Brother, Can You Spare Five Dimes?

Obama ChangeIt has become readily apparent to just about everyone with the exception of a few senators, one being Harry Reid, that the Health Care Reform effort in the United States Senate is both a disaster and effectively dead. At every turn the Republicans in the Senate have obstructed the progress of any meaningful reform, trying to ensure that the status quo will remain. The health insurance industry would see a financial windfall from millions of customers forced to purchase health insurance at whatever price they want to charge if the current Senate bill were to be passed into law. This is simply unacceptable.

Dr. Howard Dean said in a radio interview on Wednesday that it is time to KILL this BILL. “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.” If Democratic leaders cave into Joe Lieberman they’ll be left with a bill that’s not worth supporting.

But the failure of the Senate to address the need for meaningful reform does not fall squarely on the heads of Republican senators. No, we have conservative Democrats like Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, as well as that so called maverick senator from Connecticut and representative of the Joe Lieberman Party to thank for helping it along.

But most disappointing of all, we have our President, Barack Obama to thank as well. It is clear that while President Obama campaigned on the platform of real health care reform, once elected he stopped his campaign and has failed to lead. He and his administration have caved in to the health insurance industry executives. He has provided little to no direction, no pressure, and no change at all.

And we’re really not talking about a lot of loose change. With 308 million Americans it works out to about fifty-cents a day for every person in the country. Yeah, that’s all it would cost. For the sake of comparison, annually we spend three times that amount to fund the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and more than twelve and a half times that amount for this past year alone to bail out Wall Street bankers.

One of the best known songs of the Great “Republican” Depression “Brother Can you Spare a Dime”was written in 1931 and released just prior to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Made famous by Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee, the song was viewed as the anthem of the shattered dreams of the era. As we now endure this current economic recession, and our shattered dreams of Change, this song seems to be strikingly relevant.

So to Barack Obama and the United States Senate I have just one question.

Brother, can you spare five dimes? Just fifty-cents a day to fund health care for all?

Below is a video of the song Brother Can You Spare a Dime as sung by Rudy Vallee.


  2 comments for “Brother, Can You Spare Five Dimes?

  1. Steve
    December 17, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Actually, I think you overstate the level of blame that can be assigned to Republicans. They COULD be completely irrelevant, and practically-speaking, they are. It’s the Democrats who can’t keep their caucus unified. THEY are in power and so THEY are completely responsible for the compromises that are emerging with this legislation.

    I’m also beginning to believe that these compromises have Mr. Centrist Rahm Emanuel’s fingerprints all over them.

    • Toni Gilmont
      December 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm

      I agree entirely and have been taking at heart the commentaries recently made by Howard Dean, et al -have heard Rah Emanuel might be behind the complete wiping out of the Single Payer we originally hoped for -then heard he also wanted to do away with the Public Option -I suspect his wanting to re-enter the House when his “term” with Obama is out will not be successful for many are furious with him -and his undue influence on Obama who has made little by tepid little steps instead of strong, definitive oratory he does so very well -he has allowed this to dissipate -and I have given my “few dimes” toward a few adds which I now see as a waste of time and effort – the Blue dogs seem to have won out along with Joe Lieberman -all deserve a quick kick in the ass frankly -they do not serve anyone but themselves and their personal pocketbooks and the hell with people who are really suffering -now we have simply given everything to the “insurance cartel” -do not know what else can be done but I’m in hopes this will be changed to better serve the people of this country instead of big business. It grows ugly and tiresome and infantile of those who have been sent to serve -and only serve themselves and their childish ego’s.

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