sanders and Lindsey Graham (plus Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Bill Cassidy) that was telecast on Monday evening September 25th (see the transcript of it here), the Republican Senators Graham and Cassidy were unable to discredit anything that Sanders said against their Graham-Cassidy Republican healthcare bill in the Senate, but instead they attacked Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). Sanders said, regarding that attack, “Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water” and received the biggest applause yet in the debate. Immediately after this, someone in the audience addressed Klobuchar and noted that President Obama had lied about what Obamacare would do (lower premium-costs, allow keeping one’s existing insurance policy, etc.), and Senator Klobuchar said that those are the reasons Obamacare needs to be fixed. She was of the Hillary Clinton frame of mind.

The Republican Senators (Graham and Cassidy) both joined with Sanders in attacking the insurance companies and drug companies for (as Sanders said) “Last year, the five major pharmaceutical industries made $50 billion in profit” while soaring their prices. But Cassidy attacked Sanders’s plan as “socialism,” and Cassidy then received the biggest applause yet for Republicans in this debate. Klobuchar responded to that by saying the U.S. healthcare system needs more “competition,” which most people take to mean less regulation, less government-involvement to prevent the healthcare suppliers from cheating consumers — she was simply pandering to misconceptions about democratic socialism.

Graham said that one thing is sure: “Obamacare is failing,” and more ‘big government’ is not the solution. Other industrialized nations have higher quality healthcare than the U.S. and at less than half the per-person cost (and far more controlled by the national government than is the case here), but Graham and Cassidy and Klobuchar apparently don’t want it. Sanders kept on pumping his “Medicare for all program.”

This was therefore no debate on the facts, but only a debate on socialism versus ‘the free market’ (which the U.S. already has more of than anywhere else and also the costliest and among the worst healthcare), and Sanders stood alone against the ideological consensus, and had only the facts on his side — facts that the Republicans and Klobuchar said the U.S. needs to avoid (“socialism” instead of “capitalism” in healthcare).

Graham said: “We’re going to make sure somebody else [no federal agency] gets that money [the Obamacare subsidies] other than the people under Obamacare, because they’re not doing a good job with it. It’s that simple.” Sanders’s issue of capitalism-versus-a-mixed economy-with-basic-services-socialized, thus became, instead, a very different entire issue: ‘big government’ versus ‘states’ rights’ (local control). The issue-switch was done because a straightforward learning from other nations (which do healthcare both better and cheaper than in the U.S.) would threaten the campaign donors who donate the most heavily on this matter (such as the ‘health’care industry, who are profiting from everyone else’s losses). Sanders didn’t bite, and clearly would never buy that, but Klobuchar might vote for something like that if she were part of the Republican contingent in the Senate — maybe like Susan Collins. (But even Collins doesn’t serve an electorate which is that conservative.) The basic idea is: America is very corrupt, and lots of corruption (the free market) is ‘good’ not bad, because it means more “freedom.”

When Graham and Cassidy both agreed that “Bernie is the most honest person in the Senate,” they probably believed it but didn’t really think it to be a compliment. To succeed in the free market, being a skilled con-artist is essential, because fools are the biggest market there is.

The latest issue (the September 29th issue) of This Week magazine, has a cover-headline “Bernie’s cure-all: Will Americans ever embrace single-payer health care?” accompanying a cartoon-picture of a Bernie-impersonator with a con-artist’s smile and holding up for sale a pill-bottle labeled “SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE: Take one pill for everything”. Clearly, the billionaires who buy ‘our’ representatives (and who own the press), will back the phony-‘populist’ Donald Trump, and the phony-‘progressive’ Hillary Clinton, but never the real thing — for either.

The drug companies and insurance companies must have gotten some good belly-laughs out of it. They can feel even more confident than before, that they rule America’s suckered-majority (who think that all of “socialism” is of the dictatorial type, “communism,” and apparently never even heard of: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and even UK, France, Japan, Canada …

Ideology can be very profitable — for the suckerizers, who advertise everywhere. And, of course, the suckerizers won’t be donating to Sanders’s campaign. Is this now a country that’s made by the corrupt, for corruption? Is that really the American ‘business model’, today, of government?

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

  • desertspeaks

    If bernie sanders is the most honest person in the senate, EVERY AMERICAN IS SCREWED!

    • BornAMileHigh??????

      UGTR!!!!

    • William of Ockham

      We already ARE screwed. The rest is just Kabuki

  • BornAMileHigh??????

    Saying bernie the commie is honest while he tends to his THIRD HOUSE, is like saying hillary is not corrupt. Yeah, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE!!!!

  • Jimmy Yost

    If one of the most dishonest people in the Senate says that another person in the Senate is honest, what kind of recommendation is that?

    • chris

      lol

  • L Garou

    And here I was thinking it was John McCIA..

  • William of Ockham

    If Lindsey said that about me, I would kill myself before I was tarred and feathered, then stoned to death.

  • nicu79

    This type of articles make one hurl.
    What exactly is the difference between Graham and Sanders?
    They make a good living, don’t rock the boat, just collect the money and go with the flow.
    One is Republican the other is a socialist communist.
    Some friendship.

  • Kenneth_Brown

    A huge problem with ACA is that it wasn’t an attempt to fix healthcare at all. It is a tax on people above a certain income level to hand out from free “stuff” to people below a certain income level.

    One of these days (tomorrow) there needs to be some research into what makes health care in the US prohibitively expensive and some work on how that the costs can be brought down. Massive lawsuit awards might be a big problem. Emergency rooms crammed with illegal aliens and people that can’t afford to pay their bill. Drug companies abusing patent protection and other government protections to make insane profits on medicine that can make the difference between life and death or life worth living. In all likelihood, it’s going to be a combination of problems and solutions that need to be addressed.

    There is no sense in trying to come up with a magic bullet that solves all of the problems with US healthcare. Socializing medicine and paying health care professionals a very modest salary will only send the best practitioners to other parts of the world where their skills will be more appropriately compensated. Will the government take responsibility for malpractice suits? An OB/GYN paying $60,000/year in malpractice insurance premiums can’t be stuck earning $25/hour and still afford to be in practice.

    A company selling a product like the Epipen whose auto-injector was developed by the US government for the armed forces and contains a non-patentable drug can’t be shielded from competition by the FDA denying other companies permission to market their own version or even the exact same design (other than the label). If a school or other institution has to have them and replace them on the short expiration dates stamped on the box, companies are going to take advantage of that and see how far they can raise the price. It really hurts those of us with several allergic reactions that aren’t in a position to spend $600/year that Obamacare isn’t going to cover even when we are dumping many thousands of dollars down that rat hole that we’ll never be seen again unless we get hit by a bus.

    The motivation for politicians is what free stuff they can get passed that buys them the most votes in the next election. Early in their term, they tend to do all of their backroom payoffs for their sponsors and late in their term they give away the free stuff for the votes. Both sides of the aisle, with nearly no exceptions. Health care is a big issue and any elected chair warmer that gives the slightest appearance of grandstanding rather than putting in some hard and sober work should be un-elected at first available opportunity.

    Bernie, socialism has failed so many times in so many countries that if you haven’t learned the lessons by now, please retire and take up tatting.

  • James Woroble Jr

    When a lying, communist Jew achieves the status of the ‘most honest person in the Senate’, you know the rest must certainly be total satanic scum.

    • ALberto

      Bernie is a Bolshevik.

      • James Woroble Jr

        It never matters what color dress a transvestite is wearing.

        Bolshevik

        a member of the majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party, which was renamed the Communist Party after seizing power in the October Revolution of 1917.

        • ALberto

          James, This Bobby Fischer quote summarizes Bolshevik ideology.

          “First of all, we have to understand what communism is. I mean, to me,
          real communism, the Soviet communism, is basically a mask for
          Bolshevism, which is a mask for Judaism.”

          • James Woroble Jr

            “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” – Henry David Thoreau

  • chris

    lol really,did they miss burnies campaign donations from big pharma

  • Sallie Ann

    Bernie is the most honest COMMUNIST in Washington?????….Graham almost got it right….. Bernie is a typical commie sell out……

  • Joseph Chiara

    Oh Lord, it’s that bad.

  • Joseph Chiara

    And the most honest man is a crook and fraud…. oh, boy.