Posts Tagged ‘bipartisan’

Joust

Will tomorrow’s health care summit get the historic attention it deserves?  Will the problems of attainable health care and skyrocketing costs finally be solved?
 
This is going to be an opportunity for more than just Congress to get on the same page, but Main Stream Media (MSM) as well.  It will also be a first look at what real Washington transparency should look like when our fate is decided by a chosen few.
 
Sensationalism and saturation were the guiding principles during the election campaigns, but will this important gathering get the same unbridled attention?  Will MSM be taking names and breaking heads, making anyone that is not at least trying to legitimately move our country forward pay for it the way they crush anyone else that lands on their target list?  Will FOX stay true to form and be against everything uttered from Obama’s mouth, will MSNBC or CNN play their own favorites? Time will soon tell if the word unbiased is the golden rule of news that it should be.
 
If MSM can make Joe the Plumber a household name, I would hope that when our opposing parties converge in Washington to grind out a solution to a problem that has plagued administrations for decades, they will be stepping up to the plate as well.
 
The theatrics have already started.  Some prominent Republicans have already made up their minds that this whole thing is an exercise in futility.  Words like “trap” and “non-starter” have been flying around since President Obama threw down the gauntlet of bipartisanship during the Super Bowl.  Ridiculous issues like whether or not the President can stand at a podium, or must be seated at eye level with the rest of the attendees so as not to have a perceived position of strength (this is our President, right?) are actually topics of battle right now and I find that kind of small minded thinking distressing. I don’t care if they get together at a Denny’s and hash it out over some hash browns and eggs.  I don’t care if it’s done in a big circle around a campfire with everyone sitting Indian style, just get it done and put America first for once.
 
If anyone thinks this is a trap, they don’t have any ideas.  If anyone thinks this is a non-starter unless it starts with a blank page, they are an obstructionist.  Seems pretty simple to me.  Both sides should get over themselves and finally put the American people first instead of any silly partisan point scoring or career maneuvering.  Democrats better go into this thing with an open mind as well, or the repercussions they could suffer in November from the fallout could be severe.  America is tired of the playground antics and if good, tangible ideas to finally end the stalemate come from the Republican corner, Democrats better embrace them.  By the same token, if good, tangible ideas come from the Democratic corner to bridge the divide, the same holds true of the Republicans.  No party can ever be allowed to trump the will of the people and Obama’s election crystallized where the majority of Americans want to go at this moment in time.
 
Any one foolish enough to say America has already spoken and resoundingly rejected health care reform must be living in an alternate plane of  existence where John McCain is their president.  For the rest of us, Thursday is going to be a grand test to see who deserves to be called a legislator and who the imposters are. 
 
I’ll be watching the whole thing tomorrow and I’ll be back on Friday with my own take on who the winners and losers from both factions were.  As long as America isn’t on the loser’s list again, I’ll be one happy clam.
 
See you Friday!
Poll1The worm may be turning at long last.  President Obama finally found the conduit he has been lacking to have a conversation with a huge portion of the American public that has been rendered deaf and oblivious to his proposals and agenda ever since he won the White House on a wave of hope for change - the Super Bowl, and it paid off big.  The massive audience, the largest in television history, wasn’t tuned in to listen to him, they were ready for some football, and of course, the annual unveiling of the latest gems of advertising that have become just as much of a fun tradition as the game itself.  Tucked into the middle of a fantastic game, and coupled with the rare attention paid to the time slotted between the action, was an Obama sit down with Katie Couric.  What this ultimate bully pulpit afforded him was finally a chance to shine a huge spotlight on the crippling scourge of Washington politics, partisan gridlock.  He took the snap from Couric, slipped a few tackles and trotted the length of the field to score six.
 
Just one day before the game, the media’s attention had been focused farther north, on Nashville Tennessee, where Sarah Palin was keynote speaker at a Grand-Ol’-Opry-style convention of the Tea Party Movement, and let me tell you, it was not good news for the Grand Ol’ Party.  For almost an hour she took every imaginable opportunity to take shots at Barack Obama and she was all over the map in trying to do it.  She chided him for being a professor, not a Commander-in-Chief, she tried to reduce his eloquence and intelligence to some kind of a parlor trick that uses a teleprompter as the main prop.  She invoked the spirit of Ronald Reagan on what would have been his 99th birthday to rally the crowd and then she channeled Bill Clinton’s “there is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed by what is right in America” almost verbatim. She called Alaska, not America, the beacon of hope, then she continued down her erratic path and went on to channel Obama himself by rattling on about the ability of a grass roots movement to change the power structure of Washington. She talked about hope and change and then went on to ask, in folksy Palin’esque fashion, how that “hopey-changey” thing was working out for the millions that were moved by that very same notion just over a year ago.  The icing on the cake though, was the fact that she had crib notes written on her own hand to remind herself to talk about energy, the budget cuts… err, tax cuts and the cherry on top, a reminder to lift American spirits. Well Rush, Hannity and Sarah, start your engines because I am about to drop the R-word that sums that whole fiasco up, “Ridiculous!”  Her whole speech and Q&A session revealed not one single policy idea, no clear love for the Republican party and a call for Washington transparency that Obama would make the crux of his pitch to the American people the very next day.  No, I don’t think the GOP is going to enjoy the rants of Sarah Palin very much at all going forward, unless they are taking the whole “even bad publicity is good publicity” advertising mantra to a whole new level.
 
Thanks to the great American pastime that is the NFL, the gauntlet has been thrown.  Obama got his chance to give the American people a little professorial lesson on political obstructionism and pointed it right at the GOP with one of those big foam fingers.  And if you don’t think so, take these numbers from a Washington Post/ABC News poll done after what may just become known as the GOP’s Black Sunday.  The majority is now blaming the Republicans in congress as the problem by virtue of their unwillingness to compromise in order to move our country forward.  Even a whopping 42% of Republicans seem to want them to keep trying to pass a Health Care bill. 
 
President Barack Obama has shifted the conversation to American progress, not political gamesmanship, and put a bullet in the chamber to up the stakes considerably on the game the Republican party has been playing without the threat of consequence for over a year now.  All I can say is they better paint on their game faces and get themselves ready for one tough opponent.  On February 25th, they had better bring some real and tangible ideas to the table, because for a majority of Americans, at this defining moment, “just say no” simply won’t cut it anymore.
 
Barack Obama has put your tickets in the mail and you will all have sideline seats on the 50 yard line.  I hope I see you all there.  Bring on the Game!