30 August 2009

Obama needs to Grow a Pair or prepare to Get off the Pot!

At the ground breaking of the CEED project I had a moment to talk to Tom Perriello. I asked him quite bluntly if the Democrats in congress had the fortitude to push health care, climate change or other sustainable energy measures through. His answer was enlightening and very disheartening. He basically said that we will probably end up with some symbolic, watered down legislation that they can "sell" as reform. There is too much division among the majority party to push for real change.

I worked very hard on the Obama campaign. I hoped that we had someone that would push for real change, not another politician. At this point, my simple analysis of where we are is this:

Obama came into the White House with the hope and expectation that he could get bi-partisan compromise on legislation. That politicians would put aside rhetorical "sides" for the betterment of the country. This was evidenced by his early proclamation that he expected 80 plus senators to vote for the stimulus "for the good of the country".

We all found out that was a beautiful thought, but not going to happen.

Obama's presidency is now at a crossroads. Obama needs to take the lead like Roosevelt did in 1932-1933 and shove, push and cram his policies through with little compromise and taking few prisoners. He cannot let his patient, "wait for the other guys to catch up with me" mentality to slow him down.

Obama should take Teddy Kennedy's death as a rallying cry and call up the troops and push through every bit of the legislation he promised with the best ideas he can muster. If the right wing of his party or other parties doesn't want to play let them take their toys and go home.

If Obama does this now, he has about 6 months to work and actually get something done before all is lost to the mid term elections.

If he does push and take no prisoners, with the massive organizing his campaign showed he could muster, he will be able to hold on to the hard working middle of the roaders he won in November.

If he follows his current namby pamby middle of the road approach he will lose both the middle and those of us who so passionately fought for his election this past November.

In November 2010 Obama can end up with a stronger majority as Roosevelt did in his mid terms, or he could end up losing the house like Clinton did in his mid terms.

I can speak as one who was ready to ditch this country for a more enlightened one, I hope he makes the right decision because too much depends on it.

For a great article on Obama's presidency to date click here.


  1. I like how you say bi-partisan. We don't elect our politicians to be Bi-partisan. We elect them to stick to their guns. Liberals always love to say that republicans and conservatives are not being "bi-partisan" enough. What you really mean is your mad that people don't ignore their fundimental differences and concede to vote for ideals that they do not believe in.

    Would you be happy if Obama became "bi-partisan" and outlawed partial birth abortion, or legalized mary jane. How about if he became "bi-partisan" and actually admitted that we cannot just leave iraq and afganistan. After all the promises he made that they'd be out in 9 months, he's admitted there is no way we can pull out now. Yet I don't see anyone like yourself apologizing for the unfair way you treated the extensions of the war before he came into office.

    "bi-partisan" is not a good thing, on either side. You only become "bi-partisan" if your more worried about being re-elected than actually sticking to what you were voted in for.

    -Thomas Franklin

  2. First, I want to say I wish you had left your name so I know whom I am addressing. Second, the reason i am asking for some well reasoned bi-partisan statesmanship has to do with the sorry state of the current political situation. Our system has deteriorated to a political he said she said rather than a reasonable meeting in the middle. A good example is health care. In my business, we need reform because every year I face double digit price increases. I also have to battle insurance bureaucrats for services. If the repubes and dems could just agree to some simple fixes that are bipartisan we could move forward. We need liability reform, we need to be able to sell insurance across state lines and allow trade associations to form groups, we need a backstop public sector fund or service for those that want but can't afford basic care and we need to create a system that rewards docs for keeping people healthy rather than for ordering more tests to cover their asses. I think most reasonable people can agree on this, yet the repubes and the dems cannot even have a civil discussion to move us that far!


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