Inch by inch, Barack Obama is moving mountains
"Despite deep resistance, the president is gradually shaping America
Between Barack Obama and Tiger Woods, it wasn’t such a good December for idolised, lean, brown golfers. Tiger, however, can hide. Barack, alas, cannot. The venom against Obama has been right up there with that directed against, well, Bush, Clinton, Nixon, Johnson ... America is, after all, a tough political arena.
The right treated the Senate passage of health insurance reform — a bill that essentially subsidises private health insurance for the working poor — as if it were the new dawn of bolshevism. Actually, that would be too mild. “Two-thirds of the country don’t want this. And one-third of these jihadists, these healthcare jihadists, do,” opined the Republican commentator Mary Matalin.
The left, however, was no kinder. Many leading liberal lights called for the bill to be killed because it gave too much to insurance and drug companies and failed to provide a publicly funded alternative to private insurance. The columnist Arianna Huffington lamented: “If the miserable Senate healthcare bill becomes the law of the land, it’s only going to encourage the preservation of a hideously broken system.”My favourite splutter came from the Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson, who declared the entire bill an encomium to Obama’s self-centredness. “It is about him: about the legacy he covets as the president who achieved ‘universal’ health insurance,” Samuelson inveighed. Then — hilariously — he added: “To be sure, the [proposals] would provide insurance to 30m or more Americans by 2019.” What did the Romans ever do for us?
The bill is not perfect and will need work in the next few years — on cutting some entitlements and controlling costs in other ways. But the law remains largely what Obama promised in the campaign.
As with most attempts to judge Obama, a little perspective helps. So let’s review, shall we? This is the biggest single piece of social legislation in 40 years. The Congressional Budget Office predicts it will indeed insure 30m people."
Link to the rest of Andrew Sullivan's article.
As we all know, the Right came out, just after Mr. Obama was sworn into office, and, with eye-popping rage, bellowed to their fellow Americans their wish that Mr. Obama would fail as president.
This, of course, is how frustrated juveniles behave when something doesn't go their way.
Just witness the Spittle Fleckers who regularly visit this blog, demanding I write about what they want, and not what I choose to write about on my own blog. That is, for the most part, what the opposition to Mr. Obama engages in--not reasoned, fact-based criticism--but howling lunatic charges of Marxism, Fascism, Socialism, doomsdayism and every other fanatical, baseless idiocy human beings can think up. It is their foot-stomping insistence that we liberals should hate the president as crazily as they do, and that ideologically bankrupt behavior is why fewer and fewer Americans identify with the GOPoNO, the Grand Old Party of NO!
Reporting on the new ABC/Washington Post poll has mostly focused on support for a public health care option. But the poll also shows that, while Republicans have succeeded in stonewalling Democratic initiatives in Congress, they have not managed to rebuild their party.
Only 20 percent of respondents identified themselves as Republicans -- the lowest number since 1983.
"These numbers, coming roughly one year before the 2010 midterm elections, show that any celebration on the GOP's behalf is premature as the party has yet to convince most voters that it can be a viable alternative to Democratic control in Washington today," wrote Chris Cillizza.