Is this a joke?
Where is Barack Obama? Where is the mandate he won at the polls last November? Where is the Presidential leadership on healthcare reform? Why has Barack Obama abandoned his campaign pledges and promises on single payer, universal healthcare reform?
Four questions – all with the same perplexing answer: “I don’t know.”
Barack Obama got almost 70 million votes from the American people. He received more votes for President of the United States than any candidate who has ever run for that office. His personal mandate is both unquestioned and politically secure. This is especially true following a President who actually lost the popular vote in his first election and won a second term with questionable results. On top of Obama’s personal victory in 2008, his political party won huge majorities in both the House and Senate. In a partisan political system, the partisan debate has been settled. The Democrats won. The Republicans lost. Didn’t they?
Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have an obligation to those who voted them into office. They have a duty to lead not to conciliate.
If Obama and the Democratic Party are nowhere to be found on healthcare reform, who then is driving this policy question, forming this legislation, forging the future direction for the entire country on this literally life and death public issue?
That answer is sadly obvious: Senator Max Baucus and Senator Olympia Snowe. A senator from Montana. And another one from Maine. What about the rest of the United States of America? What about the will of the people as expressed in the democratic act of electing a President and a Congress?
The President represents all the states and all the people. The senators from Montana and Maine represent a tiny constituency. Baucus and Snowe each received fewer votes than Fernando Ferrer. Who’s he, you ask? Ferrer ran for Mayor of New York City – and LOST! But he got 503,219 votes. The winner in New York’s Mayoral election received more votes than Senators Baucus and Snowe combined. Why not let Bloomberg and Ferrer decide what sort of national healthcare we should have. All in favor raise your hands.
Again, I ask – Is this a joke?
Take a look at Obama’s mandate and compare it with the electoral voice Senators Baucus and Snowe speak with:
President Barack Obama 69,456,897
Senator Max Baucus 348,289
Senator Olympia Snowe 402,598
If this is a joke, the joke’s on us.