A man writes to the Lincoln, Nebraska based newspaper The Journal Star that "comprehensive health care reform" is the next important legislation on which the Obama Administration should concentrate.
He says that "Government, businesses and families can't keep up with the burdens this broken (healthcare) system places on them."
He makes the insightful argument that "many of the thousands of layoffs in America can be directly traced to businesses' inability to cover insurance costs" and that "our working families and their children deserve a system of health care that guarantees quality, affordable health care for everyone."
Unfortunately for this gentleman and many of us who share his position, considering the 55-43 majority the Republicans hold in the Senate, there's not much of a chance that President Obama's $3 trillion budget which contains what Politico calls Obama's $634 million "head start" toward single payer health insurance will pass.
If you're at all confused about the numbers mentioned above, the 55-43 numbers not the $634 million number, it's understandable. However, there is a logical explanation.
To review, not only did Democrat Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008 by a 7.2% margin of victory, but the Democrats won 25 seats in the House, bringing their total to a whopping 257. Everyone, including yours truly, thought that the Democrats won at least 7 senate seats in the 2008 elections as well. This would have raised the total of Democrats or Democratic leaning senators from 51 to 58. We can only assume that the state of Minnesota and/or the national Democratic Party are ultimately going to allow Al Franken into the more aristocratic and dignified division of congress. One, including yours truly, should be awestruck with the insurmountable 59-41 majority.
But, no, it will no more be an insurmountable 59-41 majority when Franken is finally seated than it is presently a 58-41 majority. No. In the name of "checks and balances", a name which frightened Democrats dared not utter while The Regime was in power, 14 Democratic Senators have decided to keep the Democratic Obama Administration in check.
Lead by Democratic Senator Bob Nelson of Nebraska, the very state in which the author of the above mentioned epistle resides, the group of 14 have, for all intents and purposes, decided to scrutinize President Barack Obama the way that many Democrats and Progressives hoped that they would have scrutinized The George W. Bush Show.
If you remember, adding insult to deadly, heartbreaking misery, especially for Iraqis and American military personnel, Democrats had voted at every turn with The Regime on legislation in favor of throwing more money at Iraq. They gave The Regime this money in addition to helping it pass its enormous defense budget. Democrats and Republicans who kept voting for The Regime's occasional requests knew that the requested money did not come from the defense budget.As South Carolina's Republican Governor, Mark Sanford, points out, "it's not a good idea to spend money that you don't have..."
Sanford wasn't speaking about the millions of dollars that we didn't have yet we spent to perpetuate the ill-advised occupation of Iraq. Sanford was speaking about the reason why he plans to turn away South Carolina's portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money. No matter how horrible the unemployment statistics for his state are, Sanford's pride stands far above his constituents needs. I guess it's not like the good ole days when spending money we didn't have on Iraq was admirable and patriotic. In fact it was considered outright unpatriotic to vote against such spending.
In 2006, Democrats became the majority in the Senate, but only by a slim 51-49 margin. Yet, in November of 2008, they voted to exempt corporate communications giants from any responsibility or complicity in The Regime's illegal intrusions into anyone's and everyone's private, public and, far more often than not, non terrorist-linked life.
They provided a loyal opposition, with the emphasis on the word "loyal". "Obedient" opposition would have suited them better.
As already mentioned, the results of the 2008 elections would have given the Democrats no excuse to vote with Republicans. The Regime and its scary cast, starring the beadie-eyed Dick Cheney, were no longer in charge and the official numbers almost ensured that Democrats would finally be able to get populist, pro middle class legislation passed, with or without having to listen to minutes, hours or days of Republican filibustering. That is according to the official November, 2008 election results.
I don't know where I heard the phrase, but I once heard someone express the opinion that Bill Clinton may have been the best Republican president ever.Now it's possible that someday, someone may be able to say that the best Republican Senate ever was the Senate which was part of the 111th Congress. In fact, Indiana's Democratic Senator Evan Bayh says, "If we're going to get 60, we have to have the pragmatists, the moderates in the Senate, in the Democratic caucus working together and reaching out to those on the other side, of like minds..."
Bayh is correct in his premise that there are "moderate Republicans in the senate". Three of them, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania voted for President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which allowed the bill to pass. Considering the spending cuts and tax cuts demanded by the "moderate" Republicans, the bill, already called too small by economists, was even further watered down.
The letter writer shares a great many of the concerns of his fellow Americans, the Americans who told Washington, by way of Obama's overwhelming victory and the seats picked up by Democrats in "The People's House" that they agree strongly with President Obama's plan to place the nation on the road to recovery.