Sign Up to Follow This Blog

Sunday, September 13, 2009

‘Shot of Love’: Joe Wilson or Barack Obama— who’s the real Judas in this Dylanesque smack down?

Don't need a shot of heroin to kill my disease,
Don't need a shot of turpentine, only bring me to my knees,
Don't need a shot of codeine to help me to repent,
Don't need a shot of whiskey, help me be president.

It’s been a brutal summer for health care. Yet despite the barrage of lawyers, guns and money that have been thrown atop this increasingly combustible pyre, the debate rages on.

At the center of that debate is Barack Obama, the man whose central campaign plank in the recent presidential election was to bring affordable health care to all Americans. Judging from amount of animosity the discussion has engendered, if anyone needs a shot of love right now it's Barack Obama.

Appearing before a joint session of Congress last Wednesday, President Obama laid out his case for universal health care. It was the first time the country has had an opportunity to hear the president get into the nuts and bolts of his proposal. And considering it very well may be his last, there’s little question Obama chose his words with infinite precision.

The same, however, cannot be said for Joe Wilson, the Republican Congressman from South Carolina, who impetuously yelled “You Lie!” when Obama said extending health care to all Americans would exclude the insuring of illegal immigrants.

And while Wilson’s contempt for Obama may have caught America by surprise, those diligent Dylan fans in observance were struck by something else entirely— the eerie resemblance to the infamous 1966 concert in Manchester, England, at which a disgruntled folk fan called Dylan, “Judas!” for 'betraying' the movement.

And while Keith Butler’s comment certainly struck a chord in the otherwise unflappable singer, Dylan’s indignant, ireful response was pitch perfect— “I don’t believe you. You’re a LIAR!!” he snarled before quickly turning to The Hawks and defiantly instructed them to "Play fucking loud!"

It was in that moment that the folk singer became a rock icon.

A disgruntled fan calls Dylan ‘Judas!’ at a 1966 concert in Manchester, England

In the aftermath of last Wednesday’s incident, the press has had a field day. Sadly, however, the debate over health care has gotten lost in the weeds.

Perhaps this was Wilson’s plan all along. As a former immigration lawyer, Wilson knows all too well that while the president’s bill expressly forbids insuring those who are in this country illegally, just because illegal aliens don’t have a health care option available to them doesn’t preclude their employers from purchasing it for them—driving up the costs for all Americans.

But by vilifying Wilson in the press—effectively casting the South Carolina congressman as Judas—we have all been misled.

In the end, it just may be Obama—not Joe Wilson—who ends up playing the role Judas as a result of this unfortunate incident.

Joe Wilson calls President Obama a ‘liar’ on the floor of Congress

Our 9-month love affair with the poised 44th President of the United States has made us susceptible, vulnerable and over-trusting, not only of him personally, but it has forced us to turn a blind eye to the lurking, malevolent agenda of those who will soon be an integral part of the larger health care debate.

Obama very well may have the best interest of the millions of uninsured Americans in this country. The vultures, however, are circling. And the moment we give Barack Obama the unconditional love he so desperately craves by passing his legislation without thoroughly vetting it, the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies and the malpractice lawyers will descend on us like the Roman guards in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Joe Wilson may no longer have a place at the table as a result of his ruefully inappropriate comment. His ‘betrayal’ of the president, however, has taught us all a valuable lesson:

It’s one thing to admire the men and women who lead us; falling in love with them is, however, the kiss of death…

Doctor, can you hear me? I need some Medicaid.

I seen the kingdoms of the world and it's makin' me feel afraid.
What I got ain't painful, it's just bound to kill me dead
Like the men that followed Jesus when they put a price upon His head.
I need a shot of love, I need a shot of love.
Digg this


Anonymous said...

For so long, Obama has been elevated to a messiah-like figure. Interesting to see the other side of the coin. But even more interesting is how you got there. Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with Anonymous. Not only has he attempted to purloin my identity, but his point is - rather like this week's blog - no point at all.

This attempt to make the most tenuous of connections between Dylan and Obama falls flat on its uninsured face.

Conclusion? No conclusion at all.

Anonymous said...

The whole debate about insuring illegals is a red herring: if a slaughterhouse employee shows up at an emergency room with his hand cut off, the doctors don't ask to see his green card before they try to stop the bleeding.

Anonymous said...

This post really has no point at all. Its just very weak writing and a terrible attempt at being profound.

Anonymous said...

Last year you were insinuating Obama was "mentored" by Bill Ayers. Its obvious from your writing you treat Republicans, no matter how vile and contemptable, with kid gloves. What bothers me is how you try to use Dylan's majestic art to somehow vindicate your political opinions. I have no idea who brings your bullshit blog to the attention of Expecting Rain readers but its the last time I will ever read it.

Cipherdom said...

You Lie Like a Rolling Stone ( on YouTube.

Felix Culper said...

You're the Judas here, Disgruntled (what a luke warm state, hiding your prejudice behind a thin veil of disaffection). America remains cruel to its most dispossessed, the only OECD country without universal health care. Your insinuations are spineless and baseless, heal your poor and helpless, heal your country - it's as simple as that.