Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Scott Brown and A Year of "Hope": Wednesday Short Take #1
Wow..I really need the comfort and inspiration of those goofy bassett hounds now....
So the Republican, Scott Brown, won Ted Kennedy's venerable Senate seat in Massachusetts. Early polling suggests (as seen tonight on Keith Olbermann) that it was the Wall Street bailout, not health-care reform, that was the most important reason that many independents, who voted for Obama's presidency, then voted for Brown for the Senate.
Either way, the health bill will never approach anything near to its original dream. No government option will be open to everyone; no reduced drug benefits; no competition to big hospitals and pharmaceuticals; and to top it off, it has gone from "everyone will have the chance to be insured by a competitive single-payer" to "insurance, based on competitive market prices, is mandatory". Read here for a good summary back in July, on Huffington Post, on the President's stated support for a public option, and the beginnings of the tide turning.
Mr. Obama needs to work quickly to shake things up. He has to be more visible; it's more crucial now than ever. When he had the polls and the affections of the public in his favor, he was everywhere in the media. He must appear before his constituents now--those that are still supportive of him, and especially those that are beginning to question his direction. Maybe he needs to send a strong message by firing a few of his inner circle....starting with Mr. Emanuel.
We are seeing the snaky results of Obama's appeals to bipartisanshp. With a (technically) filibuster-proof majority in the senate, and majorities in both houses, it was important for Obama to rally his party and keep his vision before them, as he did in his campaign. But he placed too much stock in their ability to bring acceptable legislation to his desk.
He had what he needed--the popular support, the congress---and then appealed to "bipartisan solutions" which amounted to his asking the permission of his adversaries to proceed, and opened the door to them...they who made it clear that they were committed to his failure from the start. That mistake will haunt a generation. And now we seem headed for a time when America will be directed by the ignorant and the loud... Those with the smarts and moral authority to see us move in the best direction are not intimidating enough.
Today, one may rightly take exception to the notion of the pen being mightier than the sword...Democrats ought to have tea parties of their own, and out-intimidate the bullies on the playground. Illiterates can't be persuaded with written words. And there have been so many words about this.....in blogs, web sites, publications.... Not enough.
Or maybe Corporate America doomed it all from the start.
And now....There is little hope. A year later, after an inaugural event filled with energy and hope, the real enthusiasm surronding the change that might just be possible, has slipped away like a dream barely remembered upon awakening.