Friday, July 31, 2009

Going For Broke

posted by Armadillo Joe

Heading into the August recess with substantive health-care reform hanging by a very thin thread, I think Gary Kamiya at sees the lay of the land very clearly:

Politics is the art of compromise, but on some issues compromise is a recipe for failure, and this is one of them. By treating single-payer as if it were too politically radioactive a term to bring up, he made it so.

The fight to reform healthcare was always going to be brutal. America's market-driven system is the last, atavistic remnant of our myth of exceptionalism, and for right-wingers still enraged over the New Deal, defending it is a holy cause. Of course Obama knew this, and as on virtually every subject, his centrist and "realist" instincts told him to go slow and tread lightly. But what Obama seems to have failed to realize is that the lunatic right was going to paint him as a fanatical communist, unreconstructed racist and evil, non-citizen Muslim no matter what he did, so he might as well get his money's worth and embrace the genuinely progressive politics that he seems, deep down, to actually believe in.

The unfortunate thing -- which could turn out to be a tragedy if he fails -- is that Obama had, and still has, an almost unprecedented opportunity to effect real changes in the nature of American society. The right was on the ropes when he took office, and he let it escape.


The American people elected Obama to change our politics and our country for the better, not be a hapless, "bipartisan" whipping boy...

1 comment:

Fraulein said...

Oy -- this whole thing makes my head hurt. HOW can health care be slipping out of our hands again??