Well, it’s pretty clear by now that bi-partisan support for health care ain’t gonna happen. Which means President Obama has two choices:
A. Still seek out the best across-the-aisle agreement humanly possible.
B. Go gangsta.
I vote for B. In the spirit of (egad) George W. Bush, it’s time for our president to start using up his political capitalâ€”before it’s too late. The Republicans want to leave 46 million Americans without health coverage? Let ‘em. The Republicans want to do nothing about spiraling, out-of-control health care costs controlled almost exclusively by private, multi-billion-dollar industries? Let ‘em. The Republicans want to continue to live on deceptionâ€”Obama leading Grandma to the grave; Obama being a Socialist; Obama being a foreigner? Hell, let ‘em.
In the modern history of our country, I challenge anyone hereâ€”donkey or elephantâ€”to name one truly impactful piece of social legislation spearheaded by Republicans. Rights for African-Americans? All led by the Democrats (and if you’re about to say, “Abe was a Republican,” well, he’s wasn’t a modern-definition Republican in any sense of the definition). Rights for women? All led by Democrats. Worker rights … union rights … minority rights … rights for the wrongly accused … gay rights … rights for the underpaid … etc … etc. All 100% Democratic initiatives. In other words, when we are looked back upon, oh, 100 years ago, the George Wallaces of our time will all be Republican. Cutting taxes for the wealthyâ€”big Republican priority. Taking care of those in needâ€”not so much.
So, if I’m Obama, I say, “F%$# it.” Spend all your time generating a Democratic coalition. Make it your bill, with your goals, your desires, your plan. Ignore the Republicans, and let them whine and complain and make more and more crap up. Be certain every American is afforded health coverage, and make it clearâ€”crystal clearâ€”that th Republicans weren’t interested.
Yeah, it might fail. But it’ll be just in cause.