With the U.S. presidency and both houses of Congress under control of the Democrats and mid-term elections over a year away, expectedly President Obama stated “now is the time” for health care reform. And, it isn’t surprising Howard Dean, the screaming presidential candidate in 2006 and major figure in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, voiced the sentiment to move forward without bipartisan support.
But, Obama is being more careful, as he should be, after making a big mistake by pushing for a bill to be on his desk before Congress left for its August recess. He appeared to want to keep citizens out of the discussion. However, his push backfired. Many against his plan have been responding by applying audible brakes in town hall meetings so as to more safely navigate the twists and turns of health care reform.
In a recent U.S. Today editorial, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, said it is “well worth the time” to get health care reform right. She is absolutely right on that point. The problem is she sees Democrats are capable of getting it right by September, which is a timeline far too rushed to include public input.
Our getting involved in discussions of governmental decisions affecting our lives is honorably American no matter how heated the debate. Though I favor people using good manners, sweet voices and saying, “Pardon me,” I am glad Republicans and others are causing an uproar. When we the people see a train running full steam ahead, what else are the people supposed to do to get the engineer’s attention?
I liken this uproar to the myriad times Americans have stood up to government and said in a variety of ways, “You will not bulldoze over me. I matter. You have to listen to me.”