08 November 2009

Partisan Politics

Healthcare made it through the House with only 1 (that is one) Republican vote. This discomfits some and is fuel for pundits who can now criticize the president who promised to be non-partisan.

It escapes me, though, how Obama could ever arrive at a non-partisan approach to legislation that Republicans just don't want. If you are going to war, you aren't going to work out a solution with the pacifists. For them, it is not how you approach the war, it is the very fact of war they oppose. In the same vein, if you are going to offer universal healthcare, you aren't going to work out a solution with Republicans. For them, it is not how you approach universal healthcare, it is the very fact of universal healthcare they oppose. How anyone can reach consensus with someone who simply opposes your goal escapes me.


Big Al said...

Ron, I'm a little surprised w/this blog post. Have you forgotten that in politics it's what you SAY that's most important? Obama *says* he's trying to be non-partisan, knowing full well the GOP will always be partisan. So Obama says all the right words while driving the Democratic/his own agenda. And this is a big difference compared to his predecessor. GW Bush made no illusions about how he cared little for attempting to be non-partisan. GW challenged Democrats every day of the week, wrapping himself in the flag of Patriotism to berate Democrats. I'd say GW proved to be highly effective. If Obama can get his Health Care package through by chambers, he'll also join in the 'highly effective club' of presidents.

Anonymous said...

"non-partisan" means appealing to the sliver of the population that doesn't have strong feelings / beliefs on the issue at hand OR attempting to pacify both sides and ultimately failing. Being non-partisan means not being re-elected, in my opinion. I might just vote for a democrat / independent / libertarian who showed conviction, implemented a plan, and had success.

I agree with Big Al in this respect, GWB didn't hide the fact that he was determined to accomplish his goals, and he didn't mince words. He didn't try to be pals with everyone, unlike Obama. Although I disagreed with much of what GWB did and the outcome, I do miss having a leader with a personality and opinions that weren't dictated by his beloved teleprompter.

And as far as government-owned health care? We will regret this monstrosity for the stifling debt we will incur, the decrease in quality, and the lack of freedom. I'm not a republican, and this is a sad time in our nation.

Lifehiker said...

I'm with the comments before me. Non-partisan is dead, and Obama was wrong to embrace it.

It's time for him to take off the gloves and say plainly what he is for and what he wants congress to do. If Obama can get the American people to go with him, he'll kick butt. If not, it's time for another president.

It bugs me that the conservative republicans act like the big bully on the block. They're a minority, and they've sold their soul to the big money. Sock it to them, Barry!

Anonymous said...

I'm not exactly sure that conservatives are acting like the big bully on the block.

Maybe they're just speaking on behalf of their constituents.

Congress isn't listening. Sometimes somebody has to shout.

Big Al said...

In my opinion, the conservative republicans are so emotionally loud and vocal right now because they CAN be. Democrats clearly have the numbers in Congress to get legislation passed, but they seem so busy trying to win "king of the mountain" in their own Party that they can't seem to agree collectively. And Obama...well...seems like his own "party" doesn't even recognize he just happens to be the current POTUS.

I absolutely agree with Jen. I, too, didn't agree with what GW did, but the one thing I did admire about the man was his tenacity. With Obama I thought we elected a charismatic, thoughtful leader. Only 10 months into his term I'm still seeing charisma but am waiting still on the leadership. So in this I'm with Lifehiker: Obama needs to take off the gloves.

David said...

39 democrats voted against it. Does that make it more bipartisan? It's incorrect to say that Republicans oppose universal health care. We don't know how they might have amended this bill because they were shut out by rules commmittees. It's the bill they oppose, again, it's the bill. It's about redistribution of wealth not health care. It's about freedom of action.

I support health care for all our citizens but don't think people should pay fines or go to jail for not electing to get a government plan. Obama was vague about that yesterday but said he did support penalties and punitive actions.

If Barry wants to take the off the gloves he'd better start speaking clearly and be ready to live with the consequences.

LH: I wonder if selling your soul to big money is more draconian than selling out totally to unions? A prostitute is a prostitue no matter who she services.

Ron Davison said...

LH, Allen, and Davos,
My point is pretty simple: you can be bipartisan on any goal you have bipartisan support for. If the Republicans supported the goal of universal healthcare, they would have done something about it when they owned for 6 of the last 9 years.

I still don't get the obvious revulsion so many opponents feel towards a public option. Do you think that this group is generally against a public option in education and transportation, for instance, or just for healthcare? I don't really get it.