Atlanta is a multicultural place with mosques and temples and churches of all shapes and sizes. All the colors of life’s rainbow are represented here. And yet there is still an undercurrent of good ol’ boy that exists. It’s not as obvious inside the perimeter—the concrete circle that surrounds the city in freeway form—but outside it hangs like the humidity in summer.
I was at the doctor’s office the other day and the receptionist was ringing up my co-pay. The place smelled of antibacterial gel, and looked just as antiseptic. The receptionist pulled my receipt out of her little machine and batted her tarantula eyelids at it. “I’m sorry, you don’t have a co-pay until you meet your deductible. I’m going to have to redo that.” She blushed a little more red than even her red tinted makeup. A few minutes and a couple hundred dollars later, she handed me another receipt. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I went to school for this and I still can’t figure it out…. Obama,” she exclaimed in exasperation.
I had worked in the pharmaceutical industry before Obama was first elected and I remember the frustration of medical insurance then as now. I wanted to say something but held my tongue, probably because I was about to see someone who hired this lady and had my life in their hands. I couldn’t help but think I wouldn’t have even been in there, pre-ACA, for fear of a pre-existing condition being marked on my permanent record.
Later that week, I got a ride to the airport from a car service and the driver waxed on about “the way things used to be, you know, before Obama messed up the whole taxi and car service industry by letting in Uber.” Once again I was unable to respond the way I wanted, being at the mercy of this man behind the wheel who obviously was not so interested in the details of what got us where, or how regulation is a bad word until it’s needed for your cause.
I’m surprised Obama’s not blamed for the humidity here, or the traffic, or the things Atlanta has had to deal with well before Obama was ever in office. It’s become so ludicrous (not referring to the Atlanta rapper) that my wife and I will sometimes jokingly proclaim, “damn you Obama!” to just about anything: Weeds in the yard, “damn you Obama!” Car won’t start “damn you Obama!” Hangnail, “damn you Obama!”
Perhaps the cherry on top of the Georgia good ol’ boy pie is the U.S. congressman from Georgia, Tom Price, who was quoted as saying that anything Obama proposes, good or bad, he will reject outright simply because it’s coming from Obama. I guess you can’t blame Obama for everything then after all.