I can't believe how much I agree with this slam article on Obama.
Guess What? He's a Terrible President
By DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Both President Obama's health care plan and his presidency are going down the toilet.
This is well, and right, and just as it should be.
Obama is turning out to be a disastrous president, wholly unsuited for the times and our national and global challenges, and his job approval ratings reflect this.
In Obama, we get all the corporate toadying of the last Democratic president, along with an even greater unwillingness than Clinton - and who would've thought that was possible - to name names, call out enemies, and throw a freakin' punch every other year or so. (We're also getting a continuation of the civil rights and civil liberties policies of Dick Cheney, as an extra added bonus, but that's another story.) What makes it even more astonishing this time around, however, is that we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends. There is apparently absolutely no bottom - as the events of recent weeks have reconfirmed - to the pit of vicious lies, brutal tactics, and democracy-demolishing antics of which regressives will avail themselves in their practice of contemporary American politics. In addition to not being prepared for that, Barack Obama is still seemingly unable to raise his voice a decibel or two against the very people who are helping him to destroy his own presidency. Indeed, he is negotiating 'bipartisan' (read: total capitulation) deals with them, even as they relentlessly trash him before a national audience.
Is this president so deluded that he believes there are limitations on what the right will do not only to the republic, for which Obama seems to have only passing regard, but also to his presidency, for which we might imagine he would have at least some concern? Does the Kumbaya Kid think that regressives won't seek to annihilate him every bit as much as they did Bill Clinton, even as they are obsessing at this very moment over harebrained conspiracy stories challenging his very legal right to be president, his very citizenship? Does this guy who seems to want, more than anything, for everyone just to be happy and sing along in the same key, still really believe in bipartisanship, at the very moment when the very people with whom he is negotiating are reinforcing the most absurd and inflammatory lies asserting the elder-cide intentions of his health-care bill?
Sorry. Did I say "his health-care bill"? Problem number one here is that there's no such thing. As in just about everything else of consequence this administration has been involved in, he seems quite content to simply defer to Congress and allow the sausage-making process on the Hill to generate precisely the policy abomination one might expect, with all the political liabilities we've come to know and love from such a dispiriting collection of 535 (minus two or three) moral midgets.
Sorry. Did I say "defer to Congress"? Looks like I goofed again. What this really means - and this is problem number two - is deferring to a select group of members of Congress. In particular, conservative Democrats and supposedly moderate Republicans (you know, like fuel-efficient Hummers). Right now, for example, probably the two most important actors in America on the healthcare question are Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley. Both have received massive campaign contributions from the industries which have most at stake in this legislation. No doubt, however, that's entirely a coincidence. What they are doing right now, and what Obama is allowing them to do, is nothing less than neutering any serious aspects of healthcare reform. In the end, having succeeded at doing that, and being the tail that wags the entire dog of this 300 million person country, Grassley won't even vote for the bill, nor will any Republican. As in the stimulus bill, Obama continues to allow legislation to be murdered by a thousand cuts. All in the name of some bipartisanship god he has taken to worshiping, even though none of the knife-wielders will be around to go anywhere near the stinking corpse they've created when it's eventually tossed up on the congressional slab for a vote. Seems pretty nutty to me, but I guess when you stop and think about it, Obama's definition of bipartisan participation in the legislative process really does make sense after all: Republicans murder the bill, then Democrats vote for it. Everybody gets to play a part. Everybody contributes.
From what can be gathered so far, the legislation will accomplish very little in terms of real reform, will diminish existing health-care programs, will nevertheless still exacerbate the explosion of national debt, and will not even begin to kick in until 2013. Hey, for all the good this will do Americans, why not just complete the job and have all the benefits go to people living in Kuala Lumpur?
Will healthcare be universal in America, bringing this country into line with the standards of what every other industrialized democracy has practiced for the better part of a century? No. Will we massively increase the amount of actual health care we provide while eliminating the incredible bloat in costs of our predatory, special-interest oriented system by adopting the obvious no-brainer choice of the single-payer model? Fat chance. Will a real public option even be created, which might instantly show up the incredible profiteering and waste in the insurance industry, while simultaneously giving lie to the endless rhetoric about private sector efficiency and government bungling? No, there won't (but President Obama wants you to know he appreciates your asking). The Capitulation Administration signaled this week that it is giving up on that as well. Because of Republican opposition, of course. You remember those guys don't you? The folks who have such small minorities in Congress that they can't even muster forty percent of Senate votes to block consideration of legislation by filibuster?
That's who Obama is caving to. That's who's in charge. It seems that we regular folks are in the process of getting a fresh education about the way American politics really works. Evidently, there's a new algorithm I wasn't aware of. It goes like this: When Republicans control Congress and the White House, they rule. When Democrats control Congress and the White House... Republicans still rule. Okay. Well at least we know how it works. And it's not necessarily all bad news, either. No point in fussing with those messy elections anymore!
Meanwhile, one needn't dig deep into the bowels of the thousands of pages of legalese contained within the five separate health-care proposals now making their way through Congress in order to figure out whether they contain good news or not. You can tell a lot about somebody or something just by the company they keep. Suffice it to say that both the insurance and pharmaceutical industries are now spending hundreds of millions of dollars running ads on television in favor of healthcare "reform". I can hardly think of a handier or more pure litmus test for determining whether this is good legislation or not. If those guys are for it, and especially if they're spending millions to make it happen, it's a very safe bet that I'm against it. And if those industries are for it, it's a very safe bet that the deal is they get rich and we get nothing. Except maybe poor. And sick.