For the Obama administration, these are dark days. Poll numbers are plunging, Republican gubernatorial candidates hold big leads in important, blue-leaning states, 53% of the people in the South believe the president was born in Kenya, and public support is dwindling for the administration’s signature healthcare reform plan.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., noted, “Healthcare is going to be President Obama’s Waterloo.”
And as the leadership of the Republican Senate and House election campaigns peer into the future, they salivate as they see unemployment levels near 10% next fall, and chant, “Democrats are ‘gonna get killed.’”
So, let me make look into my crystal ball and say, it is quite premature to write the obituary for the Obama administration. That is not to say that I don’t question the sanity of its leadership. Who would even think of getting involved in a situation where the nation they are heading is dealing with the worst economic situation since the 1930s?
But to assign ownership to the Obama administration of this economic disaster after only six months in office is the kind of thing that until recently I thought only the much-maligned French voters would do.
The greatest irony about this so-called “crisis” for the Obama administration is that both Democrats and Republicans counseled the White House that the best way to avoid the kinds of problems “Hillarycare” ran into in the early 90s, was to get Congress involved in the process from the beginning.
The basics of making legislative sausage is that in the first go-around of drafting bills, everyone gets to add the provision their legislative district just has to have.
Congressional leaders believe this is just a basic way of helping freshmen, especially those in vulnerable districts.
Then, when the final bill is crafted and most congressmen’s pet provisions are left out, they can then point the finger at those cold-hearted leaders, or the White House, or everyone, for their lack of sympathy to the unique needs of their particular district.
It is also very helpful to members of Congress who persuade lobbyists to make donations to them in exchange for a provision demanded by the corporate leadership. The lobbyist can also easily point to the cold-hearted committee chairman who failed to help the company’s CEO or board, or whatever.
P.S. There are no refunds–either for the company or the congressman’s constituents.
So, let me say outright that comprehensive healthcare reform will take place, that Republicans know it, they can’t afford to kill it, and however foolish this may sound, they are now angling to take credit for it.
The reason I say this is that the current negotiations over healthcare reform follow the same pattern of the last several years.