At the Signing

Sometime today, the recently passed Health Care Bill will be signed by the President.  I recall many presidential bill-signing ceremonies in my 7 decades on this planet and equally recall the outrage of those opposed to the new legislation. The monumental signing by President Johnson of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 is etched into my memory.  That was America’s finest hour!  That was a clear demonstration of the oft-quoted line, ‘All men are created equal.’

But not all of America rejoiced.  Oh no, clearly there were many hundreds of thousands of American citizens who thought such a bill was a outrage! Racial bigots throughout America condemned the action, shouted it down, scorned those who dared declare the races equal.  That signature made Johnson a one-term president.  He knew it.

After today’s signing there will be similar outrage.  There always is.  The self-identified victims of the legislation will be in an uproar. The southern Jim Crow Laws that kept whites on a higher level than blacks were struck down by that signature and those living there never forgot.  The South has been Republican ever-since the ink dried that July day.

There are consequences to be paid after the signing.

Yet one wonders what the ‘uproar’ will be about tomorrow after today’s ink dries.  Who will feel like ‘victims’ after the signing?  Who are these supposed maligned citizens?  What ‘grievances’ will they raise?

It will be interesting to watch.



6 thoughts on “At the Signing

  1. Perhaps there will be “victims” this time who will recriminate, and perhaps not. I think, though, once the teabagger and far-right hysteria dies down, most will like the fact that pre-existing conditions and benefit caps have been done away with, and that many of the uninsured will now finally have coverage. There was little uproar after Social Security went into effect, and little after it was broadened and strengthened. My hope is that the Dems will someday soon be able to hammer away at and resonate with the accurate charge that “the Republicans and conservatives didn’t want you to heave health care coverage and wanted to protect greedy insurance companies’ high prices and profits.”

  2. I keep mentioning the PBS series “The War on Poverty” which deals with the outrage caused by the Civil Rights acts and the War on Poverty. People fought programmes such as headstart. The clip I have of the Klansman saying “Don’t you let them take away your guns…” is followed by talk of “them” wanting to be more than equal. This all has been taken over by the rhetoric of the reactionary right.

    The surprising thing is that according to FAIR, the majority of the public favoured the public option for healthcare, yet it seemed as if there was no support for it. Additionally, there was far too much wrangling involved when the current health care plan for something which had popular support.

    Instead, the Weapons of mass distraction media provides us with images of tea partiers.

    Where is the indignation at the lack of representation in a “democratic” society?

  3. Hello Muddy,
    What a poignant and proper posting today. I too remember well when LBJ signed into law the Civil Rights Bill. All of the personal effort to bring into line all the Congressmen and Senators needed to put forth and pass the Civil Rights Bill so he could sign it being much the same as President Obama had to do with this Health Care Bill.

    Hind sight being 20/20 we now know how proper and “Self Evident” this Bill was but as you have pointed out so well, the similar outrage of those claiming to be victims of the Bill’s passing, touting how it was going to ruin the economy and destroy the social fabric at that time. Those hundreds of thousands of American citizens who thought that the Civil Rights Bill was an outrage are the same people today calling themselves “Teabaggers or “Conservative Christian Republicans today.

    There were many proclaiming to be speaking for God as what was written in the Bible, that this Civil Rights Bill was against God’s word and would quote that scripture found in the Bible. Just as the Teabaggers this past week stood on the Capital steps spitting and calling our racial slurring names; so was the same going on as the Civil Rights Bill was being passed in 1964. The only difference then they called themselves Ku Klux Klansmen, or followers of Christian Brother John Birch instead of Teabaggers or Conservative Christian Republicans. As we all know well today, they were just Racist Bigots then as they are today.

    The difference as I see it today where that signature on the Civil Rights Bill made President Johnson a one-term President, I sincerely think that President Obama’s signing of the Health Care Reform Bill will guarantee him his second term.

    As a citizen of the State of Maryland, I know quite well that after President Johnson’s signing into law the Civil Rights Bill, it was then Republican Governor Spiro T. Agnew’s job to bring the rest of the “Southern States” into line and propagate the Republican Party which had once been a strong Democratic stronghold. He did this job so well in such a short amount of time that he was chosen to be Richard Nixon’s Vice Presidential running mate. The rest is History as they both went down as the two most corrupt politicians in the United States’ archives.

  4. Laci – the majority of the public favoured the public option for healthcare, yet it seemed as if there was no support for it,

    Confounds the hell of of me, too. Apparently there was just too much $$ to be had for re-election campaigns which is an automatic trump card for moral judgement.

    Engineer- Steny Hoyer of the great state of Maryland worked tirelessly to get all of the Dems in line for the passage of this bill. other than Spiro T., many good people have arisen from your good state.

  5. I have a few moments of internet connection…hopefully this will be dorted out soon.
    The images of the teabag party screaming racial epithets and bursting with irrational, illogical, hysterical hatred were all over trhe world yesterday. I sqw it on Al Jazeera, BBC and French Network News.

    Today, I had to drive into Perigueux to get bad advice from my internet server. A long day and Perigueux was englufed in a great demonstration…almost every body was on strike to emphasize the vote on Sunday.
    The ex right wing mayor of Perigueux was the labor minister in Sarkos Government and he was running for president of the Aquitane region…he lost big. Aquitane is Socialist! Now he is out of the govenment as well.
    Today in the french legislature, everytime sarkos name was mentioned, he got booed, by his own party!…unheard of!

    Politics are so much fun here, the UMP is fracturing into Chiracians, Sarkozyists and Villepine is starting his own party with in the party. It’s a circular firing squad.

    Now the left has to learn how to unify and embrace each others differences. That’s the problem with intellectual idealists…they tend to be too damn rigid.
    If only Martine and Segolene could learn to love each other, perhaps there would be hope for the Socialists in 2012!

  6. Microdot- glad to have you here again. So the right-wingers of France have gone down in flames. All we can hope for is that this pattern spreads west to us.

    Surely the ‘normal’ American watching what the BBC and Al Jazzera [and MSNBC] showed have to come to the conclusion that the right-wingers here in America are dangerous reactionaries. What else could normal people conclude but that?

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