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We have to help Obama become a great President

As Tavis Smiley says in his book “accountable” we have to help Obama become a great president and not another two bit pol by holding his feet to fire. We have to push him to keep his promises, all the while giving help he needs to realize our vision of bringing about real change without being sucked in by the cynical Washington politics. Ed Schultz showed a clip of Obama all fired up – saying the change does not come “from” Washington it comes “to” Washington. This is the battling fighting President we want back.

Recently, Michael Ryan of Facebook Page “We are sticking with Obama”  sent out an inspiring mail, especially for those who have not bought into the necessity of Health Care Reform.

He writes:

“In the absence of a publicly-run health system, we can only hope that our government will regulate the industry. The aim should at least be to ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care; that nobody goes broke because of an illness they cannot afford; that nobody becomes a slave to their job because of a pre-existing condition; that every single human being is treated with the care implicit in medicine from the beginning of medical science and in the Hippocratic Oath that all doctors take. Without a national safety net, certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are made into privileges that only apply to those with enough money.”

The second sentence on, this is a beautiful paragraph which captures the goals president laid out and we have all subscribed to. It even captures the spirit of Ted Kennedy’s grandson’s quote “My Grandpa believed that Quality Affordable Health Care For Every American is a fundamental right and not a privilege”.

However, the very first sentence of the paragraph is a monster problem for all thinking and principled Obama supporters. One can not sneak in a camel through a needle.

In one of his best justification and defense of the Public Option (PO), the President said that the Public Option was a critical part of the Health Care Reform. It is the only means to bring costs down and keep Insurance Companies honest in their adherence to the provisions of the HCR Bill. In response to the fake argument by GOP that PO was tantamount to a Govt take over, he forcefully stated that given the claim that Govt can not run the Plan efficiently, there should be no problem for Private Insurance Companies to compete with the Public Plan. He further clarified that Public Plan will collect premiums to run on a break-even basis and will not be subsidized. He repeated, for emphasis that he does not expect the Public Plan to eat at the government trough. By the way,almost all the money that Govt has to fork over is for covering the uninsured and under-insured. Obviously fewer people you cover lower the price-tag. This cost should be similar in most cases except if great savings are achieved through the public plan. Without it the subsidies will go into the Insurance Company pockets probably at higher rates.

Subscribing to this logic and thinking that Public Option is indeed an option, we thought we were offering a compromise from the most efficient Single Payer system. Fearful of all the hate mongering and fear mongering and dirty GOP politics we are supposed to give into the Ugly Cynical Politics of Washington and completely compromise not some feature but the very center piece of Real HCR. More than that it amounts to a total surrender of values we shared when we started supporting Obama. Michael’s first sentence goes:

“In the absence of a publicly-run health system, we can only hope that our government will regulate the industry.”

It seems to implore us to accept this “half a molded loaf” or we shall have no loaf at all. That a sham bill is better than no bill. May be I am wrong and Michael is sarcastically asking us to wage a war against the “pray & hope” business in that first sentence. If so, I am a happy camper. Ready to March.

If not, it is foolhardy for the political animals surrounding the President to assume that they can strong-arm us and treat us as pieces in their political calculus. Horse trading with 1 senator might be Rahm’s style, but I do not think that President will approve of the ensuing damage wrought if political animals are allowed to roam free. With the great majorities we gave the President & Congress, they should be able to pass the best reform for such a critically importance issue. It is unacceptable if the leaders can not get all the Dems united behind such a fundamental movement. No body told us that we will be saddled with Blue Dogs, which we now discover are inching towards being DINOs. I have a lot of material on how misguided these dogs are, even from their self interest point of view. If President breaks the chains of weakness created by some old school horse traders in the Whitehouse, I am confident he will be able to pull the strays into the fold and unite the Hill dwellers and his supporters into a formidable force.

Already the right wingers are licking their chops at breaking down Obama and his lefties. A leader under siege and a demoralized army is not a winning combination.

I sent this tweet earlier:
RT @Whitehouse FOX Garrett is already saying Obama will go for a Fig Leaf instead of PO. Will push Pelosi/Reid Monday.

Got this tweet back
@doubleaseven People would honor a naked Obama more than one wearing a fig leaf.

[Today’s heroes: Chaka Fattah and President Elect of AFL-CIO for not getting conned by their TV hosts about the beauty of Fig Leaf.]

IF ANYBODY CAN PENETRATE THE BUBBLE OF CHARLATANS AROUND THE PRESIDENT AND GIVE HIM THE JANE SMILEY ARTICLE – HE WILL BE A TRUE PATRIOT. I BELIEVE THIS ONE ARTICLE CAPTURES THE SENTIMENTS OF OBAMA SUPPORTERS WHO ANSWERED HIS CALL FOR THE MUCH NEEDED CHANGE AWAY FROM THE CYNICAL POLITICS OF THE PAST AND INTO A “WE CAN DO IT” FUTURE. AT THIS POINT PRESIDENT SEEMS TO BE MIRED IN THE WASHINGTON MUD. WE HAVE TO PUT OUR SHOULDERS TO THE WHEEL OF THE OBAMA WAGON & GET IT MOVING AGAIN. JANE’S ARTICLE WILL BE A CLARION CALL FOR THE PRESIDENT TO START DRIVING THE WAGON AGAIN.

Jane Smiley: Retreat and Surrender ~ http://bit.ly/Gzreu

“If Obama had organized his cohorts and gone on the offensive and stayed on the offensive from the beginning in the health care debate, he would be winning this battle, not losing it”.

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