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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Did Party of "No" Save Obama From Violating Pledges to American People

In his State of the Union speech last week President Obama sounded like leftist media and political types who have labelled Republicans as the "party of 'No.'" First forgetting the blockage Democrats put on President Bush (remember the Gang of 14 agreement so Bush judicial nominees could get through the Senate? Just one example.), then forgetting that Republicans have stood in the way of nothing since Democrats have had enough votes in the Senate and House of Representatives to pass any legislation they want. So because one or two Republicans would not cross the aisle and join the Democrats in bad legislation, legislation so bad it could not get passed with super majorities in both Houses, the Republicans are the party of "No."

It seems to me that the Democrats are the party of "maybe but only if you bribe me or my constituents or special interest group campaign financers." By sticking together as a party the Republicans have actually been helping President Obama from not violating more campaign pledges than he already has.

Throughout the campaign Obama pledged bi-partisan efforts if he were elected. His first year in office his only attempt at bi-partisanship was practically moving in with GOP Senator Olivia Snowe to get her to support the Senate's version of health care reform--in the Democrats eyes all you need is one vote and they can scream, "we had bi-partisan support!" Again in the State of the Union Obama said bi-partisanship was needed for Washington to work properly. We all know the definition of bi-partisan here means, "they need to put aside their principals and pledges they made to their voters and support our legislation without any changes."

Republicans rightfully rejected this definition of bi-partisanship, and Senator Snowe took back Obama's guest key. As a result the Democrats, if they were going to pass health care would have to do so alone. The bill is theirs for all the credit and all the blame. Because no health care bill has been passed, nor Cap and Trade, Obama still technically has not violated his pledge to voters to be bi-partisan. If Snowe had fallen to Obama's pressures then he, and the Democrats would have falsely screamed "bi-partisan support!" and looked like fools to the American people.

On Friday President Obama made the very unusual, and I believe unique, move of appearing before the Republican Caucus House Retreat in Maryland. He gave a televised address and had a question and answer period. Having just lit the GOP up in his State of the Union it was a political gamble for Obama to make this appearance and he gets plenty of credit for doing so.

At the GOP retreat, Obama admitted that the Republicans opposition to the Senate health care bill, and the subsequent inability of the House to pass the Senate version (thus far) has allowed Obama to keep another of his pledges to the American people (thus far).

Said Obama to the gathering:

We said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your--if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge.

So had the Senate and House Democrats passed the health care bill that Obama and his Administration were strongly pushing, and denigrating all who opposed it, then they would have passed a bill that was a consistent pledge of the President: no bill would violate the insurance you currently have, no bill would take away your doctor, no bill would get between you and your doctor, and no increase in taxes or fees for your insurance.

So if you hear anyone saying that Obama is doing a decent job of keeping his campaign promises and pledges to the American people you can tell them, "he can thank the Republicans for that because he and the Democrats in Congress wanted to violate those pledges."

But don't expect any credit to be given to the Republicans for making this President stick to any pledges made on the campaign trail, or since taking the oath of office.


Bob S said...

Hmmm...I understand the Republicans just voted against PayGo, the provision that requires Congress to offset any new spending with cuts, fees or taxes. I thought it was their idea in the first place. And what about Cap and Trade? It was originally a Republican idea, at least until there was some chance of passing it.

Right now the Republicans in Congress seem to have two priorities: Keeping the Democrats from enacting ANYTHING, and destroying the prestige and respect of the President. And as for the Democrats blocking George W Bush's Supreme Court nominations, it's too bad they didn't do a better job. The Roberts Mafia just opened the door to a bunch of French and Chinese companies -- both heavily backed and partly owned by their governments -- to participate in our elections. I hope that decision isn't as bad as I think it is.

I can think of no Republican proposal that addresses any current need. If they don't like the current health care bill, what's their alternative? If they don't like Cap and Trade, what are they willing to do, other than deny there's a problem? Hate the deficit? What are their proposals for Defense, Social Security, and Medicare?

Incitement, disrespect, and borderline bigotry are not a formula for anything but disaster. Are you really so eager to go back to the incompetence and corruption of the "W" era? Interested in installing the Romney Administration? How about Sara Palin, or the new kid from Massachusetts? Do you, really, think that they're better alternatives for running the country?

The economy is recovering. We're a quarter away from job recovery. Republicans are going to have to choose between voting for financial reform or being seen voting with the banks. Some version of health care reform is going to pass, and don't complain about the payoffs. Three or four Republican votes could have prevented them.

Don't start the celebration yet. The Fat Lady's not even in the building.

Dennis C Smith said...

Bob: I don't know where to begin, but the comment about bigotry is over the line. Because Obama is not white anyone who is white who disagrees with his ideology is a bigot, or only if they disagree, are white and are not a registered Democrat? So if I disagree with Obama what matters are not my ideas but my skin color? And because you, or others who perpetuate these comments, call me/us bigots? I thought it was the ideas that matter, but evidently the Democrats and liberals want us to think that it is skin color that matters, or evidently the right combination of skin color and/or ideas. Is Larry Elder a bigot? Please provide a list of people, or racial and ethnic backgrounds, with whom I may disagree and whose ideas and philosophies I can criticize without being labelled a bigot. And thanks for using the "borderline" modifies so you didn't have to come right out and call me a bigot.

Read the decision, Citizens v FEC did not change any laws allowing foreign contributions to our campaigns, Obama lied about it twice during the SOTU and you and others perpetuate the misinformation about the decision. Do you think it is right that the New York Times Corporation, Rupert Murdoch's Corporations and other media corps have rights that your law corporation does not? Free speech is free speech and should not have exemptions for some over others--which is what McCain-Feingold had.

Am I looking to go back to Bush Administration? Absolutely not, with their expansion of the federal government, increased spending and no fiscal restraint.

GOP Reps and Senators have tried to put forth many proposals, in fact at the GOP retreat they gave copies to Obama which may have been the first time he's seen or heard about it given the inability for them to present anything in committees.

Change the flavor of your Kool-Aid, maybe try unflavored vitamin water, and try to see how much your comments hear read like something from Pelosi or Reid's offices.

There are two parties, both are/have screwed up plenty, currently the screw ups are in the lap of the majority and they will be pointed out. Saying, "yeah well under Bush..." or "we inherited this..." is not leadership, not factual to a large extent and not discourse; it is what my kids do on the elementary school playground.