The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Grow Some Balls, Obama

Posted by The Futility Monster on October 17, 2009 @ 22:55

Wanted: one of these in order to start political revolution...

Wanted: one of these in order to start political revolution...

Time for a little digression into American politics…

For those of us who’ve been following the US healthcare reform debacle, things appear to be coming to a head. The House of Representatives is probably going to insist on a very strong set of reforms, with serious involvement for the public sector. Meanwhile, if the Senate had their way, they’d dump a load of old horseshit on Obama’s desk, a steaming bow-tied turd which might make Rahm Emanuel happy but no one else…

The problem appears to be that the Senate, as usual, is utterly rudderless. Some of this is in their inherent constitutional nature. Too many chiefs… there are so few Senators that almost every member of the majority party has some senior role, chairmanship of a (sub)committee. Meanwhile, there are a gaggle of Republican Senators whom the Democrats appear to spend all their time trying to entice into bed with them. All because the Democrats don’t have the guts to pass anything on their own because they don’t want to take all the blame if it goes wrong.

It’s very unappetising, and a terrible waste of the potential power they ought to be wielding with such dominance of the Executive and Legislative branches; an opportunity that Obama may never enjoy again.

But in truth, it’s classic Obama. Ever the pragmatist, always looking for another way of trying to convince the nation that he is the uniter. Showing us that he does things differently. Wanting to further the pretence that he is ushering in an era of post-partisan politics.

It ain’t happening. How much longer is he going to dance to the tune of the Republican party? A party who clearly have no intention of negotiating anything in good faith. A party that have spent their entire time doing everything they can to undermine him. A party that has no qualms about utter, bare-faced lies about “death panels” and hilarious hyperbole about the socialist era washing across from sea to shining sea.

So why is Obama prepared to continue negotiating, and perpetuating a lie that he needs to, with the “Grand” Old Party? There’s something very wrong about this Democratic notion that somehow, in order to legislate, they need to achieve supermajorities when the Republicans didn’t. Are they trying to hold some sort of moral high ground? Maybe.

But, sadly, such a position is not going to solve the shocking healthcare crisis America suffers from. It’s not going to be any good if healthcare reform fails and President Obama says:

Well, we nearly did it. But, despite having large public support, and having a supermajority of 60 Democrats in the Senate… oh and it being a major part of my mandate in the 2008 election… well, we just couldn’t quite do it.

I thought Obama was all about achieving the unachievable. Of reaching for the dream when all hope seems lost.

Suddenly, when it comes to riding roughshod over the vested interests of a handful of greedy Senators, he seems to have hit a brick wall, unable to expose them to the cruel light of public scrutiny, blaming them for their closeness to the vested special interests and being such a cosy little members club. Perhaps he didn’t spend long enough in the Senate to realise how it works: they’re all in there to feather their own nests.

If Obama suddenly hung out some of these Senators – enjoying their moment in the sun to absorb some extra financial contributions from the healthcare industry – out to dry, I suspect things would start moving again.

Obama needs to start throwing his weight around more in public. He needs to start exerting the moral authority of his office to achieve his agenda. He cannot sit back and hope the Congress produces the legislation he wants. He has the rhetorical ability to lead. He won the Presidential election, for goodness sake.

FDR did it. LBJ did it.

Times are so tough in America that they need the same kind of mentality from their President in order to get things done.

Otherwise, in one or three years time, Obama will have a Republican Congress to deal with.

And do you think they’ll be in any mood for “bipartisanship”?

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