Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

BLOOD IN THE WATER


President Obama came to power with what seemed to be a fairly large mandate from the American electorate.  I have recently come to the conclusion however, that the perceived mandate might not be much of a mandate at all.  It might be nothing more than a total repudiation of the prior administrations policies. The perceived mandate can only be evaluated over time as the new administrations policy efforts are moved through the legislative process.

 Many of President Obama’s early proclamations were centered on the idea of reaching out to those on the right and fostering a sense of bipartisanship in Washington.  The first months of his administration have been marked by a distinct lack of cooperation from the left.  Perceived attempts at bipartisanship have not been even remotely successful for the President.  All you have to do is look at the voting records of the Senate over the past months to realize that efforts to include input from the left in legislation has not made a significant difference in support when it came time to vote on legislation or even on his Supreme Court nominee.  The support is just not there.

 Is there any doubt that the Democrats have a significant edge in the Senate and House when it comes to voting on proposed legislation?  Is there any doubt that if the Democrats voted as a block, that their legislation would move through both houses of Congress?  The votes could, and should be there.  But they aren’t there.  Democrats don’t vote as a block.  There are liberal Democrats, moderate Democrats, and even some that tend to be more conservative. 

 Republicans, on the other hand tend to be more united in their voting patterns.  This is even truer when the purpose of voting against a certain piece of legislation is to block the Presidents’ agenda and hand him a significant defeat.  When a Republican senses that they can hand the Democrats a defeat they are more like piranhas than public servants.  There is political blood in the water.

 With that being said, I find myself wondering why the Democrats don’t behave more like the Republicans and use the power of their voting block more effectively.  The only rational explanation that I can come up with on this is that the Democrats have been listening to dissenting voices within their own party.  Disagreement is valued within the party.  The presence of this disagreement allows those with different voices to be heard.  Dissention, while weakening the voting block and limiting legislative effectiveness, ensures that different possibilities are considered and results in legislation that more effectively represents their constituents. 

 Based upon what I have read and heard over the past few days, the next new “hot button” topic in the health care debate will be the battle over whether to fight for a “public option” in the legislation or whether a “co-op option” will be implemented.  President Obama clearly believes that a public option is more desirable.  Over the weekend, a lot of noise was made over the fact that the public option is not a critical piece of the legislation.

 Conservatives on the Hill have been ratcheting up their war machine to fight the inclusion of the public option.  Battle lines are clearly drawn on the issue.  There are, however, progressive legislators who are beginning to lean towards inclusion of a co-op option at the expense of the public option. Sometimes I wonder whether the Democrats are more concerned about not offending the Republicans than about passing their legislation.  Anyone who follows politics knows that the reverse is rarely true. 

 It will be interesting to see the battle play out over the next couple of weeks.  Will the Democrats cave in on the issue of the public option in an attempt to pacify those on the right?  Will Democrats compromise for the purpose of getting some form of health care legislation passed?  If the Democrats cave in, will their actions result in increased support from the Republicans?  We know what the Republicans are going to do.  How will the Democrats respond?  The actions of the Democrats on this issue will shed a great deal of light on their political backbone.

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2 Responses to “BLOOD IN THE WATER”

  1. ” When a Republican senses that they can hand the Democrats a defeat they are more like piranhas than public servants.”

    I couln’t stop ROFL! Great line. It is true however due to some internal motivation (spiritual and patritotic) that republicans take no prisoners. I find this is true in areas of theology as well. Differences are usually not tolerated amongt conservatives and sypmathizing is NO WHERE!

    However, I have to say Coach (hope you don’t mind me calling you that, though you never coached me, I was the jr. high Chess champ who beat some Junior named Paul; not a football stud) the Healthcare issue is hard. I was watching two highly educated ladies from Harvard (can’t recall the other school) who know all the ins-n-outs (mmmm) on healthcare. They themselves said it was all very confusing and that they had mixed feelings. So it’s hard for some of us laymen to really understand the dynamics. For a long time I never even knew healthcare was a problem. I worked, I received it. It’s hard to know when to go snipe hunting or not. What I mean, is I now have such little faith in either party that every cry they call out, I ignore. Is there a healthcare problem? The ladies on KCET seemed to say so. But if they don’t know the answer, how can I?

    • I really didn’t think there was a problem with health care until my insurance company started getting between what my Doctor suggested and my ability to follow his advice. I personally know of several individuals whose companies delayed suggested care at the expense of the individuals health. I personally know of an individual who can not get health care because she had a migraine headache within the past six months. One headache, no coverage. Yes, there are definately serious problems with our health care in this country. I haven’t even spoken to the issue of costs.

      Intolerance of opposing views is a pre-existing condition.


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