Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Summer of Blah

I'm not sure if I've said everything I want to say as a Mormon liberal, but I do have to admit that I am completely uninspired by politics and politicians right now. Maybe it is the vacations and scout camp and personal issues, but this has been a summer of blah, as far as politics go.

We are a nation of people that want the military out of the Middle East, and yet we can't get out. There seem to be no new ideas about how to "win" or even "make progress." At least before we knew what the goal was, make a democracy in Iraq and get rid of the Taliban in Afghanistan. They were sloppy goals, to be sure, but we did them -- kind of. Now our military is stuck in a no man's land having achieved those goals by the letter of the law, but not by the spirit of the law. And so, blah.

We are a nation of people that want health care reform and a public option, and yet nothing is being done about it. Despite all the rhetoric and vitriol saying it wouldn't be this way anymore, we are a nation still run by special interests and neat little political one-liners of dubious veracity. Opposing political parties are more interested in torpedoing good ideas for political wins than listening to the American people and getting results.

Tens of millions of Americans, including millions of American children, are without basic health coverage. Millions are forced into bankruptcy as a result of catastrophic illnesses and injuries. Premiums are rising three times faster than wages. The system is broken. It doesn't work. But the insurance companies, those very faces of evil itself, are so rich and powerful nothing is getting done. All we talk about is how socialist health care reform would be, which of course is code for "don't you dare hurt the insurance companies!" I find it all despicable.

Plus I went from the Oregon coast (temperatures: 60s and beautiful) back to Salt Lake (temperature: 350 degrees).

So its the summer of blah. The American people appear to be completely powerless to ensure that the programs and goals they want accomplished are actually realized. Is there enough frustration out there to make a difference? Is Obama the president that can shake us from our funk? I thought the answer to both questions was yes a few months ago, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm just in a bad mood.


Andrew said...

I hear you, but at the same time I think we're making progress towards these things. In Iraq they're still operating under the Status of Forces agreement:

Status of Forces Agreement

We're now waiting to see what the result will be with the referendum on the agreement:

Referendum on SOFA

On healthcare, I think Obama has really stepped up his efforts to get things moving. I haven't read all the bills yet myself, but by all accounts the "public" option is alive and well and will probably make the final bill. Stalling is the tactic at work now; we can blame the Blue Dogs and Republicans for that. Just today Pelosi announced that she's inclined to keep Congress in session past the date for their recess in order to finish healthcare reform. All in all I'd say the administration is doing a pretty good job; not doing things the way I'd do them, but light years better than anything McCain would have cooked up.

peter said...

I ran across this opinion column in The Arizona Republic today and I really liked it so I thought I'd share. It's on healthcare and the current debate.


Steve M. said...

I have to admit that I too have been underwhelmed with the White House and Democratic majority in Congress. I for one favor a single-party health care system, but that is certainly not on the table. I fear that any health care bill that makes it into law will cost a lot but not change much of anything.

I'm also tired of seeing the Obama administration waffle on War on Terror issues. Obama has already borrowed too many pages from Bush's playbook.

Richard X said...

It really feels like healthcare is gonna happen. Obama is going to push it through. It will take longer than desired but it's going to happen.

The war front is different. Hard to know when that job is "done."

Josh said...

Apparently our politicians are in a "blah" mode too. Even our President has nothing to do, so he makes an asinine comment about the arrest of a beligerant man, saying that an excellent cop - one that lectures about racial profiling at college level - acted stupidly by enforcing the law.

Gwen said...

To be fair, those that advocate for something other than a public option aren't all "evil" insurance corporations. I for one, am still concerned at how just expanding Medicare, without doing anything to curb costs, constitutes any kind of real reform at all. That appears to be the option on the table as of late. The price of health care will still rise, because the government will be doing more to subsidize it, and those with private health insurance will continue to pick up a higher tab because of it.

Josh said...

Jake, you take all of the fun out of things by not responding to the little playful prods! He did do something worthwhile that same week. He called and personally congratulated a pitcher for throwing a perfect game! How Presidential. Oh yeah, and then he invited the white racist cop and the poor picked on black professor to the national trailor house for a beer. I swear, after that, the next liberal that calls me a redneck gets slapped!

Jacob S. said...

I honestly haven't been following that story at all. It just seemed so stupid and I am already burnt out on stupid news for the summer. It was obviously not smart for the president to get involved. But, come on, a black man trying to get into his own house in an upscale white neighborhood is arrested after he gets upset when cops come up and ask what he's doing there? You can't begrudge us a little suspicious.

And are you saying that if you were president of the United States and a player for your favorite sports team did something historic you wouldn't call? I'd call, I'd invite him over to the White House, I'd make sure every American knew about it. I'm President, damnit, its a hard job, and I'm going to enjoy it from time to time.

Josh said...

The baseball comment was thrown out there because I knew it would catch your attention.

As for the other thing, I'll drop it.