Not since Romeo and Juliette has it been so difficult to bring two warring factions together. The President has been among the those we can point to that have made health care reform a herculean effort. Columnist John Avalon and author of “Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics” has observed that what has to happen in the Senate Chamber 9/9 will be for Obama to make good on his campaign promise to “be a bridge builder who would heal the hyper-partisanship that defined domestic politics during the Bush years.” http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/03/avlon.obama.gamble/index.html?iref=topnews. He has to do this to restore his credibility.
In his commentary, Avalon is among the first to say that perhaps Republicans would be moved to join in working out a plan if the public option were dropped in favor of a non-profit co-op AND if medical malpractice reform were injected into the mix.
“Every major piece of social reform legislation in American history, from Social Security to Medicare to welfare reform, passed with bipartisan support, and it would undercut Obama’s post-partisan promises to have this be the lone exception. Steering legislation toward broader support is a sign of leadership.” So the weight of history is on this Congress, this President.
All that is known for certain is that the super charged atmosphere in which the debate has taken place to date will be difficult to ameliorate and hardened positions almost impossible to soften. Americans are people of principle and fiercely independent. Their independence was hard won and the light from that time still shines for those both born here and who have come here. No one will dictate to this citizenry – Not Congress and surely not a lecture-driven President.
As for this writer, it will be difficult to move past his handling of the Gates matter when, before all facts in the case were known, he not only sided with his friend but lashed out at the local police. At that moment, he was not the President of us all. That was not bringing us together. What he says on the 9th may be easily undone on the 10th. That has been his pattern so far. His promises are suspect.