I would counter that President Obama got a little excited about the prospect of bi-partisanship for his health care reform effort. He got a little “turned on” one might say about Republicans helping him pass substantial and historic health care reform and I think it goes back to his semi-delusional Lincoln fantasy that he touted during the campaign. Did he think he and the Republicans were going to bring this country together? Is he putting his legacy ahead of the process of health care reform? Shouldn’t he be channeling the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt instead of Lincoln and FDR?
I would also argue that “progressives”—and me—didn’t get a little excited as much as we became a little afraid. Why? Because we can’t read his mind, and lately he has said some things about health care reform which raised concern that he may be selling us out. Also, we don’t fully trust that he knows what he’s doing or he is doing what he should be doing the right way.
Now, while we don’t all crowd into the cockpit to second guess the airline pilot when we’re going through turbulence, Obama seems to have lost some measure of control. Did he jump into this with too much naiveté? And by “this” I don’t just mean health care reform, I also mean his presidency.
I would have approached health care reform in a different way, so obviously there is not as much faith in him as he may expect us to have. Our trust is not strong for this and other reasons. Why? Because this is the President who has gone soft on the Bush-era torture issue prosecutions and policies, he has kept his White House visitor log secret, and he confused and even angered many with his reversal on Guantanamo, among other things during his seven-plus months in office. And, because this is the President who insists he is going to get the very same Republicans to join him who want to destroy him.
He is too nice and calm when I want fight and fire. Has his being born in laid-back Hawaii revealed itself to be a detriment for him? Seems like it. Next time we elect a black president maybe he should be born in Kenya!
Now, if this pursuit of bi-partisanship is a tactic of Obama’s to make the Republicans look bad and lose even more in 2010, I’ll give it a chance. But first, let me explain what I mean.
Only Obama knows exactly what he can and will do on health care reform to get what he promised during the campaign. Just as Captain Kirk frequently took the Enterprise to the brink of destruction—and scared Scotty, the ship’s most intimately knowledgeable engineer, to death—in pursuit of that week’s enemy, perhaps that is what Obama is doing. Perhaps the Spock comparison has been misapplied all along.
If Obama is buttering up the Republicans by being very diplomatic in his pursuit of bi-partisanship by not doing or saying anything rude or mean or nasty to anger them, his strategy may be that he knows the Republicans will reject his attempts in the end anyway and then when Democrats do pass health care reform with the public option alone and the American people like it and find there are no death panels and none of the other scare tactic items they hurled with venom during the August recess, then Americans will have good reason not to trust Republicans. That’s my theory.
Two things anyone who has ever played poker knows are: play your cards close to your vest and always keep a poker face. Is that what Obama is doing? Is that what he did on Saturday when he said the public option was only a sliver of health care reform? Was he bluffing the Republicans?
The Republicans have already shown their hand because we know how many cards they have in Congress and from these stupid town hall bullying sessions, they led early with their best cards. Everyone already knows the Republican believe they are ordained by God to head the American government. Therefore, their actions are somewhat predictable and their hand can be figured out.
However, to embellish my theory about Obama, when the American voter sees how the Republicans shamelessly sided with the insurance industry and blatantly lied to scare them, maybe a sufficient number of elderly, poor and working class Republican and Independent voters may vote against Grassley, Coburn, DeMint and Vitter in the Senate and various Republican and evil Democrat Representatives in the House.
On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Obama needs to become someone we can trust by fighting. He needs to stop being Barack Obama and become Barrage (of punches) o-BAM!!-a, and he needs to start swinging now.
Yes, I loved the 60s Batman TV series when I was a kid.
So, no, Mr. President, we did not become a little excited. It was more like we don’t know you that well or for that long and what you revealed about yourself during the courtship, you changed noticeably once we said “I do”.
What kind of marriage is this going to be?
Well, if we find out after the 2010 elections that Obama has secretly been a Scientologist since the late-80s that may explain some things but we’d better make an appointment with an attorney asap.
If he is or has ever been a Scientologist, he needs to resolve this bi-partisan engram that tortures him and focus on a uni-partisan endgame.
Rimshot!! Goodnight, everybody!!
Join us Monday for another thrilling and rapturous episode of the Internet’s #1 blog serial, Congressman Christ, where President Obama invites Jesus to the White House to shoot some hoops.
Check out the best of JimBuckBlog list over the weekend!!!