Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fear of Governing

I have for a long time railed about the Republican opposition to President Obama and virtually everything and anything he has tried to do to improve things. I believe their opposition has at times reached virtually to the boundaries of treason. At the same time I have observed Obama’s naivete when it comes to expecting bipartisanship, his continual expectation that Republicans will eventually do the right thing when it has become obvious they have no intention whatsoever of doing the right thing when it  comes to taxation, spending, poverty, health care, employment, minimum wages, unions,  etc., etc.  
I still believe Republicans have repeatedly rejected any attempt s to improve the lot of ordinary citizens and have gone overboard on their attempts to destroy Obama. But I have also grown weary of the Democrats apparent timidity when it comes to governing the country and getting things done. Some say this is a result of the lack of leadership on the part of Obama and that may be true. But there seems to be more to it than that. Democrats in the House and Senate appear to me to be too timid to go all out for what desperately needs doing.  Take the matter of gun legislation, for example, only one example of how they have failed to act, to do the right thing. If Harry Reid (and the Democrats) had not caved on the matter of filibuster reform we would have easily had sensible gun control measures passed. I don’t know exactly why Reid agreed to some ridiculous promise on the part of McConnell, but he did. This was a terrible mistake.
When it comes to taxing the rich the Democrats again lack the will to do the right thing. They are arguing over some paltry two or three percent increase in taxes on the obscenely wealthy and corporations when they should demand probably fifty or more percent. I believe they could do this if they truly wanted to do it, after all Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt managed to achieve such changes. Health care, too, could be changed into what is obviously required, a single-payer system like all other industrialized countries have, instead of the inefficient, insurance-run travesty that we now have. We could also have strong unions, a decent minimum wage, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Planned Parenthood, and other critical social programs if Democrats would demand such things and enlist the public behind them.
In order to achieve their stated goals about lifting and supporting the middle class they would have become ruthless, more ruthless than the Republicans who oppose them, but  somehow they seem unable, perhaps unwilling, to do this, simply caving in to the small minority in the House that appears to be running the country. It seems to me the Democrats lack the courage of their convictions (if, indeed, they truly have these convictions). I do not believe that a loony minority in the House of Representatives cannot be overcome, removed from office, and relegated to nothing more than a bad memory, if an effort was made to that end.  
It is possible, of course, as some believe, there is little or no difference between Republicans and Democrats, they are all in the pockets of the same corporate and wealthy powers, and maybe that is so. If it is, then, we should have no expectation of any change for the better. But if Democrats are truly serious about what they claim to be for, and if they stop being so timid and passive, giving in time and again to a few loonies in the House, I’m sure they could succeed in actually governing our country. The world does not belong to the weak and submissive. Reid should begin by immediately doing away with the filibuster and making it clear to Republicans their nonsense will no longer be tolerated. That message, by itself, would set the stage for positive changes.

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