No Short Cuts

In “Dreams From My Father”, future president Barack Obama introduces his readers to his entire family. We meet both of his grandfathers, Stanley Dunham of Hawaii by way of Kansas and Hussein Onyango Obama of Kenya. We learn how these two men influenced both him and his father. The central theme of the book was about making your own way in the world, a task made more possible with hard work and clear thinking. Every corner cut resulted in failure. Every job done well led to greater success. I just finished the book while on vacation. It was terrific.

In fact, the book should be read by lots of people. I’m going to give my copy to my girlfriend’s son, Alec. Someone else who should read the book, someone else who might benefit from the lesson on “Dreams From My Father” would be the guy who wrote it, Barack Obama.

President Obama was on TV again this morning. The news was showing a clip from yesterday’s pep rally. Can’t tell you where this one was. They all look alike. The president rails against the evil insurance companies. The President complains about insurance company rate increases. Someone is brought up to cry about losing his/her insurance after getting sick and getting dropped for not paying the premium. The solution to all of our problems is to pass the BILL. Crowd cheers. Cut to commercial.

Will someone please call Barack Obama? We need the young, brilliant, hard worker to push aside our current president. We need real leadership, not just on this issue, health care, but on jobs, finance reform, national security, and all of the other major issues of our time. Right now we have slogans and scapegoats. We are cutting corners and racing towards disaster.

I’ve been busy this week and have only seen bits and pieces of Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the Rachel Maddow Show. Both had guest hosts. Here is what I saw and what you may have missed:
1. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said “The insurance companies are the problem”.
2. Dr. Howard Dean said “The insurance companies are the problem”.
3. Bart Stupak (D-Mi) is leading a group of 12 anti-abortion fanatics.
4. Diana Degette (D-Co) leads the Pro-Choice Caucus, 190 strong, who won’t give up any more ground.
5. If the BILL doesn’t pass, it will be all (fill in the blank)’s fault.
6. Liz Cheney is so much like her father, even Kenneth Starr is repulsed. (Nothing to do with health care, but truly weird and interesting.)

We are contemplating the overhaul of nearly 20% of our economy and the participants are locked in their little battles, digging in their heels, and shouting out their slogans. No matter how many of these shows you watch, you will never learn how we are going to provide health care for 300+ million Americans and, more importantly, how we are going to pay for it. Really. Taxes that kick in eight years from now aren’t real. Creating massive changes and hoping that the good stuff, the parts you like, aren’t impacted is simply childish.

WWOD? What would Obama do? Maybe the real question is what would the real Obama do? The guy from the book might have, like his father before him, first tried to just bluff his way through the battle. But once he encountered a set-back or two, the book’s Barack Obama would have realized that he needed to fully apply himself to the task. He would have succeeded by out-thinking and out-working his opponents. He would have built a consensus and found a feasible solution to our health care morass. Not a plan that merely sounded good, but one that actually could succeed.

We’ve seen the bluffs, the set-backs, and the short cuts. The guy demonizing the insurance companies isn’t going to get the job done. Now is the time for the other Obama to emerge. The one we elected. The one we, as a country, need.


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One Response to No Short Cuts

  1. Dave Cunix says:

    From Michael Saltzman:

    1)Cutting Corners and taking Short Cuts beats Starting Over.
    2)Left on Red with Caution is not Socialism.
    3)Abort Red Herrings Now.

    Your Friend Michael

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