Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Health care reform package shows childish leadership still rules

with one comment

John Boehner is partially right.

Okay, those aren’t words I normally use. But hear me out.

Boehner, the House Minority Leader, was rambling about the health care reform. Mr. No was going on about how this health care reform deal wasn’t what Americans wanted or deserved.

On these points, Boehner is dead on right.

Oh yes, health care in the United States is slightly better than it was last week, even if some of those vital reforms aren’t coming to 2014. So what if you get sick, go broke, or die before then?

Americans want and deserve a better health care reform package. But it just didn’t happen.

We want and deserve better leadership on the tough issues of the day. The leadership on this was bad from the start. You had a perfect storm that would have lead to a better health care scenario. You had a popular grassroots president elected with the largest margin of the popular vote in 20 years, both houses of Congress controlled by the president’s party, and massive economic turmoil forcing a more significant change that otherwise could be passed.

So what happened?

Despite every element in favor of passing significant health care reform, everyone knew the road would be tough. Insurance companies, doctors, pharmaceutical companies — all very powerful and contribute lots of money to politicians. The Republican Party would also fight tooth and nail against every reform because they knew if the Democratic Party got credit for health care reform, their chances of regaining power were virtually nil.

To say Americans need a simple message isn’t necessarily insulting to Americans. But we don’t comprehend legislation on the level of the French, the Germans, or the British.

“Medicare for All” would have been very simple. Pointing out that health care is between a doctor and a patient, and that health insurance companies are the middlemen would have worked. Pointing out the sanity of savings by reducing health care costs (Medicare for All) would have helped.

But what was needed most of all was to gain and keep the momentum. President Obama, as a huge sports fan, should recognize the need for momentum. Once the teabaggers kicked in, most, if not all, was lost.

Never has a movement gained so much power from so much ignorance. After all, the teabaggers with legitimate anger against the system were those who would benefit the most from health care reform.

These were the people that needed to be convinced the most. Instead, President Obama stood back and tried to play conciliator. The scene was remnant of the classroom in Cheech & Chong’s “Sister Mary Elephant.” Except no one is saying SHHHUUUUUUUTTTT UUUPPP.

The people who voted for Obama in 2008, especially those who were reluctant to vote for a black man or a Democratic politician, wanted tough, strong inspired leadership that would solve problems. But Obama along with the Democratic and Republican politicians haven’t got that message just yet.

We’ll need another health care reform package down the road, or five of them at this rate. We need reforms in many other areas. And we still want that dominant leadership.

We also could use a press core — the MSM — that doesn’t insist on rewarding slacking behavior, that rewards negative leadership in the hopes of scoring points on a tote board. It may seem that politics is dominated by childish behavior, but it doesn’t mean we have to bring praise to those who behave the most childish.

Maybe we have received the level of maturity and leadership we deserve from our politicians. But in 2008, and even today, there seemed to be a change of heart, how we were finally going to want, expect, and reward competent adult leadership to deal with a growing list of problems.

We will have to wait and see if that comes true in November.


One Response

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  1. Not saying that their lack of backbone was justified, but we, their supporters didn’t step up enough either. The right wing nut jobs in the opposition yelled and screamed and pissed and moaned while we said next to nothing. Many politicians, especially in tight race districts didn’t feel they had the support of the public. We allowed the right to set the tone, despite the fact that they are in the minority. That is one of the Dems biggest weaknesses, we vote in November and then sit back and enjoy our success at the polls or wallow in our failure there until the next election comes around. To make it worse, if things are going our way, we really check out of the process.


    March 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

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