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The sky is falling and the Obama era is over already. Maybe, maybe not. it is my opinion that a mental illness runs through the American public form time to time. The root of this illness is fear and its handmaiden is intellectual laziness.
When stimulated by certain key phrases and words, this illness metastasizes and becomes dominant in the culture.
It is my opinion that most people only dimly know what is going on in government, are too lazy to really dig in and find out, so they latch onto whatever sounds good at the moment. Then, like a school of fish, they follow the buzz and suddenly a “truth” emerges.
When Obama became President, there was great feat and uncertainty in the nation. We were told the sky was falling and many of us became easily manipulated because of that fear. A consensus developed that because a cure had not yet been found after 100 days, Obama must be a failure and he is not to be trusted.
It is difficult to overcome that mentality with the kind of skill set this President has. He is not very adept at partisan politics and instead seeks consensus. That works well as a community orgainizer, not so well in a highly charged partisan environment. Naively, possibly, he started by seeking a rapproachment with Republicans as a way of addressing what he perceived as the nation’s chronic problems — the financial markets, health care and international pursuits. Only in the latter has he had notable success.
With regard to the financial melt down, if there ever was one impending, he opted for supporting the failed system rather than changing it dramatically. It appears he was of the opinion that the crisis was real and that it served the best long range interests of the naiton to first save the system from collapse and address reform later. He did not apparently realize later never arrives when it comes to reform.
With regard to health care he saw the failure of the Clinton initative and being a man for consensus, opted to let Congress wrangle its way toward a reform package. He unfortunately proved too little public direction to this process and as a result special interests took hold of the public’s understanding and reform became “a beginning.”
The Deomocratic Party has not had the discipline of the Republicans for many decades. Obama did not use his considerable skills to impose discipline and left every crackpot member of Congress to steer the effort at reform of both health care and the financial industry straight into the cesspool of American politics. Instead of using his great oratory to rally the people to force his own party to a disciplined approach, he let a few dominate the discussion and those who oppose real reforms to pollute the public mind with fears, half truths and outright lies.
The press is now pronouncing the death of Hope and the end of Obama’s efforts. They may be right, but only if he fails to learn the importance of partisan politics. On this site partisanship is repeatedly denounced. Rightfully so from the perspective of what is in the best long term interests of the nation.
But when it comes to getting things done, there is no substitute for partisanship and party discipline. The trouble with the Democrats is they are several parties rolled into one and the public has trouble figuring out what, if anything, they stand for as a party.
In short, they are not partisan enough.