If the President and the elected Democrats would read this post, I'd tell them to read today's column by Bob Herbert. I'd tell them that this moment is it; this moment is the one that really matters for the future. Stop the theatrics, roll up your sleeves, bar all lobbyists from entering your offices, take off the Beltway Blinders you've grown so accustomed to wearing, and take a good close look at reality.
America is sinking; we've hit the iceberg. Don't bail out the iceberg; bail out America! Damn it! You should have taken over the banks that are "Too Big to Fail" and reorganized them to help the people, not the corporations. You should have bailed out the homeowners who were duped by the Wall Street Bandits, not the Bandits. You should have put money into massive job stimulating programs, not into Wall Street executive's bonus accounts. You should have pushed through real health care reform, not some complex sop to the Medical Industrial Complex.
Maybe it's too late to think you Dems even have a spine and can do anything meaningful. How wonderful that the Supreme Court has upheld the corporationpersons right of free speech. That means you electeds will now be even more controlled by these corporationpersons than you already are.
And Mr. President, with all due respect, you've got the bully pulpit - use it! Enough of this "bipartisan" crap. It doesn't work. Washington is a polarized battlefield video game upon which corporate interests move their pieces by remote control, fueled by massive buckets full of cash, with organized special interest groups cheerleading on the sidelines. The Republican Party is intellectually and morally bankrupt; you Dems appear to be just plain afraid.
To help you put things in perspective, let's look at some numbers for how Americans are doing in the State of Oregon:
Population (2008): 3.8 million people
Poverty level for a 4-person family: $22,050 or less annual income
Poverty rate (2008): 13.6% (516,388 people)
Child poverty rate (2008): 17.5% (148,000 kids)
Child homelessness: 44th worst in the USA; 22,688 homeless children (2.65% of children)
1 in 26 kids (4%) don't know where their next meal will come from
Unemployment rate (December 2009): 11% (approx. 418,000 people)
Number of people whose unemployment benefits will run out (2010): January: 2,500; February: 2,500; March: 15,000
Number of Oregonians without health insurance (2007-08): 16.5% (626,500 people)
This is stunning. This is drastic. This is getting worse, not better. This is not America!
OK, so you lost the 60 votes in the Senate. That's tough, but you need to toughen up. Don't react by weakening the already crappy health care bill. Don't start quaking like an aspen leaf in a breeze. Stand up for the American people. If the Republicans want a fight, take it to them! You've got to stop dancing to the string tugs of money and politics and start acting for the people of this country.