We've been having great fun at the GOP's expense, making fun of their kneejerk responses to every democratic proposal. We've relegated them first to the wilderness, then to the fossil record.
The "Party of No" is its own worst enemy, automatically adopting positions that are wildy unpopular (torture), illogical (the world is cooling) or just batshit crazy (The Flinstones are historically factual).
The GOP hasn't failed so much because of a shrinking tent, or even because of fighting within the tent. They're losing because they support policy positions that are ethically and/or factually untenable.
There fate should be a lesson to us, because even though we're having great fun lobbing stones, we're building a glass house of our own by always saying yes, when we should be saying "hell no!"
Some are arguing that's it's still too early to pass judgment. We're still in the honeymoon phase. We need to stand behind our man. If he says yes, we say yes too.
After all we can't risk losing the new members of our big tent; lobbyists for the pharmaceutical/healthcare industrial complex, the "clean" (albeit mountainless) coal industry, the opaque government movement, those that think the Nuremberg principle and Geneva convention only apply to terrorists and suiciders, etc.
A president that really wants health care reform is going to be one that stands up to the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry, not someone who is all too willing to kiss their rear ends and join a bogus PR effort about cutting health care costs by a couple trillion.
"These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment," Mr. Obama said. "Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year — an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion."
Of course that 2 trillion in "savings" isn't really savings, it's the industry promising to slow the rate of growth of what they charge us. So that MRI you can't afford now, will only be slightly more unaffordable, thanks to the "voluntary" effort being put forth and embraced by Obama (You know, kind of like that voluntary regulation of the banking industry).
But apparently, even that is too much to ask of America's health care executives
Hospitals and insurance companies said Thursday that President Obama had substantially overstated their promise earlier this week to reduce the growth of health spending.
My question is, why isn't the president meeting with doctors and nurses who care about real health care reform? Try talking to health care providers who aren't putting financial gain ahead of patient health, Mr. President. That would be change I could believe in.
Obama has acknowledged that things like waterboarding constitute torture (and therefore a violation of national and international law), but nevertheless, is refusing to prosecute anyone involved. Not the sick bastards that performed the actual torture (where do they find these people anyway), nor the masterminds who rationalized it as expedient to "keep us safe." Not even when it's becoming apparent that torture was used, not to prevent a ticking bomb, but to fabricate evidence that one existed.
It's bad enough the president is letting the perpetrators and the architects of torture go free without so much as a limp wristed slap, he's also moved to squelch any further discussion of it.
That's not change I can believe in. It's more of the same. If you want change Mr. President, you need a backbone first. Here's a primer from former governor Jesse Ventura:
"It's a good thing I'm not president," Ventura said. "I would prosecute every person involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people that ordered it. Because torture is against the law."
If you want to show us change, hire Ventura as an independent prosecutor. That would be a change.
Or as the Huffington Post puts it, more waterboarding Appalachia's mountains:
Read that line again: Have 42 out of 48 permits for mountaintop removal -- the process of blowing up our nation's oldest and most diverse mountains, razing historic communities, poisoning watersheds, and causing massive erosion and flooding, which Vice President Al Gore has termed "a crime, and ought to be treated as a crime" -- cleared as "environmentally responsible" by the Obama administration's EPA?
Since President Barack Obama has taken office, an estimated 300 million pounds of ammonium nitrate/fuel oil explosives have been detonated across our American mountains.
In effect: Residents in the mountaintop removal areas have been subjected to a kind of waterboarding environmental policies.
Will the administration suppress photos from Appalachia too? All we have to do is say yes and pretend it's not happening.
So much for standing up to the medieval military policy of judging people, not by ability, but by who they want to spend time with in their private lives. The president is apparently flaking out on his promise to do away with don't ask don't tell policy. A policy that insures that the most qualified person, if he or she is gay, won't be in the position to serve and protect our country.
Mr. President, if we retained the competent individuals in our military who happen to be gay, maybe we could stop recruiting felons and immigrants to fill the ranks. That would be a change.
A DONKEY FOSSIL?
The point of this rant is not to paint Obama as the emperor’s new apprentice. But it is to rail against becoming "Party of Yes" instead of holding the feet of our elected officials to the fire (up to and especially including the president) when they deserve it. If we don't, it won't be long before it's the donkey that's relegated to the fossil record.
We blasted Bush for concealing evidence on torture, for making it harder for citizens to know what our government is doing, for giving the green light to destructive environmental practices. Why shouldn't we hold Obama to the same standard? Should we simply say yes because of the letter that comes after the name, regardless of the action? I for one say "hell no!"