Where’d all the Empathy Go? The GOP & the AHCA

If you haven’t heard about the bogeyman called the AHCA passed by the House so it can come eat all the sick children, elderly, and poors and blow smoke up the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s ass, then you must’ve been in a coma or binge watching Better Call Saul or whatever you kids are doing these days. Still and away, the black-hearted bastards that call themselves the Republican Congressional Caucus voted nearly unanimously (all but 20) to deny healthcare to 20+million Americans, roll-back Medicaid expansion, cut $880 billion from Medicaid over the next ten years, eliminate the long list of protections that we all know and love from Obamacare, create highly screwed, I mean, high risk pools for people with catastrophic or chronic conditions, divide a paltry $8 million among these 50 States United in Fuckery to defray the costs and take the sting out of screwing the poor even more around healthcare, and give a huge $1 trillion tax-cut to the very wealthy. Essentially, the sick mo’fo’s in the House have decided to make health insurance easy to get for those who are healthy and wealthy and difficult to get for the sick and the poor. In other words, we be returning to the bad old days of if you need it, it ain’t there; too bad, so sad; hate to be you, sucker! Have I missed anything?

They are selling this polished dog turd by touting that everyone will have access to healthcare. Like I have access to baths of battery acid, too. Just like no one is stopping me from bathing in battery acid if I so desire — and after reading and hearing about this shitty bill for the past week or so, a battery acid bath is starting to sound pretty good — it would just be damn hard to organize, acquire, and execute, the AHCA isn’t denying anyone healthcare no matter what their condition is, it is just making it harder to organize, acquire, and execute based on how badly you need it using the perverse rationale of the worser the need, the harder it is to organize, acquire, and execute. Again, ain’t we done healthcare this way before? Wasn’t this what Obamacare fixed?

Then on the eve of the vote we get a weeping Jimmy Kimmel pleading with Congress not to do this cruel thing by telling about his wee new born son who needed heart surgery. You’d think if anyone could cause Scrooge’s heart to grow three sizes, it would be Jimmy and Billy Kimmel, but it don’t work. All it did was get the depraved demon known as Joe Walsh — not THAT Joe Walsh — to dis Jimmy and Billy in one of the most callous statements in the short gawd awful history of tweeting trolls. Have a watch of Jimmy making his pleas, if you ain’t seen it already, honestly, it’s been hard to miss, and then read Mr. Flinty McFlint-Heart’s tweet in response. After you’ve puked or put a few pins in your Joe Walsh voodoo doll — what you mean most people don’t have one? Well, if they don’t they ortta! And, you can order your very own for just $9.99 and two cereal box tops, now!

What gives here? How can Representatives who are supposed to be “close to the people” with their biennial elections of the complete House and an average of 710,000 inhabitants per district be so heartless towards their constituents as to toss tens of thousands per district off of insurance, cut millions of dollars from Medicaid, roll back Medicaid expansion.

Mishegas in Spades

DasNarrenhausI guess no one should be too surprised since the Repubes were the ones who sabotaged Obamacare because they couldn’t stand to see a Black man succeed as president because they are weak pussies who cannot manage their overbearing egos! This is the party that took the principled stand of refusing free federal money to expand Medicaid thereby denying millions of deserving Americans of their Medicaid benefits. And, if that weren’t bad enough, they also did not raise the income limit for receiving subsidies for premiums preventing all the people in these Red states who shoulda gotten Medicaid insurance. SUCH FUN, no? So, it’s not surprising that this buncha mo’fo’s wanted to out do that buncha mo’fo’s, is it?

Some people attribute this mishegas to a lack of empathy. As you might imagine, psychology has something to say about mishegas and empathy.

This is Basic Empathy

Empathy is the cognitive process that allows us to understand another’s situation from their perspective. It is literally the old saw about walking a mile in another’s moccasins. Such understanding is the precursor to prosocial (helping) behaviors. Like when you feel someone else’s pain, you wanna help ’em right? Like the entire populace did when we heard Jimmy Kimmel’s story. We felt his pain. We wanted to help him. We concluded that finding a way to keep that boy insured and others like him would be one way to help him. This might could mean keeping Obamacare and fixing the huge dents that the Repubes have put in it and the other parts that need adjusting to fit the changing landscape. That’s what we thought. That’s what we felt. But, that ain’t what House Repubes felt.

What the fuck happened to the eternal prick, Joe Walsh, to make him so eternally prickful? Who shat in his cornflakes without telling him before he chowed down on them and told everyone about how great they were and everything? Because I wanna give that mo’fo’ a medal and then slap his dumbass upside the head. What you wanna go make a prick an eternal prick by flushing his empathy down the toilet? And what explains what happened to all those other Congressional mo’fo’s empathy?

Like Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Smuggly Smuggly-toes) who thinks her son with Down’s Syndrome will have insurance. Oh, he will. His mum’s a Representative and they exempted themselves from this shit show (Okay, old news, apparently they voted themselves back into it at the last minute. I did not know that before researching this article, though, did you?). Now, she wants us to believe that she would never do anything to hurt sick children like her son. Everybody else’s sons and daughters will have access to health insurance not that (a) it will actually cover anything worthwhile and (b) it won’t have a deductible worth more than the average home. So, they’ll have access, they just won’t have any healthcare. It is so painfully obvious, how could she lie like that to herself? How can she deny so many other children what she has guaranteed for her own? What happened to her empathy?

More to Empathy than the Basics

There has to be more to empathy than just imagining what another person must be feeling. If it were just that, no one would be able to stand against Jimmy Kimmel’s story or any of the other healthcare horror stories that we have had in the United Fucking States of Fuck the Poor.

Simon Baron-Cohen (cousin of Sasha) proposes that empathy, like all emotions, waxes and wanes depending on the situation we find ourselves in. Empathy with others depends on several factors: your emotions at the time, your relationship with the other, the goals you have in the social situation. So, what does that say about the heartlessness of the Repubes? Where’d their empathy go cuz it definitely left the House! (ha ha ha, see what I did there? Left the House! Left the house. Ha ha! Get it? Left the House!?! Man, sometimes I crack myself up!)

It is difficult to get any empathy up for suffering peoples when you are not only not suffering but in a good place. Let’s face it, our Congressional folks are in pretty darn cushy positions. Starting back in the Boehner days, they hardly worked at all. It was like they had a regular 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM gig with a two hour lunch, knowhatimean? These people have literally no worries, and, you know what, they ain’t likely to ever want for anything for the rest of their lives. So, you know, people who are suffering are kinda outta their reach. That’s scientific fact right there.

Blaming the Victim

Rep Mo Brooks (R-Righteous Condemnation) believes that people who live good lives shouldn’t be paying for the healthcare of those who, presumably, have lived bad lives, you know like Jimmy Kimmel’s son, Billy, but not Cathy McMorris Rogers son because he’s one of the good ‘uns. This is a very unsophisticated ham-handed way of blaming the victim a favorite of most Repubes and evangelicals alike. So, where does this self-righteous condemnatory thinking come from? Why the fuck would someone even think that a sick person deserved what she got?

As it turns out victim blaming arises out of grievances, you know, the butt hurt kind. And, folks who value loyalty, purity, and obedience are likely to indulgence themselves in some of that righteous victim blaming. Sweet! Hmmm… who does that sound like? Conservatives. That’s who.

Personality psychologists like, Sam Gosling, say that traits tend to cluster. So, people who have a personality trait like loyalty will also tend to have traits like wanting purity and obedience and not fairness or caring, which tend to cluster in people we consider liberals. Another personality trait that tends to cluster with loyalty, purity, and obedience is social cohesion. People who value social cohesion tend to blame victims because they see the victims as having violated the social order. Victims have upset the apple cart by going out and getting themselves raped or cancered or borned with a bad heart or what have you, but not borned with Down Syndrome at least not the cute little tykes — as long as you keep ’em away, amirite, Joe Walsh? — like the one borned to the Quitter or Cathy McMorris Rogers.

Personality & Healthcare

You can see these traits in how liberals and conservatives talk about healthcare. When liberals talk about healthcare as a right, they are talking fairness. It isn’t fair that some people get sick and can’t take care of themselves. Liberals are moved to care for others. So, healthcare means taking care of those who are in need. Healthcare means righting an unfairness by providing care.

Conservatives talk about healthcare as being deserved, and we know who is deserving because (a) they will be financially successful — god shows his love through rewards here on earth — and (b) they will look like us — that’s white rich people. The financially successful are obedient. They aren’t lawless law breakers like those poors and minorities and immigrants and people.

Trying to drive up the empathy quotient in people with personalities that cluster around conservative values is nearly useless. It is a steep climb. Better to forget the Jimmy Kimmel sob story, it just draws sneers from the Joe Walsh types, lies and cognitive dissonance from the Cathy McMorris Rogers types, and victim blaming from the Mo Brooks types. Better to talk about how much the poor, sick, and elderly are like them. Better to talk about how loyal these people are to white America. Better to talk about how obedient and law-abiding the poor, sick, and elderly are. It’s no steeper climb than the empathy route and more likely to be effective.

Distracted by their blood lust for transferring the meager wealth of the lower classes to the wealthy and separated from the suffering of the poor, elderly, and sick by their cushy jobs in Washington DC and bound by their personality traits to blame victims, the Repubes passed their AHCA to gaslight the masses, not to care for them. To punish them for their sins. To bleed them while making them believe they were helping them until they realize it and vote in Dems. Dems will build up the economy and soften up the stooges for being gaslighted and robbed by the Repubes again. It’s an endless cycle! Such fun.

Welcome to the United Fucking States of Fucking Stupid. Now, get to resisting! Call your Senator and tell them you wanna fix Obamacare and not this other BS they are talking about!

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