It’s a little surprising to find some reporters pointing out this morning that nothing much was accomplished at President Obama’s health care summit with the Republicans (even with the square table the Republicans demanded) without also reporting that nobody really expected anything to come from it.
In case you haven’t been able to figure it out, the Republican Party doesn’t want health care reform. They are trying to do now what they have done in the past, scrap everything that’s been put together and ostensibly “start over” because that, they say, is what the American people want.
Give the Republicans what they want and the result will be the same as it has been in the past. There will be no health care reform at all, which is what the insurance industry has ordered their lapdog Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to deliver while much of America goes broke trying to pay for health care.
The American people want affordable health care. End of story.
One has no way of knowing what Mr. Obama may be thinking at this point. Some are speculating that he was just letting out more rope, determined to give the Republicans every possible opportunity to add to or amend the bills that have been hammered together, and to do it publicly, so that there will be no doubt as to Republican resolve to kill health care reform regardless of how it’s written. They will have shown their cause to be a ruse, giving Mr. Obama the leverage he needs to move forward without the cooperation or approval of the Republican Party but hopefully with the understanding of the American people.
It’s not for nothing that Mr. Obama mentioned the need to do what must be done and then letting the people register their approval or disapproval at the polls. He was sending a message. Get on board now or sink at the mid-terms.
However, the question of whether he will be able to make it happen remains, with or without the mid-term election.
The degree to which corporate money controls the House and Senate is troubling. Something beyond that is equally disturbing, or should be, to anybody whose head isn’t stuck in the 19th Century.
While watching some of the exchanges from Thursday’s meeting, I had to wonder if some of what was said to the President would have been said in the same fashion and with the same word choice and tone, if Mr. Obama were white. It’s the same uncomfortable feeling I experienced when a United States Congressman shouted out “liar” during Mr. Obama’s speech on health care reform. And again, when some schools across the land refused to let students watch a live speech from the President of the United States encouraging the nation’s schoolchildren to excel. This wasn’t just another political hack who wanted to address the nation’s children. It was the President of the United States of America.
Would any white president be confronted with the kind of disrespect Mr. Obama is being forced to face? The fact that this question even needs asking is an indicator that there’s an elephant in the middle of the room. Nobody wants to admit that it’s there, much less discuss it. It’s there, nevertheless.
To date, former President Jimmy Carter, is among the few who have had the courage to address the issue, speaking out against those who held up signs at rallies portraying the President of the United States as a reincarnation of Hitler while others suggested Mr. Obama should have been buried with President Kennedy.
“It’s a racist attitude, and my hope is and my expectation is that in the future both Democratic leaders and Republican leaders will take the initiative in condemning that kind of unprecedented attack on the president of the United States.” -President Jimmy Carter
The tone and tenor of what’s being said seems to have come down a notch or two since Mr. Carter’s statement in September of last year. However, racism is still racism, regardless of its subtlety.
(Because there are dog-eat-dog, wild-eyed idiots out there who will go on the attack at the drop of a metaphor, I should point out that the elephant mentioned in this post is not meant to represent the Republican Party. It is meant to represent an actual elephant. A large animal that is impossible to ignore, particularly when it’s standing in the middle of the room.)