Health Care is ONE Reason

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Why is Sen. Olympia Snowe pushing for a trigger option?  Because the Democratic Party has 60 votes now, whereas years down the line, when a trigger could prompt the government to act, they won’t.  That means no real reform.  But, does Sen. Snowe really have any power at all?  Not if Sen. Harry Reid puts the public option into the Senate bill.

This is why health care reform is but one reason the Democratic Party is bleeding support…

(crossposted at Daily Kos)

Now that the Senate Finance Committee has gotten a bill out of committee, Sen. Harry Reid could put the public option into Senate bill.  Will he?  And will the Democratic Party, that has 60 Senate votes, actually pass it?  It seems doubtful considering that President Obama and the White House has given mere lip service to a public option.

And, that is the problem; lip service.

A private company should be able to pay its employees whatever it wants, even give huge bonuses.  But, when that company was saved from going under by taxpayer money, the government holds an interest in that company and its practices.  So, it should come as a surprise that the government isn’t holding these companies in check.  

Under George W. Bush, businesses were given tax breaks, tax giveaways, and huge boons in subsidies.  It took Republicans a mere seven years to destroy the fabric of our economy.  Now, few people think that this damage will be fixed in a day.  What people do think is that the Democratic Party shouldn’t be party to further abuses by big business.  Sure, President Obama has spoken out, but, have we seen action — meaningful action — to stem these companies that drove our economy into the ditch?  

It doesn’t take being Paul Krugman to know that while Wall Street posts profits, the economy is still in shambles.  Is that President Obama’s fault?  No.  Is it his fault that his Treasury isn’t doing more?  Yes.  He took ownership of the economy in July.

WASHINGTON — With four simple words – “Give it to me!” – President Barack Obama took possession of the economy.

For months, the White House and Obama’s economic team have laid the economic crisis at the feet of President George W. Bush. But there comes a point in a presidency when inheritance becomes ownership. Obama made that pivot this week in Michigan, the state suffering the worst unemployment in the nation.

“I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, ‘Well, this is Obama’s economy,'” the president said, pointedly deviating from his prepared text. “That’s fine. Give it to me!”

It was a defiant moment, reminiscent of Bush’s own “Bring ’em on!” taunt in 2003 to militants in Iraq.

So, it’s his.  He gets the credits and he gets the failures.  He owns the fact that he put into place Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers.  With unemployment is still rising, people don’t want to hear how hard it is to govern, they need jobs.  Is President Obama working to try and overturn years of deregulation, where businesses cut workers benefits to boost profits, where businesses hiked credit card rates and fees?  Yes.  But, until there is a sign that people are getting jobs, the fact remains that he owns this economy.

Has Eric Holder, President Obama’s choice for Attorney General, brought back the rule of law to the Department of Justice?  No.  In fact, the Department of Justice has fought to continue many of the Bush-era abuses in court filings.

Has President Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo prison solved the problem that our nation has imprisoned people for years without due process?  Not when he maintains that those very same abuses can continue at another prison located in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, the Obama DOJ — as expected — filed a legal brief (.pdf) which adopted the arguments originally made by the Bush DOJ to insist that detainees whom they abduct from around the world and then ship to Bagram (rather than Guantanamo) lack any constitutional rights whatsoever, including habeas review.  The Obama administration is appealing from a decision (.pdf) by Bush-43-appointed District Court Judge John Bates which, applying Boumediene, held that detainees at Bagram who are originally detained outside of Afghanistan have the right to habeas review (Afghan citizens detained in Afghanistan have none, he found).  In other words, after Obama praised Boumediene as “defending the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy,” he’s now attempting to make a complete mockery of that decision by insisting that it is inapplicable as long as he decides to ship detainees from, say, Thailand to Bagram rather than Guantanamo.  Obama apparently sees “our core values” as nothing more than an absurd shell game, where the U.S. Government can evade the limits of the Constitution by simply moving the locale of its due-process-free detention system.

Eric Holder’s Department of Justice has been about anything except justice.  His decision to accept, as legal fact, the torture memos authored under George W. Bush was a travesty.  But, his decision not to prosecute Bradley Schlozman for lying to Congress took the cake.

In the letter to lawmakers, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said Holder oversaw an “extensive” review of the Schlozman matter. Holder found the alleged conduct of Schlozman disturbing, but ultimately chose to defer to the prosecutors’ original decision not to bring charges, Weich wrote.

Whether President Obama has been in office for nine days or nine months, restoring the rule of law should have been done from day one.  Yet, it is well documented that it hasn’t occurred whether nationally, or, internationally.

We then look to the wars George W. Bush started in Afghanistan and Iraq.  This is simply epic fail on his part.  While our troops may be required to leave Iraq under current agreements by 2011, his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan is his alone.  If it would have taken, as Gen. Shinseki noted, hundreds of thousands of our troops to stabilize Iraq, what makes President Obama believe a few thousand additional troops in Afghanistan will do more than simply get more Americans killed?  Even our own troops know this fact!

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned, according to the chaplains of two US battalions that have spent nine months on the front line in the war against the Taleban.

Many feel that they are risking their lives – and that colleagues have died – for a futile mission and an Afghan population that does nothing to help them, the chaplains told The Times in their makeshift chapel on this fortress-like base in a dusty, brown valley southwest of Kabul.

“The many soldiers who come to see us have a sense of futility and anger about being here. They are really in a state of depression and despair and just want to get back to their families,” said Captain Jeff Masengale, of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2-87 Infantry Battalion.

As I stated here, President Obama and the Democratic Party are bleeding support fast.  It’s not just about health care reform.  It’s not just President Obama.  It’s not just that the Democrats have 60 votes, yet, cannot govern in the Senate.  It is a compilation of issues.  Sure, some take time.  Others, not so much.

President Obama could have rejoined the International Criminal Court on his second day in office.  He has yet to do so.

While it takes Congress, you know, the Congress dominated by Democrats, to repeal DADT, President Obama could have ordered a stay on its enforcement on his second day in office.  He has yet to do so.

Eric Holder, you know, President Obama’s choice for Attorney General, could have taken up the mantle of the rule of law on his first day in office, prosecuting those who flouted the law under George W. Bush.  He has yet to do so.

A 45% drop in support of President Obama by independent voters over eight months is nothing to sneer at, instead, Democrats should be quaking.  Not because the GOP is the other alternative, because that loss of independents hasn’t translated into GOP gains, but, because without that support every race becomes a factor again.

The latest diary to hit the rec list is about Rahm Emanuel’s support for a trigger option on health care.  Everyone knows that this is merely kicking the can down the road to the day when there aren’t 60 votes.  We know this.  The lobbyists know this.  The insurance companies know this.  Either the Democrats stand up now, or, they simply lose, and with them, the American people.  Like Timothy Geithner and Eric Holder, it was President Obama’s choice to bring in Rahm Emanuel.  We know this, as well.

There are only two sides of any issue; right and wrong.


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