22 December 2009

Today's Missive to the White House: Time to Change Course

The fact that Rahm Emmanuel did not even bother to lobby Lieberman on the Medicare Buy-In or Public option is a tell. The White House, i.e., the President, just doesn't get it. He was elected by an electorate that was sick and tired of not having their interests represented in Washington, when the interests of Health Insurers, Wall Street, Banks, Military Contractors, the War Machine... on and on... all have powerful constituencies. But instead of fulfilling his promise to be a Champion of the interests of ordinary Americans, which is the traditional role of great Democratic Presidents, this president has proven to be a "New Democrat," i.e., a dealmaker-in-chief, ever-ready to make deals to subvert and compromise away those interests. He isn't even TRYING to prevail on the policy changes that actually benefit ordinary people.

This is a recipe for disaster. Already disaffected Democrats are telling pollsters they will likely stay home next year, and much of the uptick in opposition to so-called health care reform (what a pathetic disappointment that turns out to be) is, again, from disaffected Democrats, who see no real cost controls, no real options other than mandated private insurance. This is an albatross around the neck of the party that may mean defeat in many districts.

It's not too late for the President to change course. Call up Matt Taibbi, who explained the situation very clearly on Bill Moyers the other day. Listen to him, because the present strategy is exacerbating the disaffection not only of Progressive Democrats, but millions of Independents who believe, quite rightly, that no one in Washington has represented their interests in a very long time.

Thank you.
David Studhalter

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