It has been said before the best propaganda always contains a kernel of truth and so it is with Bill Moyers' writing...
If you've been watching the Senate Finance Committee's markup sessions, maybe you've noticed a woman sitting behind Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Her name is Liz Fowler.
Fowler used to work for Wellpoint, the largest health insurer in the country. She was its vice president of public policy. Baucus' office failed to mention this in the press release announcing her appointment as senior counsel in February 2008, even though it went on at length about her expertise in "health care policy."
Now she's working for the very committee with the most power to give her old company and the entire industry exactly what they want -- higher profits-- and no competition from alternative non-profit coverage that could lower costs and premiums.
A veteran of the revolving door, Fowler had a previous stint working for Senator Baucus -- before her time at Wellpoint. But wait, there's more. The person who was Baucus top health advisor before he brought back Liz Fowler? Her name is Michelle Easton. And why did she leave the staff of the committee? To go to work -- surprise -- at a firm representing the same company for which Liz Fowler worked -- Wellpoint. As a lobbyist.
That was a spot-on interpretation, which could describe the entire US Senate; but now for the deception:
Not that we should be surprised. A century ago, muckraking journalists reported that large corporations and other wealthy interests virtually owned the United States Senate -- using bribery, fraud and sometimes blackmail to get their way. Jokes were made about "the Senator from Union Pacific" or "the Senator from Standard Oil."
One reporter in particular was out to break their grip. His name was David Graham Phillips. One day in 1906, readers of Cosmopolitan Magazine opened its March issue to discover the first of nine articles by Phillips titled, "The Treason of the Senate."
He wrote, "Treason is a strong word, but not too strong, rather too weak, to characterize the situation which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, indefatigable agent of interests as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be, and vastly more dangerous: interests that manipulate the prosperity produced by all, so that it heaps up riches for the few; interests whose growth and power can only mean the degradation of the people, of the educated into sycophants, of the masses toward serfdom."
The public outrage provoked by Phillips and other muckrakers contributed to the ratification of the 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the direct popular election of senators, who until then were elected by easily bought-off state legislators.
Of course, like water seeking its own level, big money finds its way around every obstacle, and was soon up to its old tricks, filling the pockets of sympathetic and grateful politicians.
Today, none dare call it treason. So why not call it what it is -- a friendly takeover of government, a leveraged buyout of democracy.
Comment: I could give Mr. Moyers the benefit of doubt and say his concluding paragraphs resulted from poor research, but knowing Mr. Moyers one knows better (Gulf of Tonkin Incident). Moyers is a statist who has been advocating the expansion of central government, but hid behind the banner of “more democracy.” The fact is, as the founders knew, one can’t have more democracy and not have more government tyranny.
There were no muckrakers and there was certainly far less corruption in Washington City and US Senate prior to 1913. What Moyer describes is the propaganda put forward by the mainstream media who supported the real special interests who conducted the first bloodless takeover in 1913, and who swindled the US citizenry last year in the banking bailout, Wall Street.
Folks, the scholarship just doesn’t support the lie. But the ignorant American public continues to believe the propaganda put forward by the “progressives” in 1913 as well as they do today.
We’ll continue to have the same Max Baucus’ and Liz Fowlers if the US Citizenry doesn’t learn the truth; and it’s all about limited powers, decentralization of government, diffusion of power, limited democracy and real republicanism. The founders got it right in 1787; the public got it wrong in 1913.
The only way restoration can be achieved so that Max Baucus and Liz Fowler are sent packing is to repeal the 17th Amendment and restoring the rightful place of the state within the Federal Government. The clock is ticking and there isn't much time; folks Baucus, Fowler and Moyers are winning.