It’s Time To Step Up, Mr. President

I hate using cliches; especially such a hackneyed sports derived one as “step up.” But it fits the current state of the health care reform debate. Big Mo, as Poppy Bush once memorably dubbed momentum, seems to be on the side of the pro-public option, uh, side. The estimable Iowan Tom Harkin has, uh, estimated that52 Senators favor some form of public option and that it’s time for the slackers, weenies and namby pampy Dems to get out of the way of the majority. My language, not Senator Harkin’s but I can imagine him using stronger language. One of them is, of course, my senior Senator Mary Landrieu. (Note to Keith Olbermann: it’s pronounced Lan-drooo, not Land-dreau. She’s never played CF for the Twins and Dodgers. End of parenthetical elocution lesson.)

Where was I? SinceAthenae has already handbagged Max Baucus, I’ll take on the role of President Obama in all this. Senators are unruly, spoiled and egocentric children so it’s time for the President to set some limits and tell themwhat he will and will not accept.The refusal of the White House to insist upon some variation on the public option is vexatious at best and foolish at worst. Why? The sucker is increasingly popular, that’s why. It looks as if good politics and good public policy are converging but the White House seems to be leery of getting its hands dirty. It’s time for them to stop wringing their hands and roll up their sleeves. Holy crap, the cliches are flying thick and frakking fast…

I think it’s time for Obama to go LBJ on their asses and twist some arms, call in some chits and pin this sucker down before it slips away. You’ve got to reach for the prize: it doesn’t just fall into your hands like ripe grapes from the vine. You’ve got to work the fucking vinyard to make a decent wine. End of terribly labored agricultural metaphor.

I personally think the President, his gentlemanly demeanor notwithstanding, has the steel to push hard enough to prevail. But great oratory isn’t enough: he needs to be willing to show some Senators their political graves and how their own fortunes will suffer along with those of the Obama adminstration if things fall apart. Holy Joe Lieberman, come on down, you sanctimonious malaka. It’s time for Obama’s refusal to hold a grudge over Lieberman’s 2008 apostasy (an odd term to apply to this Senator but it fits) to be cashed in: get the sumbitch to STFU and at the bare minimum agree to oppose a Republican filibuster. After all, Holy Joe is as politically vulnerable as a hemophiliac in room full of icepicks back home in the nutmeg state, which, btw, is one of my favorite state nicknames. Louisiana should be the roux state as well as the bayou state…

Essentially, it’s time for the White House to kick some ass. Remember what happened 15 years ago when a Democratic Congress defeated a Democratic President’s health care reform package? Annihilation in 1994 and the Gingrichian reign of error on Capitol Hill. And this time there’s no excuse: the Goopers are on the verge of self-destruction and cannibalism. Let them eat their own instead of us this time. Hmm, I wonder how wingnuts taste best: boiled or grilled? Probably neither…

So, Mr. President, step up and produce a health care bill worthy of your oratorical prowess. You have a chance at accomplishing something very important. Don’t settle for the watered down gruel being served by the likes of Max Baucus: give us something substantial and energize the Democratic base for the off-year election in 2010. Pass a shitty bill and there will be major losses: the Paultards, dittoheads, teabaggers and wingnuts will turn out to vote, let’s give our side a reason to be enthusiastic.

End of a rare pep talk from me. The snark will flow again soon and I’ll try skipping the cliches as well: I’ll just play one game at a time and blah and blah and blah…

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4 thoughts on “It’s Time To Step Up, Mr. President

  1. So, Mr. President, step up and produce a health care bill worthy of your oratorical prowess.
    Yay-men. I keep hoping against hope that the plan is to let everything get all muddied up, and then drop the hammer.
    Not holding my breath, tho.

  2. Here’s hoping he’ll hear you Adrastos! This fight is but one in which he needs to step up.
    Afghanistan is another.
    Patriot Act and torture is a third.
    Gitmo is a fourth.
    Time will tell. But I agree with you here:I personally think the President, his gentlemanly demeanor notwithstanding, has the steel to push hard enough to prevail. The question is, prevail to what end?????

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