PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE PARTY OF CAN'T

Before this monstrous health care bill was eventually rammed through Congress, Barack Obama was intent on going after the GOP, calling them the "party of no," and claiming that they were using extreme dilatory tactics in every step of the process. The GOP was essentially using politics and fear tactics to avoid getting the work of the American people done.

In my opinion, that's a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it? I mean, if you get right down to it, during the past year President Obama provided only myriad excuses as to why nothing was getting done. Nearly every sentence out of the president's lips—or from the lips of any democrat for that matter—essentially started off with "the Bush administration."

The question comes to mind, how can the GOP have been to blame for inaction? How can the GOP have been to blame for any fundamental lack of leadership? How can the GOP have been to blame for not getting the work of the American people done?

In case anyone is not clear on the matter, during the entire health care debate the democrats had the majority in the United States Senate with 59 seats, if you were to include Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman, who are both independents, but who caucus with the democrats. In the Congress it's the same story. Democrats held the majority there as well.

The fact is that the republicans don't have the voting power to have had much of a say in any part of the lawmaking process. Even if they had been able to participate more in the debates, their vote was effectively irrelevant in the grander scheme of things.

So, who was really the party of no?  

During the whole health care debacle, we heard it all. Barack Obama threw around accusation after accusation that the GOP had offered nothing in the way of solutions. The democrats did the same. "If you have a better idea, let me know," the president told everyone at his SOTU address. In a pseudo-response to that statement, House minority leader John Boehner, introducing the president as a speaker at the republican retreat a few days following the president's SOTU address, handed the president a booklet called "Better Solutions," which basically outlined a series of ideas the republicans had tried to get through the process, but that were met with opposition by the president and the democratic leadership in the House and Senate, or simply ignored altogether.

Things like tort reform. Or opening up competition between state lines among insurance companies.

Look, at no time did the republicans have it in their minds to stop any progress in any aspect of the health care bill, and I think it is a terrible mistake to suggest that. It's absolutely untrue, it's unfair, and quite frankly, it's ridiculous as well. The operative word here is "progress." We can argue all day about the effectiveness of our elected officials, but I highly doubt that anyone actually goes to Washington to accomplish nothing. I wouldn't even accuse the democrats of that.

The republican party was never once totally opposed to health care reform as some would like to suggest, or believe. Neither were the 52% of the American people who opposed the bill entirely against health care reform. And while it's true that in the end the republicans did, indeed, make a strong effort to kill the bill, it wasn't because they didn't want a bill, it wasn't because they wanted to end the discussion on the bill, but rather because the bill being rammed through the process in its current form was simply not a good bill.

And by the way, think back a little bit. Had the GOP really been the major issue with any delays in getting the health care bill passed, why was not one single republican considered a key vote to get? Those delegations went to Ben Nelson, a democrat, and Bernie Sanders, who again, caucuses with the democrats. Why were those two senators so crucial? And what about Bart Stupak's vote? Or Dennis Kucinich's vote? Which critical republican was it that took a ride on Air Force One?

The real reason the health care bill was being delayed was very simply because the democrats themselves did not have sufficinet support for the bill. The republicans could have effectively filibustered. And the fact of the matter is, that had been that happened, the democrats might have lost their bill altogether. They may have been forced to take some of the republican's proposals into consideration. Democrats clearly were not interested in any of the republican's ideas.

What conservatives wanted out of this deal was simply to have an open line of communication. They wanted to have an open exchange of ideas, and they wanted to see solutions that brought together the best parts of both the democrat and republican parties. They wanted to offer to the American people a bill that would accomplish health care reform without bankrupting an already broke country. Not once did I ever hear nor read about a single republican who ever said that they would knock down the bill if they did not get everything they wanted or proposed to be included in the bill. Not once. So, there was plenty of room for compromise. There was plenty room for more debate, and fair debate.

It was easy to point fingers when nothing was getting done, and it was easy to make every effort to redirect anger, clearly directed at them, to the republicans. It was easy to blame Bush, and blame the republicans for all of the problems facing the nation, and for all of the failures of the democratic party to get things done in a timely manner. As you have said yourself, the election is over. You are the president now, Mr. Obama. Up to now, control of the House and Senate has been in your hands. Before Scott Brown, you even had a super majority.

The bill got done. The president and the democrats got their way without the help of the republicans. Hooray. They called them the party of no. The truth is there never were nearly enough "no" votes to cause so much trouble. That honor could only go to what could well have been deemed 'the party of can't.'

Not to be stripped of that label thanks to the bill's passing, it now will apply to what they can't do in November. Win.

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Comments 50 comments

Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I love it! You are right on. I'll be checking out more of your hubs and becoming a follower.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thanks for stopping by, and glad you enjoyed my rant. :)


tobey100 profile image

tobey100 6 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

Loved it. Wish I'd written it. Good job man.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Hey! So glad I'm not the President! Nice presentation, springboard!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Springboard, This absolutely great article. We are like minded thinkers. I have great hopes for the 2010 election "

so we should have a little more control in the Senate. The

"Party That Can't" is an apt name.


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Everyone is starting to remember why they didn't vote for democrats for the last 2-3 decades.

Keep on hubbing!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Tobey, Ann, Pamela and eovery—November will, I think, be very telling as to the mindset of the American people. When we elected president Obama(and when I say we, I speak generally, I didn't vote for him) I was really hopeful that the slight shift of The People left of center would be a short-lived phenomenon, and I think that's starting to show itself. Thankfully. The polls all seem to point to the country getting back to it's normal center position.

Considering the majority of democrats also happen to be progressives, I think repubs could have a very decisive win in both the House and Senate, even if they don't necessarily take the majority.


Frygar profile image

Frygar 6 years ago

Its too bad your obvious political bias came into play in the last few paragraphs in an article that otherwise stated a very important point about politics in the United States today. Instead of taking sides, perhaps we should look at the causes of the Republican adversity to the Democrats' plan and see if anything can be done to overcome it. It might stem from the fact the two parties' plans are so ideologically different that they can't reconcile these differences in any meaningful compromise. It is incorrect to suggest that Republicans have been more open to Democratic ideas than vice versa.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

If the republicans have had any oppostion to democratic ideas, which of course they have, some of that is going to be based on ideology. I follow you there. That will be an element in any political debate. But I think when you are shut out from discussions, completely ignored AND debased at the same time, any arguments the democrats might make, even the good ones, will fall on deaf ears.

The way the democrats have been playing this debate it's sort of like two kids in a room; while one is talking the other one has his fingers in his ears and is singing "na, na, na, na, na."

Nonetheless, I value your opinion, and thanks for stopping by to share it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Excellent writing. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. The Republicans couldn't get anything out of Obama and his minions. One Republican said he offered to come on board with the monstrous health care bill if they would throw him a bone: Tort Reform. He was told that since Tort Reform would only save $4B a year it wasn't important enough to consider. Since when is $4B chickenfeed?!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Exactly. Thanks for stopping in and glad you enjoyed the hub. :)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Oh and by the way Springboard many Democrats are jumping ship too !


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Interestingly, yes. This next election cylce will be to me what the Super Bowl is to most others. Only I find politics far more interesting. :)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Im kinda addicted to both !


jjmyles profile image

jjmyles 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Excellent review of what has been going on for the last year in the political theater. As a health care professional, I find the Healthcare bills very disturbing to put it mildly. And the "We won you lost" attitude of the house and senate and dare I also say the white house administration. Is not the best way to represent all of the American people. After all that is their job!!


tobey100 profile image

tobey100 6 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

The administration keeps talking about the savings to be realized by eliminating waste and fraud in medicare. Why don't they start there? Every American would approve.


Brad Masters 6 years ago

There should be no place in this country for anymore government run businesses. Congress has no aptitude for numbers, especially those preceded by a $.

If that is not possible, then an plan should have Congress and the government workers and unions all in the same plan.

We don't need another Medicare for us and a premium health plan for Congress.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

tobey100, that would just make far too much sense to tackle the real issues driving up the cost of health care in this country. jjmyles, very true. Brad, I've long held that politicians are lining their pockets with sweetheart benefits and pay—when you're voting on your own livelihood, you're always going to vote in your favor, even if you are honest. Let's face, reality is what reality is, and the reality is that we're all human, and as humans we're also a bit self-serving. Just the way it is. It's part of the reason I call for a referendum vote on all pay and benefits issues with regard to politicians—http://hubpages.com/politics/governmentpay

Incidentally, I'm also a strong proponent of shareholder approvals on ALL executive compensation packages, severence deals, and benefits. If I own the company, I get to decide what the value of your efforts are. Too often boards are directly tied to the executives, and/or are executives themselves. They will always vote to keep salaries high and benefits on the up so that THEY can set the standard for what is considered "competitive."


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

Springboard

Obama is all about smoke and mirrors.One day he says this and then the next day he says just the opposite.If your watching ABC,CBS,NBC and CNN you will never see the many sides of president Obama. C-Span and Fox News is better than all the rest.

Chicago tactics and strong arming some politicians can't last forever.Thanks to the tea party,the politicians are listening. Obama still hasn't got it yet,we the people sent those politicians to Washington to do the work of the people.Washington needs to listen and stop spending, we need jobs.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

There was a story I read just the other day that stated that so far there have been 32 representatives in Congress who have decided not to seek relection, 14 of those are democrats. And it's a bit unusual so early on that so many are opting out. With this, a clear dissent from the dems, and a strong third party movement, this is going to be a very fun election cylce to watch. Thanks for coming in and dropping a comment.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Just found you. Will be folllowing you now.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Glad to have you here. Thank you.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

Ooo! Ouch! and WELL SAID!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

So, you don't think I was too hard on them, do you? ;)


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great hub! I think the R party is the party of WON'T - WON'T go against the public sentiment on this monster of a bill!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

That little fact constantly irks me about the dems; they keep on saying "we've got to pass this bill for the American people," and I keep looking at the polls that say close to 60% of the American people don't want it. Which America are they talking about?


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

Springboard

The president and the main street media won't tell the American people the truth about the republican proposals.

The president and selected republicans and democrats will be attending a so called summit on Thurs 2/25/10 on THE HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL.

C-Span will televise the 6 hour summit which is scheduled for 10:00 am eastern time.

Worth for all hubbers to view and post comments. TRY NOT TO MISS SUMMIT


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Definitely will be interesting to see what comes out of it, if anything.


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

Just watch a little of the Bipartisan white House Summit on Health Care. Most of the republican's must be wearing hearing aids because they seem to be talking out their a--, they are truly the party of no.

They have no idea of how to do or start anything. Yes it hurt that it will take a Black President to get it right.


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

And it look like only the Republicans are taking all these polls that doesn't support the Health care bill. No one has ask me how I felt about The Health Care Bill.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

With all due respect, Rose, when you brought color into the equation, your point became invalid.


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

please, the person that call a skillet black did. be truthful, if President Obama was white we would not be having this conversation. I am also sure that someone has already warn you. That I am one person you don't want to go up against.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

I simply will not bring race into a political discussion. My take has always been that it matters little what a person's political affiliation is, NOR the color of one's skin. It's a matter of policy. If Barack Obama's policies were good, I could support them EVEN IF I am a republican and he is a democrat. There were several policies I supported when Clinton was president, and there were equally several policies I DID NOT support when Bush was president.

BTW, Bush was also white the last time I checked, and so far as I can tell so far, Bush bashing was may more a sport than Obama bashing is.

As a matter of policy I also respect your opinion, even if I believe it to be fundamentally false.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Any Healthcare Bill that doesn't include replacing the expensive taxpayer supported Congress and government workforce is not a good Bill.

If the Healthcare Bill doesn't specifically include Congress and the government workforce, why is it good for the rest of us, and how can it be called National?

First Congress and the government workforce were excluded from Social Security and Medicare until those systems were starting to collapse, we don't need another Democratic Entitlement Program for Healthcare.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

I do think that Congressman and Senators should be on the same system as everyone else. It's the same reason regular employees have a disconnect with their CEO, for example. It's that they are not on the same field. The CEO gets enormous salaries, and gets bonuses for a job well done. The regular employee gets a paycheck, and a mediocre raise if he's lucky no matter how well he performs his job. If a regular employee does NOT perform, he loses his job and then the company fights tooth and nail to deny the guy's $300 a week for unemployment benefits. When the CEO underperforms and gets let go, he gets a huge severence package, sometimes to the tune of several million dollars.

Voters have a disconnect when they know the only ones who WON'T get screwed in the end when the deal gets done is the ones who MADE the deal.

Great to see you Opinion Duck.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Springboard

Back at you.


Tim D  6 years ago

Rose Ella Morton says:

2 days ago

Just watch a little of the Bipartisan white House Summit on Health Care. Most of the republican's must be wearing hearing aids because they seem to be talking out their a--, they are truly the party of no.

They have no idea of how to do or start anything. Yes it hurt that it will take a Black President to get it right.

But, here is the reality of it. Up until a month ago, it didn't matter if the GOP did anything. With the position that the Dems had with the majority, they could have done what they wanted in spite of the GOP being the Party of No, the Party of Who Cares, or what they really were at the time, The party that doesn't have a real chance to do anything but shout about what they don't like. So blame the GOP if you like, but the Dems showed they are the Party of Can't. Or now, maybe it's that they better called the Party of Didn't.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Well said, Tim, and absolutely true. I could not have said it better myself.


Madame X 6 years ago

Dead on and beautifully written. Excellent hub!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thanks, and thanks for stopping in. :)


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

Hello: Springboard

I don't play the race game. Bush is a once removed cousin of mine. connection made in late 1700's.


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

I didn't vote for George Bush, But... I supported him as our President. This is called being a true American. I am tired sick of all this baby talk. The first word that a baby can't stop saying is No. The baby is afraid of losing control.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Look, I'm with you there as well when it comes to supporting any sitting president. I've said this many times. It serves no purpose whatsoever when an American president fails. That failure is bad for the country, it's bad for the office and integrity of the president, and it's bad for the American people. When presidents fail they get voted out, yes. But it still hurts the people. Jimmy Carter is a shining example of the effects of that. If you want to go back a little further, so were the issues that plagued the Nixon administration—we suffered quite a bit after that if you take into account that Ford wasn't a great president either. He held the office but he really wasn't a president, was he? He didn't contribute anything major to the country, made no great laws. A time of failure was between the end of Nixon's presidency before he resigned until we got to Ronald Reagan. Clinton held that legacy, and I'll rightly admit that he did. Clinton wasn't that bad a president IMO. He made some mistakes, but his POLICIES weren't terrible. Then we get to Bush. I've said it many times I did not agree with many of his policies. I've said it before that Bush did much to dismantle the republican party—it's been downhill in the party ever since him. But the cries for his head were FAR louder than I've ever heard. And they were louder than the cries for Obama's head.

At the end of the day I hold an RNC card. That does NOT mean I will tow the party line. And just because I support a sitting president does NOT mean I will support every policy just because he is the president or in my party, or attack every policy if he's not in my party.

As for the "no" comment, how many times must it be said that the republicans do not control the House nor the Senate. The democrats hold all of the cards here for now. If things aren't getting done, it's the democrats stopping it, it's the democrats saying no, not the republicans. The dems are in chargeof the whole thing.


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

It was the Republican President Lincoln that freed the slaves. It was the republican President Ronald Reagan that made Martin L. King birthday, a holiday. the Republican Party can once again rise and be a party of All American,s. But today all i can see is the hurt and pain in the faces of most of all the Republican senators, who will agree on one issue, only to oppose it when President Obama get on board. The world is watching, and the Republican's are really making us look like idiots


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

The people who are making America look like idiots are us. We are the people who voted in incompetent representatives in the first place.

Let's make sure we don't repeat that error come fall.

Thanks for an insightful hub, Springboard.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Yes, I would agree that we keep on making the same mistakes over and over again, and I sincerely hope that begins to change in November. Not only that, but, I have to tell you that I think we need a serious wake up call in this country when it comes to politics. Not enough Americans involve themselves. And it's not that they're stupid or unable to become "in the know" about it all, they're simply disengaged. It bothers me when I think someone can tell me all about the latest gadget, but can rarely run down who their elected officials are or even where they stand on any particular issue. That has to change.


ChristopherD 6 years ago

Great job Spring Board! You are a very good writer. Keep up the great work.!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thank you, and thanks for stopping by. :)


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

Couldn't agree more - Keep up the good work! ;-)


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Despite it all, my hope is that this president, and the democratic party as whole do eventually get it. I've always thought failure is not an option. I think if repubs can take back at least the Congress in November, it will send a clear enough message that the president needs to shift his policies more toward the center.

Thanks for stopping by.

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