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No Compromise

One of my favorite bloggers, Kevin Drum, brings up one of the more troubling aspects of today's national political scene, namely: blind Obama-bashing:

Obama got virtually zero support for a stimulus bill designed to help get us out of the worst recession since World War II, he got no support for rescuing GM and Chrysler, he got no support for healthcare reform, and he got no support for financial reform even after a decade in which big banks were so far out of control they nearly wrecked the entire global economy. He's been attacked from Day 1 as non-American, non-Christian, and non-patriotic. The filibuster became not just a tool of intense opposition to big legislation, but an everyday tool of obstruction. Tea partiers and Glenn Beck accused him of being a socialist for sure, maybe a Muslim too, and quite possibly a fifth columnist as well. Rush Limbaugh mocks his wife and prominent GOP leaders make jokes about whether he was born in Kenya. A government shutdown isn't just something that might happen if Obama and Congress can't find a workable compromise on the budget, it's actively viewed as a positive goal. And, as Brownstein says, governors are no longer on the sidelines, sometimes working with the president and sometimes not depending on what's best for their state. They're fully enrolled in the war against Obama.
I can't remember the last time a presidency faced this type of opposition, especially so early on. What's more worrisome is how many of the American people -- regular folk -- have been swept up in the anti-Obama frenzy. Just the other day, a friend of mine whom I consider to a smart, intelligent person referred to healthcare reform as something that Obama was "ramming down our throats." What gives?

Lest we forget, healthcare reform was one of the issues that Obama campaigned on. He was duly-elected by a majority of the American voters. He tried working in a bi-partisan fashion with those across the aisle, but Republicans were having none of it. The bill that was eventually passed contained many items (including the mandate) that were suggestions from Republicans that were taken onboard by the Democratic majority in Congress, and yet the GOP still didn't vote to support it.

All of this begs the question: What exactly does the Republican Party think should be done with healthcare? Nothing? If nothing, then why? Why, for example, does every driver need to have auto insurance but, according to the GOP, do human bodies not require health insurance?

Unfortunately, what becomes apparent is that healthcare reform has never been prominent on the GOP radar. Neither have a lot of things that are major goals and concerns of the Democratic party and its voters. In the past, this wasn't such a huge problem. After all, there's a reason there are different political parties, and why folks choose to back one party over another. Folks have different ways of looking at the issues, and have different ideas of how those issues should be solved. With this understanding, our elected officials knew that if anything were to get done, they needed to act like adults and work together. They knew that they needed to (gasp!) compromise. Unfortunately, this seems to have been forgotten by those currently running the GOP and their supporters who watch FOX News.

I've heard from some conservatives that the elected Wisconsin Democrats who have fled their state in order to prevent passage of a bill that the GOP governor is refusing to compromise on should just return to their state and cast their losing vote against the bill. After all, Governor Walker campaigned against unions, and he was duly-elected by the voters of Wisconsin. It would be nice if those on the right employed the same line of thinking to the agenda of President Obama.


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