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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Procedureal Politics And The Death Of Healthcare Reform

While watching Keith Olbermann give his special comment last night on healthcare reform I noticed a few things. Firstly, it was the second night in a row where he dropped some "blasphemous" language on live television. Secondly, it showed that he's not this "tow the line at all cost flaming liberal hack" that far too many conservatives accuse him of being. And while the first part will only offend a limited number of viewers to his show, I thought it showed some real honesty on his part.

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But who and what is really sounding the death knoll for healthcare reform? Is it the American people? I hardly think so, as they have been continually fed misinformation and blatant lies from conservative Republicans on virtually every aspect of the proposed legislation. Is it members of The House Of Representatives? I think not, as that body passed their portions of reform largely along party lines without much obstruction. Is it the Senate? Is it Obama? Is it the media at large? The answer is divided almost evenly between those three most certainly.

While the bulk of the media is more than willing to latch onto anything inflammatory in order to gain a larger audience share, conservative media outlets, their employees, and their enablers continually have distributed information that does nothing but confuse and enrage their followers and thereby creates and air of ignorance within the voting populous. One of the major problems that our country faces is that people are far too willing to accept what they see on television. Conservativism thrives because many people aren't willing to do their own research, to fact check, to listen to differing opinions and come to their own conclusions.

But what about Obama? Is he far too invested in this issue that he is willing to sign this legislation simply because it has the title "healthcare reform" attached to it? I'm not entirely certain on that, but one thing is clear - he demands reform that will help American families, not hurt them. This is something that Congressional and Senate Republicans have been doing their best to disprove even before healthcare reform was started. And while the House passed their version of the bill, it's the Senate that poses more of a problem.

With Senate Republicans using what are traditionally defined as acceptable parliamentary procedures, they are nothing more than tactics devised to muddy debate, slow the legislative process to a crawl ( or end it completely ) and to insert amendments that would cause Democrats to distance themselves from the proposed legislation. But there is one small hope that still rests in the hands of Barack Obama. If this bill even passes through the Senate, the hurdle that it wasn't able to jump during Clinton's first term, it would still have to go through committee and be bundled with the House bill for final vote. And if it makes it to the President's desk with no public option, no medicare early buy-in, or even and opt-in/pot-out provision, there is still the veto. The question is now is this: will Obama use it?

Obama's singular weakness that will kill this reform is his desire to show that he can compromise with Republicans, his greatest enemy within America. He seems to be telling those that elected him in order to get away from the conservative belief structure that has literally been tearing away at the very foundations of this nation that he will extend a hand to them, give them a voice in his time as President, and even meet them half way no matter what. The problem is that these people don't care about Obama or the country that he was tasked to lead. They are more concerned with their own personal ratings amongst their most rabid followers. They could care less what Obama does or does not do, it's all about improving their own Q score. The average American, by and large, is irrelavent to conservatives. These people are out for blood and they are willing to do any and everything within their means to get it.

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