Facebook Throwdown, part 4
Bill I’m not ignorant of the shortcomings of the Republican party. I want to make it better and am very involved at a local level in trying to doing that. If it makes you feel better, I could, quite easily, go against my “genetic predispositions’ and enter a tirade about the Iraq war and how Bush/Cheney/CBO manipulated the cost to sell it to the people, but you probably already know that. Listen, I think the problem I am having with this debate is that you have set the wrong premise. While I think healthcare is an issue, its not as crushing as the Dems have tried to tell us/sell us it is. Fear is a huge motivator (again, back to the Iraq war for example). Pres. Obama insists that recovery cannot happen without healthcare reform. Who is he kidding? And if it does, why does his/Demcare plan, according to CMS, save us any money? If it doesn’t really save us money, then I this huge entitlement expansion, in the face of a terrible economy and the already tenuous position of Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security, seems to me nothing more than ideologically motivated. I think that Pres. Obama and the democrats should have tackled financial reform first (this is something we can all probably agree needs to occur) and maybe put into place a vestigial plan (incrementalism is always best) to begin reigning in Medicare/Medicaid costs, controlling illegal immigration (which is draining our healthcare and educational systems), tort reform, a catastrophic healthcare option, and allowing insurance companies to cross state lines (increases competetition)….gee, this sounds just like the GOP plan…and it only costs $62 Billion per the CBO! I think the public would have bought into this. Lastly, I am sure that much of your criticism of Brown is correct and he needs to be taken to task for it, however that’s not as important has tipping the Dem apple cart. Its what I love about America, when one party starts getting too hubristic, the voters get rid of them. It happened to the Republicans and now to the Democrats if they don’t watch it. This is as it should be. Balance, incrementalism, common sense.
In only a year, on just economic issues with the political reality Obama faces he passed a good-faith (however poorly targeted) stimulus package which included many tax cuts (1/3) without Republican help and stabilized an economy in free-fall, invested in our crumbling infrastructure, extended unemployment benefits, saved the financial and banking system from utter collapse with money that is ALREADY being repaid despite Republican criticism (without nationalizing the banks like many of the left said was necessary), and he injected plenty of cash into the American car industry saving that for the time being and saving a lot of important economic confidence which would have resulted from a failure of that industry (full-disclosure: I disagreed with this policy, yet it still has helped in the short term economy). He is now is on the verge of passing a modest healthcare bill which still provides access for every American to have health insurance, allows consumers to shop around for the best policy at regulated exchanges, bars insurers from excluding people with pre-existing conditions, has no single payer, no public option, tries to control costs, and provides actual cuts in entitlement spending to attempt to be fiscally responsible all with NO republican help and a supermajority of his own party (many of which that wanted to go much further to the left).
After inheriting a potential depression and unimaginable deficits (much from a huge unpaid entitlement expansion by republicans), along with two huge wars, he saves the economy from economic disaster and is about to provide near universal health insurance coverage to America when people worry everyday about losing their jobs and health coverage while staying in the current framework of private insurance that most people say they want, and he’s all of a sudden a leftist ideologue without enough economic focus? He campaigned and won on a less conservative healthcare plan and pisses off the far left everyday. He’s done this and more in only a year yet balance needs to be restored? What has the Republican party done to deserve a second chance so soon? They have no specific healthcare plan (you named things YOU want), failed at immigration reform, tried to obstruct an economic and financial recovery plan that has unarguably helped for all its flaws, have no credibility on deficit reduction or entitlement reform, blew a huge surplus, and left office with a broken economy and rising debt (not to mention all the other obvious failings of the current GOP). I’m glad you’re trying to help at a local level, maybe there they are more respectable, but at a national level they haven’t earned a thing after they blew their chance. Obama at least deserves some time and support given the difficult reality and politics of it all.