My brother Dan and I had a spirited debate as I drove back from Winston-Salem today. He started off with a conspiracy theory (here we go…) that Obama was “briefed” for two days shortly after being elected, and was somehow influenced to do a 180 on all his campaign promises. I was lit and ready to go at it…
Dan: OK, name something that Obama has done since he was elected.
Mike: He started off broadsided by the bank and automaker bailouts for one…
Dan: He was done with that in 3 months!
Mike: No way, that was major stuff, and is still having to be carefully managed.
Dan: He has others to do that. What else?
Mike: Off the top of my head, health care reform and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Dan: Health care was so watered down that it’s useless, and will be repealed by Republicans. They had full Democratic control for two years and got nothing done! He promised real health care reform and we didn’t get it. Every time in the past when one party controlled, they got lots done!
Mike: They tried, even tried to force through a vote, but couldn’t get 2/3 majority. Remember them courting Olympia Snowe, etc. etc.
Dan: They don’t need 2/3, only half, which they had.
Mike: No that’s not good enough.
Dan: They only need 50% but the Republicans can filibuster without 2/3 majority.
Mike: There you go.
Dan: They should have done it! The American people would have been outraged by Republicans dragging out slow readings for 3 days!
Mike: No it wouldn’t have worked.
Dan: and the reinvestment act, I’ll give you that one little thing…
Mike: It wasn’t little, it was huge! Progress Energy got $200 million to invest in improving the electric grid. Etc etc.
Dan: He didn’t get us out of Iraq, he didn’t close Gitmo, he didn’t pass substantial healthcare… and the Republicans got lots of stuff done!
Mike: He switched to Afghanistan as he said he would, he promised to close Gitmo, and they DID pass healthcare reform.
Dan: He didn’t close Gitmo when the time came. How come Republicans can get so much done?
Mike: They’re not getting anything done, they are just dismantling. It’s easy to destroy. Obama has been working hard since day 1. Look at his accomplishments… wikipedia covers every day, they are filled with progress.
(research on first few days’ accomplishments)
Dan: George Bush didn’t let Democrats stop him. “I’m the decider”. He just passed executive orders and did whatever he wanted! Obama should do the same! He needs to stop trying to cross the aisle.
Mike: That’s the difference! Legislators used to work together. We don’t want to give up on that. There are some good Republican fiscal-conservative ideologies. There are lots of good reasons to use a free market approach. Debt is bad. Etc etc.
Dan: Democrats should just work together to get stuff done.
Mike: Everyone who wants to build has to carefully prioritize and balance all needs. Every person that does it will come up with a slightly different prioritization. It isn’t easy. It’s so easy to destroy, create fear, criticize, find fault.
Dan: Republicans are so good at creating slogans to do that.
Mike: Yeah and modern Republicans have one strong shared agenda: dismantle government. It’s easy to work together – dismantle my issue this week, yours next. If it doesn’t go perfectly, so what, we’ll just move on to the next thing… it’s so simplistic. When you are trying to create progress, any mistake is going to be easily called out as massive waste by your critics. You always have to do things right every time, or you’ll get shredded.
Dan: And it’s so easy to fool most people. There was an email with quotes from Obama’s book saying he didn’t love his mother. I researched it, all lies. I sent a reply but they probably didn’t read that. Everyone just buys right into that crap…
Mike: I agree with you that Obama could be more aggressive. We need a leader who is willing to get out the machette when needed to cut through the blockades that will always be there. But it’s hard work to build. What we need to do is show people truth, slowly convince them that voting Republican is not what they think it is, not in their best interest. But it’s hard when it’s hidden in so much noise and fear/uncertainty/doubt…
I’m paraphrasing… I was pretty agitated, I hope I wasn’t too belligerent and got my point across, what do you think, good people… :-)
I’m off to read more of the day-by-day Obama wikipedia entries, good stuff…