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Updated on October 12, 2013


The Republicans are holding the country hostage. President Obama refuses to negotiate. Useless finger-pointing that does nobody any good, while the nation sinks deeper into the mire. I feel a disclaimer is necessary before I start: I voted for the president twice and have been waiting patiently for things to turn around, which they have not. I also expect zero from the Republicans as can be seen from their actions over the last 5 years. In the end, the weight of this latest debacle will fall on Mr. Obama, despite the fact current polls show the country places more blame on the Republicans. Does anyone remember who the Speaker of the House was when the stock market crashed in 1929, or during other financial crisis in 1837, 1873, or 1893? A president must lead, if he leaves his fate in the hands of Congress, trouble is sure to follow. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama has made this fatal mistake.

When running for president, Barack Obama put forward reforming health care as one of the major, if not the major, issues he would tackle if elected. In his first year of office, however, he let Congress take the lead on the health debate, seemingly occupying a back seat. Strange, considering this was to be the signature legislation of his administration, and would bear his name. After 12 months of fruitless wrangling, the Democrats slapped together a last minute 2,000 page incomprehensible mess, and passed it before departing on their winter recess in early 2010. They knew if they waited until the summer of 2010, the blow back over health reform might hurt some of their re-election chances that fall in the mid-term elections. Controversy over the new law, and disapproval of the secrecy and methodology with which it was passed, did, in fact, cost the Democrats as they lost control of the House of Representatives. Yes, Mr. President, Obama Care is law, the Supreme Court did confirm it, and you were re-elected in 2012. Good portions of the people, on the other hand, are still leery of the new system as the Republicans once more retain a majority in the House.

An inconvenient and unpleasant truth, but one, nonetheless, that must be dealt with. As Abraham Lincoln once famously commented about the Federal government, “I must run the machine as I find it.” As president, you need to stay one step ahead of your opposition. The only thing the Republicans have done since 2010 is to pass over 40 meaningless repeals of the law as they would obviously not get through the Senate or be signed by you. Offering no constructive alterations or alternatives to Obama Care in the last 3 years, the GOP had no right to help shut down the government. At the same time, Mr. President, knowing the Republicans would only obstruct, it feels like you have been satisfied to go tit-for-tat with them in the blame and shame game, instead of getting something done. The Democrats also had 3 years to improve on a weak law, keep its strong provisions such as no denial for pre-conditions, streamline the regulations and make it more understandable. Here is where every well-intentioned effort of the government hits a stone wall. To overhaul health care effectively would mean taking on Big Business and special interests in Washington. This we know politicians will not do, as who bites the hand that feeds them?

Sadly, Mr. President, you undercut your own law by giving deferments to large corporations and other big donors to Democratic coffers. A law must be for everyone or no one. By doing that, it appears you have no confidence in your creation, and gives the impression of business as usual- government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. The Republicans aren’t holding the government hostage, big money is. Arguing over degrees of wrongness is not worthy of a president or any statesman. Both sides are wrong. Get over yourselves, sit down and solve the problem. You must take the lead, Mr. President. Wait for the GOP to behave maturely, and the country will be waiting a long time, if not forever.


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