On the pages of Capitol Hill Blue, all across the internet and cable television, we are told that President Obama is a failure, he has lost support, and that he really is George Bush light. We are told that health care reform is dead, that financial regulations are not going to be imposed, and that essentially the Obama administration has done nothing in it’s 11 months. Of course, the facts are quite to the contrary, but if anyone says that they are naive, partisan or simply demented. Poppycock.
The problem is that most Americans, and comentators (both professionals and individuals) have given in to the American penchant for instant gratification and over simplification of problem solving. Much of what the Obama administration has taken on will require the better part of a generation to resolve. We have waited over 40 years for health care reform, but just when we might get a flawed, imperfect, but important first step passed by Congress cries abound that it just isn’t good enough, should be killed and is worse than nothing. I disagree. To pass any legislation would be an accomplishment of the highest magnitude, and even the horrible version now grinding through the Senate would be progress.
We have yet to see what the House-Senate conference committe will come up with if the Senate can get past Sen. Lieberman and the Blue Dog Democrats. The Senate’s filibuster rules do not apply to a conference bill, so only 51 votes are needed. If the conference bill satisfies the left, it may not even pass that test. But it seems likely to me the final version will be better than the Senate’s bill and less than the House’s. No previous President has even come close to that accomplishment.
The SEC announced new rules for executive pay, financial reform legislation has some chance of being passed, the much predicted melt-down of our economy has been avoided (some say delayed rather than avoided) and our foreign policy has been rather dramatically reworked. Yes, many changes that we expected and wanted have not been made and do not even look promising.
Those who decry the buildup in Afghanistan seem to forget that Obama ran on a campaign promise to do just that. Is it the correct policy? We can differ on that point, but to claim he has broken his promise in that regard is wrong. Has he pulled troops out of Iraq as quickly as we want? Not by my standards, but they are coming out.
It is the right of each of us to criticize elected officials and certainly President Obama deserves much of it. But life is imperfect and nowehre more so than in politics. To blam him for all that is wrong is immature at best and fails to take into account the realities of American politics. No one can be elected President unless he or she is a part of a corrupt and evil system of corporate statism. Obama gave the illusion of being outside that system while he ran but I cannot believe that informed citizens did not know better.
The Senate is held hostage by an arcane rule that requires 60 votes to pass controversial legislation. The rule has been the bane of reforms ever since it was first used in 1837. Yet, if reformists really had the cajones they claim Obama lacks, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that a mere majority can change this rule. So rather than bitch and moan about a weak President, let’s see the reformers take on their own weakness and revise this rule.
The political process itself is so weighted in favor of moneyed interests that it is unlikely any real leftist policies can be enacted. Real reform of the process will probably be struck down by this Supreme Court, leaving the only way to change being by Constitutional Amendment. I cannot see how that is possible given the fact thast the very interests that would be affected hold the power to stop such amendments.
So in sum, we are screwed and held hostage for future indignities indefinitely. But to blame that on any President is just simply disingenuous. All I can say is grow up. Santa Claus is not coming.