I wrote the following op-ed very early Wednesday morning. It appears in the Greene County Dailies this morning, Jan 22nd. The editor gave it this headline: Who's driving the bus?
One year into the Obama administration and the wheels seem to have come off the hope express. All that promise of change is consistently coming up a buck short and a yard shy. Evidently campaigning is a bit easier than governing.
Politics is always entertaining, but watching the scrambling and dancing happening in Washington just now is captivating. When a Republican dark horse candidate named Scott Brown wins a Massachusetts Senate seat that the Democrats have held since 1952, then we can forget the mystery and intrigues of the final season of Lost; the Democratic Party has lost its way and is floundering on an island of arrogance that is adrift in aftershocks. The finger pointing and blame game is nearly hilarious. The neo-monarchists have suffered a serious setback. Apparently one party rule has its pitfalls for those in power; perhaps it has something to do with the maxim that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
What went wrong? The answer is easy: Hubris coupled with one trick pony counselors. Taxpayers are footing the bill for the salary of Rahm Emanuel and other political operatives masquerading as advisors in the White House, but as is the norm, we are not getting much return on our investment. This president is surrounded by left-wing ideologues determined to jam through their policy plans regardless of the repercussions.
At this point it is abundantly clear that President Obama is in full agreement with the course. As I write this, the word on the streets of the information superhighway is that he is determined to press on with his agenda. To borrow an image from The Godfather, Barack Obama sounds like Sonny Corleone: "They give me healthcare reform or it's all out war and we go to the mattresses."
All out war works well on the campaign trail, but governance is about leadership and building consensus and coalitions. Back up with me to the three-point plans presented by Candidate Obama; he had a solution for every issue and problem, so why all the whining and complaining about what he inherited? It's not like he did not know what he was getting himself into; goodnight nurse, he spent millions and millions of dollars to get the job.
Consider again the soaring rhetoric of stump speeches that resulted in genuine hope for real change. How's that working out? He was packaged as a transformational figure that would transcend partisanship. It would not be politics as usual with backroom deals; he would fashion bipartisanship that would give a voice to everyone at the table. Whatever happened to those centrist intentions?
Were they ever real or was it all an exercise in duplicity? President Obama is an exceptionally gifted man, but unless he radically adapts to the facts on the ground, he will prove himself to be just another run of the mill politician geared to satisfy his base. He is president of the United States of America not the standard bearer of leftist demagogues.
The elitist tactics of the far-left creates the atmosphere that breeds the hubris we see playing out in real time. Their intransigency flushed the principle of transparency down the toilet. No less than eight times during the 2008 campaign Candidate Obama proclaimed that the entire healthcare reform process would be broadcast on C-Span. He was adamant and spoke with restrained defiance as if he was serious about dismantling the status quo.
If President Obama was wise he'd immediately pivot on healthcare. Put the present mess in the trash and have a do-over. Listen and be open; put all the negotiations, debates, discussions and hearings on C-Span. That'd be good simply because sunshine is a great disinfectant. It'd restore credibility and might even put the hope express back on track.
Good governance comes from the center. For that to occur, President Obama must lead; he needs to toss Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi under the bus he's driving instead of allowing them to dictate agendas and sound bites. Unless of course, it is actually Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi taking turns behind the steering wheel.
I really hope the Scott Brown victory creates a wake up call to the Democratic Congress and makes them start paying attention to our wants. The whole battle with them is who is right and less of what is best. Compromise is the main tool in any political endeavor and we have seen very little of it but instead out and out bribery. It wreaks of Rahm Emanuels statement that never let a crisis pass you by.
I really do agree with a lot of what you are saying. I put the healthcare debacle squarely on Obamas shoulders as he handed the bill over to congress to essentially write it. After just a short time in congress himself he should have learned that they can't write or reason their way out of a paper bag because of all the greed and favors that require being paid.
Nancy Pelosi is power drunk and Reid is a choir boy for the left. Nothing worthwhile gets done through them.
You missed a few emotion buttons to push there. Hal Liciano would have proved Obama is a communist in a couple of sentences. Plenty of people know for sure Obama is a Muslim and probably a member of Al Qaeda. And then there are those who talk to Angels and know exactly where the Antichrist is tattooed with the three sixes.
Congratulations on the cliche front, though. You didn't miss one.
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