Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's not reform if nothing changes

We're not rushing to hop on the Obama "bashwagon" (new copyrighted term here at Highpocrisy HQ). We also think Howard Fineman is too much of an insider to provide new and useful insight. But he has a take on the current health care debate, here. Money quote to us: "...there are no moderates left in the GOP. Only conservatives who want to deny Obama success or legitimacy. They'll oppose anything he proposes and call it principle." Fineman does mention that Obama might have been too naive to think he could achieve bi-partisanship on this issue.

We might extend that claim to any of his big-ticket issues. We've said before how hard it is for the powerful to relinquish control and power to another. Especially, THE "other". But part of the problem at least for me, is that I wanted to believe Obama was more progressive. Basketball may have been his sport on the campaign trail, but since he took that oath, he seems to have run to the center faster than Usain Bolt. Or did he? Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow said on Real Time a couple weeks ago that she always thought Obama was a moderate. I didn't want to accept that. But Obama has not pushed for any war crimes investigations yet. He lost control of the debate on his own top priority of health care reform. His economic plans have been too timid for the likes of Paul Krugman. And yet, he's still the President! He's the smartest guy in the room, with a pit bull for a Chief of Staff (sans lipstick). I'm just not getting why Obama can't see what's needed here!?! What is the game plan? If he can't win this one, what can he win? It's still way too early in the game, but I really wish he'd take advice from a source in none other than his own hometown of Chicago, courtesy of Sean Connery's Jim Malone in The Untouchables (poetic license taken):

"You wanna know how to get [health care reform]? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. THAT's the *Chicago* way! And that's how you get [health care reform]..." Given the current climate, this could not be more apt. OK, Mr. President, now what are you prepared to do?

supplemental: J and I make a couple of extra points in comments, but keep reading Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone. Obama began the whole reform process without his A game, i.e., the single-payer alternative. Never even made it into the gym. If he were really cocky enough to think he could push through the Plan B "public option" (or worse, take credit for any reform that passed), I could at least respect the effort, but still hate the result. We both sure "hope" he hasn't checked his senses at the door to 1600 Pennsylvania.


J-say said...

OK Mole.....but let's not forget what happens to Sir Connery at the end of the movie. Frank Nitty turns him into swiss cheese with a Tommy Gun! I think I need to start a support group for Hillary fans who eventually and somewhat apprehensively, climbed aboard the "yes we can" express only to have our biggest fears confirmed....It looks like the "Big-O" can't get it done!! Seems "captain change" may not be as well endowed as we imagined and that he has been in the pool too long and suffering from some significant "shrinkage"! Maybe we can get Hillary to lend him her cast iron "set" long enough for him to step up to the plate and take a freakin swing! How terribly disappointing to think that all of this energy, the massive groundswell of support for the concept of change, it all may be squandered because the "chosen one" is gettin bitch-slapped by not only the conservative and racist scumbags of the republican party, but by the racist, greedy and megalomaniacal jerk-offs in his own party, whose elections he all but guranteed! We have had lots of white guys, now a black guy, I say the time has come for a lesbian to be president....Rachel Maddow 2012!

Rollah said...

We both know that Obama got elected as much for his own merit as the fact that W really F'd this country up, and McGramps chose the dumber of the Tina Fey twins as his unqualified running mate.

I'm not giving up hope yet, no matter how centrist Obama is or will be. He's too smart to know what a failed reform plan will leave in its wake. Contrast his smarts and savvy w/ the poll out this week that showed about 50% of those asked believed the 'death panels' thing? This place is in the terlet, and the Rs go back to the 1 card they can always play - fear! Some people will always be fooled all of the time.

larserik said...

Your blog just got another follower. I couldn't find a post I disagreed with, so it's only fair I joined. Plus, your list of links to other blogs was great. I'll have to go re-rank my personal top10-sites now.

To comment on the actual post:
agreed, Obama is stepping back from a lot of promises. Dropping universal healthcare is just the latest. But it makes no sense that the mighty Obama administration, with majorities in both houses, would bow to a gaggle of pesky townhall hecklers.
I can't make sense of this (backpedalling on important issues) any other way than assume he doesn't have enough congressional support, even from his own party.
If that's true, the blame has to be shared, party wide. It would also mean the good fight couldn't be won, right now, even with a superman president.
That's the only thing I'd add to your post... but as I said, I only go by assumptions, no facts, so if you have any light to shed on this, or know some blog that has, I hope you take the time to post.
Either way, thanks for blogging for the good side.