With a lot of fanfare, but very little reason for it, it looks like Obama is going to get his top domestic policy accomplished this year. Health care for most. And since I can't really put things in sarcastic finger quotes here, I'll just say it like this: "Huzzah."
This is a mutt of a bill -- a Frankenstein mish-mash of ideas that could have been, and should have been, a hell of a lot better than it actually is.
Yes, Harry Reid had to tickle Ben Nelson's undercarriage, and play patty cake with dour opportunist Joe Lieberman to make it happen.
Yes, an aide to equally weaselly Bart Stupak reached across the aisle -- and the legislative branches -- to try to sink the health care bill when it wasn't nearly as oppressive and anti-choice as he was hoping for.
All these Democrats, working in a bi-partisan manner with conservatives... to water down a bill, or to attack a woman's right to choose, or to protect insurance company interests. It's ridiculous. And yeah, these people deserve our scorn.
But blaming the democratic party as a whole, and blaming Obama for not being able to wrangle 60 senatorial cats in a burlap sack, is a little unfair.
I may not like every person with a "D" in front of their title, and I do not vote for every "D" I see. In 2008, I voted for Obama, because I was sick of a Republican party that shifted way right on me, and started cramming an "our way or the highway" point of view down my throat.
And that Republican party hasn't changed. If anything -- by catering to birthers and evangelical hard-liners, they have gotten worse.
Every single Republican has lined up against this bill. Am I supposed to believe there wasn't ONE Republican that wanted to make this work in either the house or the senate?
Forty senators cannot agree on anything. Except, of course, that they want their White House back. And that's what this is all about.
These people with the "R" in front of their name lined up in unison at the beginning of this presidency, not over fighting any specific bill -- they were fighting against ALL of them. They lined up in unison because they wanted Obama to fail. Not over health care. Not over climate change. They just want him to fail. Period.
It is that simple.
They wanted this to be, as lunatic Republican theocrat Jim DeMint said, the "waterloo that would break him." It may still yet.
It's not a flaw in the Democratic party that they had to compromise to get 60 of their members to agree on a piece of legislation. That's what a big tent is about. I, nor should any American, want the important debates of our day to be dictated without debate and dissent.
It is a flaw in the current version of the Republican party that not a single representative or senator had the stones to vote for it. Not one. Everyone of these weak-willed individuals were in such fear of being lambasted --by the tea party, by the conservative media, by idealogues in their own party -- that none of them had the courage to say, "You know what? I'll vote for it if you include XXX."
So yeah, we can all be disappointed in what this bill is, because of what this bill could have been.
But when I think about why it's not -- as much as I'd like to leave a bag of burning dog crap on the doorsteps of people like Nelson and Lieberman... they, and the party in power, are not completely to blame for what happened here.
It's not the Democrats, who allowed dissent and debate, and were trying to accomplish a goal that a majority of Americans elected them to do that did this thing.
It's the Republicans who are running the next election campaign on every bill that comes through the House and Senate, that were the biggest roadblocks to what it seems a majority of Americans wanted.
So, no. I won't blame Obama for that. There are plenty of other things going on that have lessened my enthusiasm for this President. But on the issue of health care, I think he had no choice to be a pragmatist in the face of an enemy with a drone-like mindset of a Star Wars storm trooper.
And I will not have selective memory of that, come 2010 and 2012.