Monday, November 23, 2009

Political Pressure, Post-Partisanship, and a Prideful Prize

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's good that we are past the area of partisan politics, isn't it?

I mean, after all, we know that Republicans would line up and attack anything that the Democrats would propose. Regardless of the hazardous amounts of spending, the increasing debt, the diminishing returns on the spending that the American people are receiving, and the amount of personal liberties (by way of government control and mounting taxes) that are building under the Democrats' control in Washington, we all know that the Republicans are only forging unity out of political allegiances, not because of their ideological beliefs as individual legislators.

It's good to know that in President Obama's era of post-partisanship, we would not see one Democrat be pressured into acquiescing to the whims of a political party against one's established - and public - stances.

No, we saw three.

And in the era of change and hope for the political landscape of America, we see that current climate of haggling and partisan pressure means more to the Democrats than does standing up for the will of the people. Post-partisanship on the part of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid (and anyone that does not think that the three are tied together like combatants in a highly-political game of tug-o-war isn't paying attention) went out the window once the egos and pride of the Democrats launched this air of "winning" this legislative chapter in American history, a sad display in contrast of our real need as Americans - a set of legislative initiatives that will allow the American people to win, not politicians.

Wasn't that the whole point of throwing out the Republicans from Washington in 2006 and 2008 - to rid Washington of the self-serving level of corruption and angst that American endured through their previous leadership in the decade?

The Fall of Nelson, Lincoln, and Landrieu sounds more like the failure of a law firm after a big lawsuit but, in reality, it was the failure of the post-partisan reality that Americans voted for in historic numbers just this time last year. The nation saw yet another campaign promise of the supermajority fall to the waste side as Democratic senators with genuine concerns about the $2+ trillion health care bill (the official number is $849 billion or so, but that includes the years of head-start taxing before actual services are offered as well as the discounting the notion that sitting politicians are actually going to cut services to the one bloc of consistent voters - the elderly) were pressured by lobbyists, left-leaning politicos, and more liberal fellow Democrats to vote to continue this trillion-dollar-trial run of government-mandated and -directed health care for the majority of Americans.

Of course, the political pressure did not come without purchasing the prize. It has been reported that the cost for Senator Landrieu's vote has been $100 million in pledges to the state of Louisiana, a sad occurrence considering that the state is in need of stimulus but should not have come at the expense of a massive health care bill.

However, this is not the biggest price we paid on Saturday.

With the actions of the Democrats in the Senate, we now see that this legislative initiative is more about a win for the president and the two leaders of the Congressional houses than it is about winning solutions for Americans. With the failures coming from the Democratic supermajority in Washington by way of the February stimulus package, Cash for Clunkers, and the bailouts (to unfreeze credit to small businesses and everyday Americans, thus helping the economy as well), the health care initiative is clearly the win that the Democrat-controlled White House and Congress would like to hang their proverbial hat on as the 2010 mid-term elections rapidly approach, especially as unemployment has risen above 10% nationally. Despite the clear objections to major portions of both bills went through the House of Representatives and the Senate (including the existence of a government-run plan and its authority to fund at-will abortions), the Democrats have shown a propensity to push for legislative success over the will of their constituents, notably those in the districts and states where political arm-twisting made the difference in creating winning votes. If the health care legislative issue has become a victor's prize for the Democrats to win at all costs (notably, at the cost of trillions of dollars in a time of economic hardship) as it does appear after this weekend's political machine-like strong-arming, what else have the American people purchased with their votes in 2008?

The levels of spending, the processes for legislative debate, and now the health care debate in Washington have continued to highlight what conservatives have been saying since 2008: that the promise of responsible spending, bi-partisanship problem-solving, and cooperative and respectful governance under this White House and Congressional leadership is much like the current health care plan for government insurance - something that Americans have paid for dearly already but will not receive anytime soon, should they receive it at all moving forward. If this is the prize that Democrats have been waiting for since the initial wave against the GOP began in 2006, then it may be up to more Americans from all political beliefs to apply their own political pressure to ensure the republican government many have paid for in a multitude of ways. Without us, the promised pot of gold by the Democrats at the end of all this may end up being nothing more than a booby prize.

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