On Sun., March 21, at about midnight, President Obama declared, “This is what change looks like” in reference to his campaign promise of “change we can believe in.” While most of the country was literally asleep or heading to bed, Obama, Pelosi and Reid finally had squeezed enough Democrats to get the 219-212 vote to pass the Senate version of Obamacare in the House. In so doing, Obama showed his signature style – cut the people and the opposition out of the process as much as possible.
Back in August, Obama urged Congress to have a bill on his desk before its members returned home to their states for recess. Obama could have welcomed the opportunity for the people’s input, but his actions showed his concern that congressional members might be persuaded against the bill by those they represent. Town hall meetings showed the majority attending strongly disagreed with Obama’s direction.
Obama pushed again for a vote before Christmas in what I see as something more terrible than college finals on Christmas Eve. Again, his concern showed that congressional members would be away from his pressure and among the people they represent.
At every opportunity, Obama plowed through and marginalized his opposition, particularly Republicans, where he garnered not a single vote. Then, near midnight on a Sunday, no less, he completed the deed using reconciliation, a strategy usually used to reach agreement on much smaller issues. It reminded me of other terrible things happening at midnight.
I agree the health care system needed some fixing. However, 85 percent of the people were happy with their health care before Obama decided to mess with 1/6 of the nation’s economy and every person’s health care. Tort reform, which would positively affect health care costs, and other measures to that end were rejected in quite a partisanship manner. No Republican amendments to a follow-up bill were accepted by Democrats.
Again, what Obama wanted was no influence by those not in lock-step agreement with him, which is not any “change” I’d like to believe in.