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Obama: No I Can’t

Blogger’s Note: I know that today is Patriot Day/The Anniversery of the 9/11/2001 attacks, and yes, it is even my birthday (feel free to donate a few bucks as a birthday present if you are so inclined). The 9/11 attacks are in the past and today I still need to discuss issues in the present so that we can build a better future. Next week sometime I will post on 9/11 or keep checking the Examiner page.


Lately I have been very annoyed that President Obama has caved in to the massive power of the Republican minority on Health Insurance Reform. Many of my fellow Democrats are not as fired up and pissed off as I am. Many tell me that we need to take “baby steps” or that I need to learn how to “compromise.” Some even say that the President can’t just push through real meaningful health insurance reform.

Well, I voted for a “Yes We Can” President, not a “No We Can’t” President. The fact of the matter is that former President George W. Bush was able to push through a war in Iraq and the US PATRIOT Act without 60 Republican Senators. Why can’t Obama get his agenda done with 60 Democratic Senators? Former Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Van Jones, answered this question best in a recent town hall event, “Because Republicans are assholes.” Jones “resigned” in part because of that remark.

Now I am all for “baby steps” when we need to take them, but let us not forget that we have 60 Democratic Senators, control over the House, and the Presidency. We don’t need to take baby steps. We can take big boy steps now. If we have to be assholes to assholes in order to get real meaningful reform done, than I am all for it.

As for compromise, I am supporter of compromise. I am willing to compromise on the Medicare4All idea which I think is by far the strongest and best health insurance reform plan in favor of the weaker but more capitalistically oriented Public Option which would compete with the private insurance company monopoly to force lower prices and higher quality of service. But to compromise on the compromise is just one compromise too many. The plan that the President outlined on Wednesday is basically a Republican plan with a few Democratic ideas thrown in. That is no longer compromise that is giving up almost completely. When you do everything that the other side wants and almost nothing that your side wants, you have lost. That is not a compromise, it is surrender.

Why is Obama caving in here? The Democrats have a filibuster proof Senate majority, control of the House, the Presidency, and… and all the political capital Obama earned during the campaign. If Bush had this must going for him, he would have probably taken us to war with Canada and then England (those Communists with their universal healthcare systems are a threat to Democracy).

Now, I know some Democrats will whine about how not all the Senators are supporting a strong health insurance reform. But let’s face the facts, we don’t need them. We only need 51 Senators to pass this thing as long as the other nine don’t join a Republican filibuster, we don’t have a problem. Can you imagine if they did join a Republican filibuster against a popular Democratic President? They would be out of a job at the next election cycle. Yeah, that’s right; the President is popular and has a lot of political capital from the election. Political capital he will surely lose if he cannot get meaningful health insurance reform passed. He can go up to any of the Democratic Senators who have been bought by the big health insurance monopoly and say, “If you don’t support me, I will find some other Democrat in your district to replace you.” He can go and campaign for some young upstart challenger who will play ball. This is called strong-arming and if a Senator believes that the President as the means and the balls to do it, they will play ball. President Obama certainly has the means, but alas no balls.

So with all this going for the President, how did he become the “No I Can’t” President? Is he really that ineffective that even with everything going for him he still can’t get anything meaningfully done? I mean come on. Even Jimmy Carter could have gotten something done with all this backing him up. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carter but let’s face reality, he wasn’t all that effectual.

Let me put it this way. What would Obama need to be able to really get something meaningful done here? 60 Senators, the House, and strong political capital aren’t enough, what would he need? If there were 100 Democratic Senators in the Senate and 435 Democratic Congress people in the House could Obama get something meaningful done? I don’t think he could. The sad fact is that President Obama doesn’t want real health insurance reform. If he did, he would do it now. Because the fact is that he is in the strongest political position one needs to be in short of an all out dictatorship.

Instead, Obama talks a great game about how “this is the season for action,” and how “we did not come to fear the future, but to shape it,” etc. But when the time comes to put up or shut up, Obama has nothing meaningful to say. All I hear is, “No we can’t.”

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