Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tone Deaf Obama: "The Show Must Go On!"

Or so it seems since Obama, despite all of the Town Halls, all of the polls (here's one), the Tea Party protests, all of it, is going on with his huge push for his Healthcare bill, and it is most definitely his.

Even in the face of mounting opposition within his own party, and even among some liberals like Dr. Marcia Angell (who, by the way, is being demonized by some progressives as being "anti-woman" for opposing this bill. That is some logical leap, as in, it has lept away from being logical). Dr. Angell highlights that this bill as written is a gift to the pharmaceutical companies (Obama made his deal with them before any bill was ever even written) and the INSURANCE companies, the same ones Obama demonizes in his speeches. Yet, on Obama goes, as this article by Charles Krauthammer brings home, Onward with Obamacare, Regardless:
So the yearlong production, set to close after Massachusetts's devastatingly negative Jan. 19 review, saw the curtain raised one last time. Obamacare lives.

After 34 speeches (as of 3/4/10), three sharp electoral rebukes (Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts) and a seven-hour seminar, the president announced Wednesday his determination to make one last push to pass his health-care reform.

The final act was carefully choreographed. The rollout began a week earlier with a couple of shows of bipartisanship: a Feb. 25 Blair House "summit" with Republicans, followed five days later with a few concessions tossed the Republicans' way.

Show is the operative noun. Among the few Republican suggestions President Obama pretended to incorporate was tort reform. What did he suggest to address the plague of defensive medicine that a Massachusetts Medical Society study showed leads to about 25 percent of doctor referrals, tests and procedures being done for no medical reason? A few ridiculously insignificant demonstration projects amounting to one-half of one-hundredth of 1 percent of the cost of his health-care bill.

As for the Blair House seminar, its theatrical quality was obvious even before it began. The Democrats had already decided to go for a purely partisan bill. Obama signaled precisely that intent at the end of the summit show -- then dramatically spelled it out just six days later in his 35th health-care speech: He is going for the party-line vote.

Unfortunately for Democrats, that seven-hour televised exercise had the unintended consequence of showing the Republicans to be not only highly informed on the subject, but also, as even Obama was forced to admit, possessed of principled objections -- contradicting the ubiquitous Democratic/media meme that Republican opposition was nothing but nihilistic partisanship.

No kidding about the Blair House seminar. We suspected that was the case before it happened, and its hours long drama did nothing to dispel that initial suspicion. Not that that stopped Obama, then or now, despite the outcome. A big ol' oopsie daisy" for the Democrats on that one:
Republicans did so well, in fact, that in his summation, Obama was reduced to suggesting that his health-care reform was indeed popular because when you ask people about individual items (for example, eliminating exclusions for preexisting conditions or capping individual out-of-pocket payments), they are in favor.

Yet mystifyingly they oppose the whole package. How can that be?

Allow me to demystify. Imagine a bill granting every American a free federally delivered ice cream every Sunday morning. Provision 2: steak on Monday, also home delivered. Provision 3: a dozen red roses every Tuesday. You get the idea. Would each individual provision be popular in the polls? Of course.

However (life is a vale of howevers) suppose these provisions were bundled into a bill that also spelled out how the goodies are to be paid for and managed -- say, half a trillion dollars in new taxes, half a trillion in Medicare cuts (cuts not to keep Medicare solvent but to pay for the ice cream, steak and flowers), 118 new boards and commissions to administer the bounty-giving, and government regulation dictating, for example, how your steak is to be cooked. How do you think this would poll?

Perhaps something like 3 to 1 against, which is what the latest CNN poll shows is the citizenry's feeling about the current Democratic health-care bills.

Uh, yeah - I don't know how many more ways Americans can say we do not want this bill as written, yet Obama and the Democrats continue their push regardless of the sentiment, and the concerns, like cost:
Late last year, Democrats were marveling at how close they were to historic health-care reform, noting how much agreement had been achieved among so many factions. The only remaining detail was how to pay for it.

Well, yes. That has generally been the problem with democratic governance: cost. The disagreeable absence of a free lunch.

Which is what drove even strong Obama supporter Warren Buffett to go public with his judgment that the current Senate bill, while better than nothing, is a failure because the country desperately needs to bend the cost curve down, and the bill doesn't do it. Buffett's advice would be to start over and get it right with a bill that says "we're just going to focus on costs and we're not going to dream up 2,000 pages of other things." (Disclosure: Buffett is a director of The Washington Post Co.)

Obama has chosen differently, however. The time for debate is over, declared the nation's seminar leader in chief. The man who vowed to undo Washington's devious and wicked ways has directed the Congress to ram Obamacare through, by one vote if necessary, under the parliamentary device of "budget reconciliation." The man who ran as a post-partisan is determined to remake a sixth of the U.S. economy despite the absence of support from a single Republican in either house, the first time anything of this size and scope has been enacted by pure party-line vote.

Surprised? You can only be disillusioned if you were once illusioned.

Well, true that. Those of us who were watching with eyes wide open, and not high on Hopium or drunk on Kool Aide, were never "illusioned." As Obama's tenure continues, we marvel that so many are STILL "illusioned." Kinda makes you wonder just what the hell it takes to finally get through the closed minds of his supporters. Buying GM didn't do it; taking over banks didn't do it; giving away the store to the unions didn't do it; his lack of experience and leadership didn't do it; and now this healthcare debacle isn't doing it. What in the hell does it TAKE to get through to them?

To be honest, I don't think I want to know. How about you?


Mary Ellen said...

Obama and his kool-aide brigade just think that the those going to townhall meetings and protesting the health care plan are nothing but a bunch of "tea baggers" who have been organized by the Republican party to take down Obama. They refuse to look at the polls because it's easier to belittle all Americans and call them tea-baggers than to admit that they don't like that crap bill he's trying to ram down our throats.

Rachel Maddow did a segment on her show last night about it.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

So, did Rachel come down against those unAmerican "Teabaggers" who are mean to the president, and are not letting him have his way (since it's all abt him, after all)? Just wondering.

And you are so right, ME - anyone who disagrees with Obama HAS to be a Republican right winger.

Along those lines, check out what Michael Moore wrote to Obama in his request to replace Rahm Emmanuel: "And I will help you get done what the American people sent you there to do. I don't need much, just a cot in the White House basement will do.

Now, don't get too giddy with excitement over my offer, because you and I are going to be up at 5 in the morning, seven days a week and I am going to get you pumped up for battle every single day (see photo). Each morning you and I will do 100 jumping jacks and you will repeat after me:


And Republicans stopped counting as Americans when exactly? I ask that as someone who used to believe Republicans should be identifiable on sight, but I never doubted they were AMERICANS. WTH?? How insulting can these people possibly be? And WHEN did we switch over to a dictatorship?? There are three, 3, CO-EQUAL branches of government. You'd think someone like Moore would know that. Apparently, not...


Mary Ellen said...

Rev.Amy- Obama must know that there is no way he can win again in 2012 because he never would have won without Republican support in the last election. Now he's lost them AND most of his Progressive base.

Obama is convinced that his presidency is over if he loses the battle on the health care bill. I say his presidency is over because he doesn't give a rats ass about the American people who are out of work and losing their homes. He's already shown that bailing out banks and wall street is more important to him than the American people. He's already shown that the Big Pharma companies and Health Insurance Companies are more important to him than the American people. That's what will possibly lose it for him.

Of course, I say possibly because look at the other choice...Republicans. Just yesterday I heard Senator Rick Santorum argue against allowing people to get an extension on unemployment benefits and said that people who continue to get unemployment don't want to get jobs, so that's why they shouldn't be given any more money.

Yeah...cuz everyone wants to live on less than a third of their income because they are too lazy to work. Idiots in Washington are freakin' clueless!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Mary Ellen, I think you are spot on. Obama telegraphed that he thought he would be a one term president when he said he'd rather be a great one term prez than a mediocre two term prez. Some logic there, huh? If he was a great prez, he'd get re-elected. His problem is that he IS a mediocre prez. who cares far more abt appearances than reality (e.g., he wants to pass this atrocious bill because of how it will LOOK for him).

You're darn right that people are upset abt their loss of jobs, the economy, and the debt (I might add).

But yeah, the other side has some real winners, too. Santorum has been a piece of work for some time. Blech.

Sigh. Montserrat, here I come! :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, you see Rev, The Pretender doesn’t NEED to listen to those right-wing, government-hating, gun-toting, wacko Tea Partiers. He’s got the COFFEE PARTIERS now! And then there’s Michael Moore, god bless his pea-picking-little-patriot heart. WTF? If the American people don’t like what The Pretender’s doing they can throw his ass out in 2012? Now, THAT’s some HOPE! and CHANGE! Here’s a new concept, Michael. How about our President-in-Training start to listen NOW to the people who pay his salary?

Did you hear Sean Penn? He thinks anyone who calls Hugo Chavez a dictator should be jailed for telling lies.

I guess Michelle was right when she said “Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual.”

And then there’s the immigration bill which will require all U.S. workers to carry id cards. I wonder how long it’ll be before we have to show our papers to any officer of the law who asks.

This is insane. And what’s scarier is how many people are still steeped in the kool-aid haze of oblivion. Either they are so indoctrinated by the Democratic Party or they believe in the socialist agenda being forced on us. Which is odd, when you think about it. As socialists, they want to redistribute the wealth and be one big global economy and citizens of the world and everyone help everyone else and we are the world pepsi. But, they want this health-care insurance giveaway to pass so they don’t have to continue to pay for the health care of others. Hmmmmmm……2 + 2 isn’t coming out to 4.

Montserrat is sounding better and better every moment.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

SF, yes, getting Obama out of the White House, and JayZ out of the Situation Room, cannot come soon enough. That is indeed hope and change with which I can live!!

I DID see that abt Sean Penn - he has lost his mind. Truly. If people could be in jail for lying, the entire DNC leadership, including Obama, would be behind bars for the crap they spewed abt BOTH Clintons. Instead, we have people like Moore declare Republicans are not Americans, and that Obama can do as he damn well pleases. Wowie zowie.

And the Immigration bill - I don't even know where to start with that one. I DO know that, even as a lefty Dem, I do NOT support giving amnesty to all illegal immigrants. It makes a mockery of all of those who did it the right way, who paid their dues, and obeyed the LAW to come to the U.S.

Seeking political asylum because of danger in one's home country, though, is another matter. I'm not talking abt those folks - just to be clear.

Yes, friend, Montserrat, here we come. Just so you know, the house I REALLY want is right on the ocean (you can watch whales from there, and see the sea turtles dig their nests). And, it has an apartment, too - perfect for you! :-)

Mary Ellen said...

Sean Penn also said that he hoped his critics would die of a screaming case of colon cancer. Now, there's the voice of progressive America!

Anonymous said...

OMG,the house you have your eye on sounds amazing! I'd be happy as a clam in the apartment! That sounds fantastic...watching the whales, watching the sea turtles, the sea and sand and sun...

I agree with you about the immigration issue. Those who are seeking political or human rights asylum are welcome with open arms. As are those who follow the legal process to become residents of the U.S. (like my grandparents, who came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s). But those who came here illegally, NO amnesty. That's condoning what they did, in my opinion. They knew they were breaking the law, and they shouldn't be rewarded for it. And yes, it does make a mockery of those who obeyed the law...and makes a mockery of the law itself.

Montserrat, here we come!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Mary Ellen, you have GOT to be kidding me. He said that? Holy moley - I already didn't like him, but now I am completely disgusted by him. How assholic can he be?!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

SF, you have to see this place. Tell me your site again and I'll send you the link to this place. You will NOT believe it!

EXACTLY abt Immigration. That's exactly how I feel. It is a mockery of the law. Well said!

Mary Ellen said...

SF Indie- Oh yeah, what you said about the illegal immigration is EXACTLY how I feel. I'm so fed up with this wink and a nod toward those who come here illegally. It seems that our government decides who can break the law and get away with it who can't.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Yes, Mary Ellen - besides even the "wink and nod" aspect of it all, it is the shameless political ploy behind it. That really gripes me.