Elected To Do So09.14.09
Andrew Sullivan writes:
The protestors keep saying that they want their country back. Sorry, my fellow small-governmenters, but this country is a democracy, and you didn’t lose your country, you just lost an election. You had your chance for eight years. You blew it, and you lost. What Obama is doing is what he was elected to do. The principled response is not a massive, extremist-riddled hissy fit a few months in, but a constructive set of proposals to build on universal care for a more market-friendly and cost-conscious system in the future. You have to win some political credibility for that; and then you have to beat the man you lost so badly to last year. That’s the civil and civilized way forward for the right. It also seems, alas, to be the one they are currently refusing to take.
We just need Obama to actually DO what he was elected to do. That might not necessarily mean universal health care in the Medicare Plus model, but it sure doesn’t mean announcing that just about all the major points in the bill are still up for debate. Granted, Obama has said that his door is open for those willing to bring a serious plan to the table and I bet that he really would dismiss a radical legislator who simply comes in without an honest agenda.
No social program has passed without a fight. In fact, most have passed with strong opposition. Medicare and Social Security had their battles. Medicare didn’t get through originally with Truman – it had to wait until Lyndon Johnson came into office for it to be enacted. And all the while the same outcry from the right: SOCIALISM! And now, see if any American really thinks that Medicare or Social Security has pushed this country to the point where we’re waiting in line for bread or that we would be any closer to that if we had universal health care. See what would happen if the fringe right wanted to repeal Social Security and Medicare for the sake of capitalism and freedom. Talk about uproar and outrage.
I can’t understand the ignorant insanity of people who truly believe that providing health care to all Americans will begin a slippery slope toward a socialist state. Perhaps the model that Obama and the Democrats have set up isn’t the way that the fiscal conservatives would do it, but the idea behind it – the richest, most prosperous country in the world providing affordable health care coverage to ALL of its citizens – is something to aim for, to strive for in bettering our society no matter what your party affiliation. How can your political stance be in favor of denying MILLIONS of Americans proper access to health care? And how in the world isn’t there a large uproar over that?! Bettering our society, improving the quality of life for all of our fellow Americans: why are these deemed to be socialist concepts? How are they being painted as communist, evil thoughts?
When did people become so selfish?