Thursday, December 17, 2009

Obama, Where Art Thou?

So, former Vermont governor and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean--also, a medical physician himself--is assailed by the White House and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) among others, for asking that reconciliation be approached as a means to pass a worthy health care reform bill and not this compromised nonsense?

Yeah, that's the guy who needs a tongue lashing--not obstructionist, insurance industry shills like Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), or a petty, disloyal, revenge-seeking egomaniac like Sen. Joe Liebermann (I-CT). I mean, the latter is a guy who repaid then-senator Barack Obama for being one of the few high profile Democrats who had his back, when most in the party wanted to send his ass packing, by crossing party lines and campaigning against him in the 2008 presidential campaign, and even passive-aggressively fueling the "he's-actually-a-Muslim" meme. What a class act.

That's who is getting a free pass, while Gov. Dean is called irresponsible for daring to take a stand against these clowns who want nothing more than to retain the health insurance status quo.

But, where is President Obama in all of this? I'm not talking about Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' condescending remarks about Gov. Dean's recent pronouncements. I'm wondering where the man who was elected to effect a change in precisely this kind of flawed government policy is hiding. More importantly, where is his leadership? Does he really care about health care reform? From the looks of it, not enough. The president's hands-off approach has been a great miscalculation and a somber disappointment. The veteran of hard-nosed Chicago politics we hoped would show up in these contentious times has not made an appearance. Instead, Obama has looked like the weak, milquetoast president many were afraid he would be.

Which reminds me of...

I'm with Gov. Dean on this one, obviously. Furthermore, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must, as others have suggested, bring back the public option AND the Medicare buy-in and let the chips fall where they may. If you're gonna go down in flames, do it with dignity, not defending some hollow, watered-down bill. Plan for reconciliation and in the meantime, let those who relish being on the wrong side of history have the opportunity to show their disdain for the poor, the uninsured, and those routinely bullied and scammed by the insurance industry.

As for kicking the likes of senators Lieberman Landrieu, Ben Nelson (D-NE), Max Baucus (D-MT) et al to the curb, I submit another appropriate clip from The West Wing routinely favored by fellow blogger Xmastime, which captures the essence of what to do about these profiteers and ass-kissers of the insurance industry:

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