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August 13, 2009

Unhealthy Debate

That we live in unsettled times is hardly news, but here in the republic aspiring to leadership of the "free world,” we seem to be setting new records for political agitation: witness the mobs of generally overweight, affluent-appearing, sign-toting, red-faced, over-fifty citizens intent on disrupting “town hall” meetings hosted by Democratic lawmakers in support of their party’s bid to “reform” our admittedly ailing health care by providing coverage for a large fraction of the soaring millions now without any health insurance whatsoever.

Forget about fair play, or even ordinary civility in this one, as Iowa’s Senator Charles Grassley demonstrated yesterday when he responded to President Obama’s attempt to praise his “bipartisanship” with an outright lie. What the charade told me is that Grassley, an unreconstructed drug war hawk, was simply running true to form, and Obama still has a lot to learn about day-to-day politics inside the Beltway.

In that respect, he’s a lot like Jimmy Carter, who couldn’t learn the required political skills fast enough to save us from the dozen Reagan-Bush years that followed his earnest, but politically naive presidency. I suspect Obama is also an honorable man, but his lack of appreciation for the benefits of pot and his inability to quit his own deadly tobacco habit are worrisome signs that he’s not as astute as I had hoped. He’s in for even more outrageous GOP nonsense on health care; one real possibility is that Republican hubris will finally become so apparent to the small fraction of genuine swing voters in America that the GOP will be hoisted on their own petards in November.

At least, let’s hope so.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at August 13, 2009 06:51 PM