>> Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Politicians don't acquire power by saying 'Yes'. In a perfect system, each senator will consider the need of the people in which he/she represents and make a decision base on that fact alone, but sadly politics is a game. Very soon these representative realize that they are in a position of power and corporations are willing to pay to sway them one way or another. For maximizing profits, one such politicians will announce to the press that they are 'unsure' on an issue like an auctioneer announcing the bidding war has begun.
In politics, you can be loyal to your party and be a 'yes-man', in turns you are giving away your power to the party. While noble in a sense, your party will not value you as an individual become you're highly manipulatable. You can be uncompromising and be loyal to your people and make your decisions based on their needs. Though such actions will require certain independent thoughts, rendering the person to do his own stuff all the time, unpersuadable, then people will stop trying. Politicians who seeks power needs to be loyal to themselves, use their votes as bargaining chips even though it is wrong.
Case and point Joe Lieberman who has got the democrats to butcher the health care reform bill into something he had advocated for years during his vice presidential campaign with Gore and all through his political career and without reading the new incarnation, he's already saying no to it. It's infuriating of course, but why is everyone holding their breath on what Lieberman has to say? He's in no way the leader of the party, he is but one vote. Why is the whole party molding this health care reform bill to Joe Lieberman's liking? And after we get his approval on a bill that is so severely butchered, is it something that the people will still want/benefit from? John Avarosis at AmericaBlog has an idea on why this is happening.
It's not about the votes, people. It's about leadership. The current occupant of the White House doesn't like to fight, and the leadership in Congress has never been as good at their jobs, at marshaling their own party, as the Republicans were when they were in the majority. The President is supposed to rally the country, effectively putting pressure on opposition members of Congress to sit down and shut up. And the congressional leadership is supposed to rally its members to hold the line, and get the 51 votes necessary for passing legislation in a climate where the minority is too afraid to use the filibuster. When you have a President who is constitutionally, or intellectually, unable to stand for anything, and a congressional leadership that, rather than disciplining its own members and forging ahead with its own agenda, cedes legislative authority to a president who refuses to lead, you have a recipe for exactly what happened last night. Weakness, chaos, and failure.
We lost real health care reform not because we don't have a "real" filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. We lost health care reform because we don't have a real leader anywhere in our party.
No doubt what he wrote was part of the reason why the year of hope is ending on a such a dim note leaving everyone disappointed. Personally I would not rate Obama's first year as a B+, I think maybe a C at best.