Mr. Obama has once again proven just how inexperienced and naive he really is. Don’t get me wrong, for a rookie he has made all-star moves and has accomplished much of what he wanted, even if little of it has resembled the promises he made to the people who elected him. What he has failed to do is to listen to his elders and his public. His elders tried to tell him to pick something important and get it done. He chose to do everything and do it quickly. Being all things to all people has rarely worked for more than a few months for any politician. His public, or a majority of it, has consistently said that healthcare costs are too high. Mr. Obama has not listened to that and plans to add a Trillion Dollars to the bill. Polling shows that he has failed to impress over half the people and now he is losing parts of his huge majority in Congress.
Mr. Obama has a Congress that, in theory, can deliver anything he wants. Like Mr. Bush discovered when he had both houses of Congress, having a majority or better in both houses from your party is no guarantee that you will get what you want. Congress Members have big egos just like Presidents. They like to prove to their constituents (and their mirrors) that they are important. That is hard to do when you do nothing but follow the leader.
Today, 53 members of the (most) liberal wing of Mr. Obama’s party, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, signed a communique putting the world on notice that if they don’t get the “public option” that they want in the healthcare bill, they will vote against it. That, along with united Republicans would be enough to defeat any plan. Of course, this was in response to the announcement that “Blue Dog Democrats” had negotiated for, and it seemed earned, concessions that would remove the “public option” and cut about $100 Billion from the bill. Yes, there are 52 members in the Blue Dog Group, enough, with united Republicans, to defeat any bill they don’t like.
I heard a commentary today quoting one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite commentators, Will Rogers (see my post from May on Rogers here). Rogers said, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” Mr. Obama is learning just how tricky it is to herd cats (Democrats). He may have the votes on paper, but (hopefully) he will find it VERY difficult to convert those to votes for the plan he is now proposing. Rogers also said, “Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”
I also like the Will Rogers quotes because Mr. Rogers would most certainly be anything but a Democrat today. As evidence, I offer the following:
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” (Sound like the members of the party who voted to spend a Trillion Dollars on the “Recovery Act” to impress everyone with their power?)
“It’s a good thing we don’t get all the government we pay for.”
“Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.”