Millions of Americans who supported and voted for President Barack Obama find it difficult to believe what has come over him since he took office. They fully expected him to come into office, take charge of his stated agenda, choose visionaries for his cabinet and put a stop to the lobbyists' strangle hold on Congress. But, instead, they are witnessing a very cautious, low key and wavering approach to the critical issues that he must address.
He appears to be a shadow of the man that stood before America and inspired the people of this nation with a visionary message. On too many occasions he has vacillated in making decisions, he has caved in and changed his position, and he has allowed the Republican minority to control the debate and the agenda with their message of total negativity.
His baptism of fire is rapidly approaching as he faces the defining moments of his presidency. There are no more than three issues that, depending on how he deals with them, will make it clear to the people of America if he actually is the visionary leader they thought he was or if he simply is not up to the job of leading our nation.
This entire issue of bringing health care reform to America can be likened to a three-ring circus with a bunch of clowns in charge. Between our ethically-challenged Congress, the corporate-controlled national media and the bewildering Obama administration, if any effective reform becomes a reality, it will be a near miracle. This entire exercise has been like a roller coaster with enough ups and downs to drive Americans crazy.
Many millions of Americans, 65% or more, favor the much debated and much aligned public option. We watch as senators such as Max Baucus, Charles Grassley, Olympia Snowe and others, both Republicans and Democrats, refuse to follow the wishes of the majority of Americans and, instead, bow down to the health care corporations and their lobbyists. We continue to wait for President Obama to finally step up and take charge of the situation. So far, he has given speech after speech but not only has he refused to make the public option an absolute must but he has not even once been able to explain to Americans exactly what a public option is.
If he continues on his present course, refuses to draw a line in the sand with regard to a public option, will not do some strong arm-twisting of rogue democrats -- and if he ends up signing a health care reform bill that does not include a strong public option -- then he will totally lose his base.