Monday, August 17, 2009

My letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama:
In 2008, disillusioned by eight years of W's misrule, we fell under your spell. You gave us hope, and we responded with enthusiasm and energy. You promised "Change We Can Believe In" and "Change We Need". We believed you.

While your quest for bipartisan solutions is noble, it is not realistic in the current political climate. Your Republican opponents - the so-called "loyal opposition" - in the House and Senate have no interest in supporting any legislation you propose. Their votes on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Stimulus Bill) proved that; even though you'd made an effort to water down the bill to bring Republicans into the fold.

Don't now abandon the centerpiece of health reform legislation - the "public option" - in a futile search for a bipartisan solution. Again - such a quest is futile. Like the unicorn and the Holy Grail, bipartisan solutions are mythical in today's political environment.

Instead, it's time for you to do your very best LBJ impersonation: take recalcitrant Democratic Senators aside and twist their arms. Face it, if LBJ had attempted to appease his Congressional opponents regarding the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, you would likely NOT be President today!

Another historical analogy comes to mind: Neville Chamberlain declaring "peace in our time" following the Munich Conference with Hitler. As Paul Krugman recently noted, your opponents cannot be appeased! They will never vote for meaningful reform of healthcare coverage, no matter what concessions you offer. Don't come before the cameras waving a neutered healthcare reform bill and declaring, "Bipartisanship in our time!"

Now is the time to stand firm and twist Democratic arms to achieve meaningful, historical reform of our national healthcare so-called 'system'. It is NOT the time to cave to Republican demands in the pursuit of a mythical beast.

If you do not stand firm and twist a few arms, you may discover that we who enthusiastically supported your candidacy in 2008 are no longer with you in 2012.


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