Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Wrong Things

How is it that in a country of 300 million-plus, in a representative democracy of 535 Senators and Representatives, that one man can “kill” something that benefits, well, according to an AP story over the weekend, a whopping two percent of our population.

Well, everybody’s talking about Joe Lieberman exercising his option in the Senate to filibuster this extremely weak health care reform bill that will benefit almost no one which progressives have promised to bend over and vote for just to be loyal democrats.

And Obama talks about
how hard change is. While he made small and medium advances on his agenda, his legacy will most likely be judged (by me) on health care reform, Afghanistan, Iraq and the economy. How many times have I and others tried to get him out of the White House and involved in the health care reform process.

But he didn’t and now Lieberman may wreck all that change Obama promised way back when. Didn’t Obama reach out to Lieberman earlier this year and convince democratic leadership to give ol’ Joe some important committee chairmanship, like Homeland Security?

I never graduated Harvard and I’ve never been elected president, but even I knew bi-partisanship was bullshit. Sure, change is hard—especially if you keep fucking it up from the beginning.

Right now I’m watching
“The Right Stuff”, the 1983 Phillip Kaufman film based on the 1979 book by Tom Wolfe. And while the film may have taken some artistic license and emphasized the pilot over the scientists and the politicians who made it happen, the fact is without the pilots’ expertise, how different would the space program have been. Armstrong’s piloting of the LEM on the moon with only a few seconds of fuel is a perfect example.

A couple of months ago while watching “Serpico” I wrote that we needed a Frank Serpico in Congress to clean it up and get rid of the corruption.

Now I’m writing that we need a new generation of politicians with, you guessed it, the right stuff.

These new politicians would hold with pride, dignity and integrity, the weighty meaning and solemn responsibility of the office which they would hold. They would be leather jacket-wearing, gum chewing, whiskey drinking courageous hotshots who would push the boundaries, just as Yeager broke the sound barrier, of creating and enacting legislation that helps the people, just like all the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts who also did what no one did before them.

American space exploration since Kennedy’s call to action drew qualified and fearless men and women to the mission.

But when Obama called for Change, no one—not even Obama himself—seems to have heeded that call. With Kennedy’s announcement about the moon shot, we made it to the moon many times. But in this analogy, with Obama’s call for health care reform, we exploded just above the launch tower.

Until we can get some politicians with the right stuff, it may suffice if Obama would simply put Joe Lieberman on the moon.