One of my Facebook friends posted on her page a comment about Richard Eskow’s January 18th, 2017 post on Billmoyers.com. The piece was entitled “The Reason Why Booker and the Big Pham Dems Have No Excuse.”
After reading the post, I thought that my friend was upset that Senators Klobuchar and McCain’s Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada bill had been voted down with the help of Sen. Booker, Yet, some research convinced me that this could not have been the cause of her dismay. The bill was referred to the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee where it died. Importantly, Senate Democrats, when enacting Obamacare, specifically refused to incorporate into the act a (then) version of the Safe Affordable Drugs from Canada Act. Consequently, I was mystified as to why my friend had taken the position that [the vote] “…was a travesty. There was bipartisan support for this bill that Cory Booker voted against.” In concluding her comment, she referred to the reader to Eskow’s post. I read it with great interest.
Eskow’s criticizes the passage of The 21st Century Cares Act, which boosts drug research and eases the requirements for approval of drugs. Only 4 senators voted against the passage of the bill. The law is designed to encourage U.S. drug companies to vigorously research new drugs and streamlined the approval process for new drugs. The thinking is that If drug companies can lower the costs of research and costs of getting new drugs approved for public consumption, the unit costs of the drugs would drop. Per Eskow, every Democrat that voted for the act did their party a disservice. He takes this position even though President Obama signed the bill while intimating that it was a step in the right direction.
In the same post, Eskow goes to great lengths to champion the virtues of the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act. Yet, he never informs the reader that the bill died in a Democratically Controlled Senate committee.
Senator Bernie Sanders on January 12, 2017, proposed an amendment to a budgetary measure that was like the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act. The measure was voted down with senators voting regardless of party affiliation. And yes, Senator Booker was one of the those who voted against the amendment. The FDA had previously testified that it would not be able to certify the thousands of Canadian drugs that would enter the U.S. Importantly Senator Booker stated that the allowing individuals to order prescription drugs on their own from Canada without ever consulting a doctor would put the American public in danger. His objection to the amendment makes sense to me.
Reading the body of Eskow’s posts on billmoyers.com, I conclude that his views are those of a member of the far left-wing of the Democratic party or some fictional party. Regardless of whatever his political party affiliation might be, Eskow’s attack on Senator Booker smacks of arrogance and racism. Once again, a White liberal has the audacity to chastise a highly qualified Black politician, in this case, a sitting US Senator, for not towing the liberal line.
I did not think it was appropriate that I offer these thoughts on my friend’s Facebook page. Consequently, I posted the following limited comment.:
I respect Sen. Bernie Sanders. He is an intellectual in the political-romantic sense of the word. He expresses his views with an eloquence that is seductive. Maybe this is because he is really a Brooklynite. Yet, he and his followers are decades behind today’s political reality. Long ago, the days of White liberals from the eastern urban centers of America dictating political agenda ended with a thud. The recent election results prove this point. The idea that a Senator Booker whose education and political pedigree is impressive by any standards should always “tow the liberal Democratic line” is absurd. He voted as a representative of a constituency that is not controlled by the far-left wing of the Democratic party. He believes that he can better represent his New Jersey constituents by exercising tolerance and making political deals. Besides, Senator Booker’s actions demonstrate that he understands that private enterprise is also required to address New Jerseyans’ needs and wants. The idea that the Democratic Party is the “party of tolerance and diversity” is nothing more than sham, a trick to lure support for a failed agenda.