Thursday, September 03, 2009

Still On Sabbatical - Thoughts on Obama, and Healthcare Reform

I managed to purchase a PC (with money I didn't really have)....but to continue school and my job search, I needed to get one.

I had to take a break for a few weeks..... and i'll be taking a few weeks more. My classes are kicking my ***. One of my Professors is out of his mind crazy....has to be. Most academics really don't understand the real world...and what life is like for working people. And a job search is like a full-time job in itself. So with job searching, being a grad student with a workload that is more than I can handle, and the BS job that I keep for my survival.... I really don't have time to blog. I don't even have time to eat and sleep for that matter. But i'll probably post once per week when I finally start posting again. I have become a lurker on my own blog.... Lib Arts, Rikyrah, and the other contributors have posted good information.

I don't really care for these new PC's. I guess I got too attached to my old one....even though it was a broken mess for the last two years (I blogged with a computer that was only about 50% functional). It will take a while for me to get used to the new operating system, etc. The sound on my old HP was definitely better.

Before Sabbatical... there were a couple of links I wanted to post.... one was about Congressman David Scott and how one of his Town Hall events (which had nothing to do with Healthcare) got caught in the Healthcare non-debate and was hijacked. In an interview on NPR he gave his side of the story, courtesy of Michel Martin of "Tell Me More". The other link I wanted to post had to do with how Claire McCaskill didn't stand up for the woman who was kicked out of her Town Hall here is Missouri a few weeks ago....after she was attacked by a bigot. (unable to find the link or recall the Woman's name off the top of my head). But she was harassed for having a poster at the event showing a non-offensive, non-threatening historical figure (Rosa Parks). Perhaps her argument was that folks should fight for Healthcare....or that Healthcare should be seen more as a civil/human right...who knows. But others at the meeting had posters that read "Ni**er Obama" and had all kinds of other nasty comments that I won't mention.... but they were left alone. I was disappointed with McCaskill after that incident and a due to a list of other things lately. Unfortunately much of Missouri is like the rural South. And not much has changed in the last 40 years. The sickness of racism is generational. It will still have a grip on the State (and the Country) 40 years from today.

And on Healthcare and the other goings on in the political world.... what I have seen over the last 5 or 6 weeks has been pathetic. Predictable....but pathetic. The moves by Obama and the Dems have been sad to watch. They have really created what has become a fiasco. It's been a fiasco for weeks. Now President Obama wants to talk to the nation....about Healthcare? Are you kidding me? Will someone please be merciful and tell this man that checkmate took place back in June. Please.... someone help him. I have been saying since last year that he had no business trying to tackle Healthcare right now.... not with Bush's Depression (which Repubs have successfully branded as Obama's Recession....while team Obama was distracted). I heard one survey that mentioned that more Americans were concerned about the economy than Healthcare (although one could argue that the two issues go hand in hand...but it's a stretch of an argument IMO). But the point is.... Obama, as I have stated repeatedly, should have concentrated on fixing the economy...and should have tackled Healthcare much later on. Just in terms of preparation....he would have needed a year just to campaign for Reform and preempt Right Wing propaganda against it. Obama and his advisers misread the public and failed to get a good read on the opposition. This should have been a slow, methodical, well thought out strategy....instead...they rushed in. They didn't do their basic homework. For one...they failed to even get a sense of what kind of support they had in the House and Senate....especially in the Senate. They never really had the votes. Discussions with so-called "Blue Dog Democrats" should have taken place over a year ago....while the campaign was still ongoing. Planning should have started then...if this is what Obama wanted.....even though it was the wrong time to tackle the issue.

Such sweeping reform is necessary...but to try it in the middle of an economic crisis was a suicide mission from the start. What is the one universal thing that people always do in a crisis....especially in an economic crisis? They pull back on spending....hoard their money, and become paranoid about spending money or even talking about spending....and they are even more reluctant to do any national spending and they freak out even more about any sort of taxes, even if there is a greater good involved. They tend to become much more cost conscious or overly cost sensitive on just about everything. So trying to sell Healthcare Reform in that climate was just nonsensical.
If Obama would have waited...and showed the public that he turned the economy around.... he would have gained trust and credibility. It may have taken 2-3 years....but the wait would have put him in a much better position to sell Healthcare Reform. Waiting could have also bought time for Progressives to establish a campaign and grow a media infrastructure for the message war (which they don't really have right now).

But now he wants to talk to the American people in a joint session of Congress? Now he wants to get control of the message? I have two words for that.... "Too Late". Far too late to be exact. As I mentioned... checkmate was about two months ago. He has already lost the message/information war as I suspected he would. Obama and Co. made so many mistakes on the Healthcare issue that I really can't go through all of them... i'm just mentioning those that stand out to me. Keith Olbermann had one of his usual guests on tonight (his name escapes me) and he really made some good points as well regarding some of the mistakes. The Obama Administration's failures on this issue have been epic. And the fallout has been even worse than I expected.

Watching the Dems flail pointlessly in defeat is hard to watch. Not because I care about the Democratic Party.... (I don't)....but because the issue of Healthcare was/is important...and I knew it was a fragile issue....and that if mishandled it could lead to indescribable failure. At no point in this process did Obama ever control the message and control information (Dems just lack the infrastructure to deal with Right wing propaganda). He never got out in front of the propaganda machine. He should have set up a campaign (as if he were running for President) with an infrastructure that could have challenged lies immediately. He should have held a series of nationally televised Town Halls months ago...with crowds of genuine participants (not political plants or special interests) in a controlled he could have dispelled myths and lies before they were allowed to take root. In that situation...there could have been a real debate. Instead...he decided to allow the Republican media to take control of the microphone early....and never responded adequately to what was essentially a disinformation campaign. I can't believe that Obama didn't learn anything from 2000 and 2004 with what happened to John Kerry. Unfortunately.... the lies and misinformation have set in with a large segment of the population.....Reversing that situation will be almost impossible.

Obama is now a boxer swinging wildly and desperately right after he has been knocked out. Everything from here on out is simply for entertainment value ladies and gentlemen. Ed Schultz reports that Obama will be highly active campaigning for Healthcare in September. I LOL when I heard that. This is like a Football team showing up to a Sunday game on the following Tuesday, wondering why all the people have gone home.... not understanding that they are 2 days late and they have already lost (forfeited) the game.

If Obama somehow morphs into Joe Montana or Michael Jordan and somehow gets Healthcare reform passed with a public option included, he will immediately go down as one of the most talented politicians....and one of the most talented Presidents of all-time. But right now I wouldn't feel comfortable beting a dime on that outcome.

Meaningful Healthcare reform is essentially dead.... it was dead weeks ago. I have been amused by the news coverage of the past couple of weeks. and it's partially a consequence of a President taking his eye off the ball (fixing the economy) and allowing his agenda to be hijacked and taken off course with all sorts of other distractions and issues.

Hear an in-depth discussion on Healthcare Reform (discussion includes Howard Dean).

1 comment:

rikyrah said...

you believe that he was 'naive', AI..


so, I'm mad for a whole other reason