Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Care summit aftermath (My reply to a comment on last blog)

I agree with the things you have said, but I think one of the main ideas behind the summit was a hope that the American people would watch and hopefully recognize the myths being tossed around by either side. Now that being said, Obama has stated that he is putting the reconciliation tactic on the table, which can disregard the super-majority needed in the house and senate and pass with a basic majority of I believe 50. He has already received harsh criticism for this, namely from some of the republicans who are more willing to pass a bill, but in recent news it has been stated that Republicans used this maneuver somewhere around 13 times in the last 22 years to pass tax cuts for the wealthy and expand Medicare/Medicaid. To answer one of your last points; the Democratic by all means cannot sit on this bill any longer as passing it will be one of the keys to re-election. They need to act now and prove some positive change, which the bill will provide, or the many confused and ignorant American people (Tea Party) will continue to follow the erroneous claims of a party conveying fallacy to rally support.

To follow up on your statement about republicans being bashed by the base; after just watching Chris Mathews last night there was a video clip of Rush Limbaugh bashing the new Republican Senator Scott Brown. Brown just this past week voted to pass a jobs bill that was trimmed down in cost and some of its content offered by both sides. Now after all the media placed around what a huge win this was for the party, just like that they change their mind and re-establish their motif of contradicting themselves. Rush said something to the fact that he never was going to trust a Republican from Massachusetts. This seems to be a consistent theme with recent reports on republicans sponsoring bills and then backing out on them and not voting. All this is done to save face in the political realm, yet their constituents follow them like brainwashed soldiers (or as Bill Maher said, "cults"), confused by a "Big Brother" figure that claims socialists are out to get them. Now I don't know what they are smoking, but I don't believe an American government administration was ever out to get its own people? The closest I could compare to that would be the ignorance of some presidents like George W. Bush or LBJ, who clearly made decisions on wars that, had fewer benefits than consequences, but were rushed into without enough debate.

That point made above, as a final statement communicates another important reason this summit was held; to show the American people the president is letting both sides voice their opinion (if valid towards accomplishing a bill and not towards political positioning), but also to reiterate the need to get something done now to fix health care. And many will argue that others want to start over from scratch but are being ignored, but again the fact of the matter was that this bill was revised and re-proposed multiple times last year only to have it die with the loss of the super-majority in recent weeks. Many of the republican arguments have been checked off and approved by an independent economic committee to prove this bill will succeed, but the question continues to mount that some members are stalling or playing the game of politics. With tools like the filibuster which halt a bill’s progress in a second, republicans put up a wall, which they hope to hold up till next election (last time a congressman was ever forced to actually filibuster he talked for around 26 hours and quit). If the American people really want something/anything done they should recognize these idiotic events in Congress that do no good for getting things done by either side. And if they think they can hold out till their side regains power the same thing will happen in reverse.

MY OPINION: some kind of law needs to be established in Congress (or government as a whole) eliminating foolish procedure (filibuster) that is outdated, forces truth and action, and eliminates private funding in campaigns. I believe enforcing these few things and others will result in more things accomplished in our government FOR the American people.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ima Tell Ya What I Think

Ima tell ya what I think about the Health Care Summit. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the President is displaying great initiative to get back on track with health reform, but the circus that is Congress at the moment is not in the right mindset to handle these negotiations.

The one problem I have with this summit is that it is being televised. I understand the government’s need to become more transparent, but broadcasting this event live diminishes the hope of putting politics aside and pushing towards bipartisanship. The Republican Party has strong-armed with politics since democrats took over majority in Congress last year; it’s just a way of life for them to make things difficult when not going their way. Now the Democratic Party is wading in the water with the republican surprise senate win in Massachusetts, flashing a caution sign in their minds on what lies ahead with an increasingly impatient American public. Pit these two head-butting foes against each other on a national stage live and you are asking for a catastrophe. The one thing both these parties value most is their constituents, because the state and the people that support these congressmen and women are what supplies the power and leadership role so greedily desired. If you ask them to abandon items their voters specifically want for their state or community; well then you sacrifice their vote for the bill and/or succumb to the filibuster. Now many members of congress may be willing to sacrifice a little when behind closed doors, but put this debate on television where viewers can put a face to a name and ultimately you will never see compromise. The men and women of Congress will surely take note of the cameras in the room and be sure to put on a show for their constituents and lobbyists, for it is the only way they can insure re-election in the following year.

Thus the state of politics in our current era: More time and money is devoted toward campaigning for the following year than effort toward solving the problems of the present.

Now we have already seen the President succeed in the congregation of opposing sides with last year’s cleverly tagged “Beer Summit”, so he is 1-0. This summit though, marks a much more significant landmark for the administration and will determine the future of the health care talks. The time for reform is now as indicated by the American people and as always the ball sits with Congress, so hopefully they will show that time is of the essence in their efforts Thursday. As the old saying goes, “the camera doesn’t lie”, but will the players on the television screen speak with truth and fact? Only time can tell, but the informed citizen will be watching to either call out their representative for a scripted reality show worthy performance, or applaud them for achieving a historical milestone in our country’s progress.