… is that he might be the best this country can do.
If the standard-bearer of the Democrat party, the “most liberal” president, is someone who would pass healthcare reform without actually regulating insurance companies while at the same time mandating all U.S. citizens buy into a broken system of for-profit healthcare, run by the largest corporations in the world, then that demonstrates a pretty sorry state of liberalism (never mind real progressive change). For some myth-debunking (for those who think it’s truly transformative) about the healthcare bill, see Jane Hamsher’s Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill.
An even greater indication of Obama’s failure to live up to the promise of his presidency is that he came out immediately in support of the Schumer-Graham immigration bill, which is a draconian framework for immigration reform that entails all citizens to get an identification card with biometric information on it as well as further militarizing the U.S./Mexico border (among other things).
Tack on top of that an escalation of the Afghanistan war (whose surge of 30,000 troops alone costs $30 billion), the bailout of Wall Street, and so on … is this the best candidate that “progressives” can get?
The scary thing is that supposedly “liberal/progressive” organizations, like Planned Parenthood and the Reform Immigration for America have come out SUPPORTING passage of both of these extremely problematic pieces of legislation. Despite Obama creating a signing statement to deny federal funds for abortion, Planned Parenthood has declared the passage of the healthcare bill in the House to be a “Victory!”, describing it as a “huge victory for women’s health”.
It appears (perhaps unsurprisingly) that organizations that are so desperate for any sort of victory that they’ll accept anything that even addresses their agenda. That, or these institutions have such a craving to be associated with those with real power that they’ll carry all sorts of water. In any case, real reform has gotten that much harder to reach.
This post was written by Jeff Napolitano on March 22, 2010