Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Dear Mr. President:

Why are you calling for a consensus on health care reform? No agreement is possible with most of the people opposed to reform. Stop with the bipartisanship. Have you learned nothing about what's happened in this country since 1992? You're smarter than this. Please study LBJ's career for a while. And remember, you hired Rahm Emmanuel for a reason.


Voted for You


winpal said...

Not to be critical, but this is the attitude on both sides that keeps us in the mess we have been in for so long. I think the crucial lesson from LBJ is not to stop bipartisanship, but rather how to achieve it. The Medicare Act of 1965 passed the Senate with 70 votes including 13 Republicans and the House with 307 votes including 70 Republicans. Sadly, maybe this is no longer possible in this day and age, but I sure admire Obama for striving for it and giving it his best shot (and sticking it to Palin in his speech).

Lisa Hirsch said...

LBJ was able to pass Medicare by those margins in part because he knew where the bodies were buried. I am trying to sort through the gazillion Times articles on health care reform and Medicare to try to find the one I am thinking of, which went into some detail about his strategies.

But very seriously, Democrats since Reagan have tended to try to play nice while Republicans have played hardball, for example by passing the GW Bush tax cuts using the reconciliation process. The Democrats could try a little more hardball.

winpal said...

This is true. It is the reason I supported Hillary in the primaries. I think she is better prepared for the hardball and body bags!

Lisa Hirsch said...

That could be so!

Anonymous said...

LBJ's bipartisanship was built with the kind of moderate, thoughtful Republicans who've been since driven out of the party and who are now Democrats (the kind of Democrats who keep the party from being, in overall balance, very liberal). And with conservatives like Ev Dirksen, who when the issue required it were willing to put country above party. Today's Republicans are not.

And it was built without, and in the strong opposition of, the diehard right-extremist southern Democrats whose political descendants are now, every one of them, Republicans today, and form the base of the party in (and out of, too) the South.

Henry Holland said...

Well, Obama's been an utter failure on gay issues, like I suspected he would be when I held my nose and voted for him, but getting rolled on the healthcare issue? Pathetic, especially when the Republicans said flat out at the start "We're not going to pass anything that will help Obama". If he doesn't get it passed with the public option he could very easily be one and done.

Paul H. Muller said...

I keep waiting for the 'Chicago Moment' in the Obama administration.

I know it will have arrived when Obama says simply:

"I will only sign a health care reform bill that extends Medicare to any American who wants it. If the Congress cannot do this, the incumbants will receive no help from me in the 2010 elections and I will endorse and campaign for their challengers in the preceeding primaries."

It could happen...