Playing It Safe Gets You Nowhere

Paul Krugman, one of my favorite economist bloggers, has finally come out and said what I’ve been feeling for a while: “I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.” Something in my head gives me reason to believe I should have fought to get Hillary Clinton in office instead of Obama.

That something is his silence. It has been 24 hours since Coakley conceded to Scott Brown in the Massachusettes senate race and Congress has gotten no publicly known guidance on what to do now concerning the health care bill that has to pass. If it doesn’t pass this year, and soon (say in the next thirty days), the best chance the Democratic part has had to bring change to Washington and the country is definitely going to go down the drain. The Republican party has made a mess of things in this country in the last thirty years and the Democrats have a tough job ahead of them to clean things up but they haven’t given the voters the impression that they have been doing just that. President Obama has been working behind the scenes, advising Congress on what they need to do and what he needs of them but he hasn’t shown that to the public. Again, 24 hours since Coakley conceded and all we have heard from the White House has been from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs taking very shitty questions from the very shitty press.

Without a leader with a strong public showing of leadership, how can the public have confidence in their elected official — the man on whom they put all their hopes for change and retribution? A spineless leader will beget a spineless workforce. From an anonymous Senate staffer:

The worst is that I can’t help but feel like the main emotion people in the caucus are feeling is relief at this turn of events. Now they have a ready excuse for not getting anything done. While I always thought we had the better ideas but the weaker messaging, it feels like somewhere along the line Members internalized a belief that we actually have weaker ideas. They’re afraid to actually implement them and face the judgementof the voters. That’s the scariest dynamic and what makes me think this will all come crashing down around us in November.

The voters have spoken in Massachusettes. They have spoken throughout the rest of the country as well.

When Scott Brown voters were asked whether they “think Barack Obama and Democrats in Washington, DC are delivering enough on the change Obama promised to bring to America during the campaign”, 57% said no and 31% said yes. When asked “Would you favor or oppose the national government offering everyone the choice of a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private health insurance plans?”, 82% were in favor whereas only 18% were opposed or unsure.

Republicans are saying the exact opposite, that the voters of Massachusettes voted against health care and want change from the status quo in Washington. The Democratic party, on the other hand, is caving in to the false Republican rants on what the people want. Both parties are ignoring the people and are only working for their own end. Screw the people, the largest lobby in the country, they all say.

In the end, it doesn’t matter who is in control of Washington. The Republicans will do nothing but destroy the country and enjoy it while the Democratic party caves in to the Republican whim even if they had a supermajority of 99-1 in the Senate.

All in the name of the spineless dream of bi-partisanship.


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