Health Care Reform # 6

From: Joe from Philly a.k.a. Joe the Nerd a.k.a. Joe Ferraro
To: The President in a call in radio show

I'm getting a little ticked off that it feels like the knees are buckling a little bit. We have overwhelming majorities in both the House and the Senate. And we own the whole shooting match. And I'm just not getting - it's very frustrating to watch you try and compromise with a lot of these people who aren't willing to compromise with.

Joe says he was satisfied with the answer. I have been a strong supporter of Obama since the Iowa primary; I’m not satisfied.

I think Obama is throwing this away. Why is he doing that? In order, from least to most likely:

1. He’s a fraud
  • He doesn’t really believe this stuff, but it got him to be President and that’s what counts.
  • Not impossible, but I can’t stand to think it.
2. He’s overwhelmed
  • The fight and the issue and the politics are complex and he can’t adapt proactively.
  • This is what it looks like, but I don't think it can be true. Thinking at many levels at the same time is his strength. He proved this during the campaign.
3. He’s threatened
  • My most paranoid side says that he has been told by some person in a position of total trust that awful things will happen to his family or to other innocent people if he threatens corporate interests.
  • Like I said, it’s paranoid, but sometimes you can’t be paranoid enough.
4. He believes that creating a new kind of politics is more important than actually achieving any one goal.
  • The political/ideological environment in the USA is toxic. People are shouting and playing for points rather than talking to each other and solving problems. The influence of money has made democracy a cover for plutocracy.
  • Barack Obama wants to change that.
  • Perhaps he believes that compromise on principle and accommodation to those who are dedicated to his destruction is the best approach.
  • I think instead that non-violent struggle lead from the bully pulpit would be the best approach. Organization, moral persuasion, mass action and negotiation from a position of strength are tools which he knows. He can persuade us to recognize dignity in us all and demonstrate the best of progressive values. That would lead to a change in the public environment.
  • Health care (and other) reform would be a natural outgrowth.
5. He’s part of the system
  • There are two sides of American politics: 1) a savage, “beat the peasants in submission” capitalist side and 2) a realistic “keep the peasants from seeing the need for revolution” capitalist side. Another way to put it is that there is just one political party in this country, the Republican Democratic Party of Money. He’s a member of the party.
  • He was acceptable to the corporate media, ‘nuff said. This is realistic but sad.
6. He is hoodwinked by corporate interests
  • He doesn’t trust his own judgment and he has given in to pressure from inside and outside the government.
  • It seems clear that this is what happened in the finance crisis, so perhaps it’s happening here. He is to some degree part of the system, and if he is being overwhelmed by the pressures of the Presidency, then this may be what is happening. He may even be justifying his weakness and vacillation by telling himself that he is moving toward a new kind of politics.

At least # 4 puts a a kind of positive spin on this. I desperately hope he wants change and that he can get back up on his feet and lead the country.