It’s hard to catalogue all of the whining that our President and other members of his party have made because a) the Republicans have opposed their agenda (health care, cap and trade, card check, etc.) and b) it has not passed as a “consequence” of this.
If we look at this objectively, however, we come to realise that this cannot stand, and this piece is to demonstrate why.
Considering the Obama Administration’s agenda, we see the central desire of any elitist snob: to make the U.S. a Europe on the other side of the Atlantic. (And let’s be clear, snobs: we are the other side of the Atlantic.) Just ticking of the agenda (as in the first paragraph) should make this clear: our “best and brightest” would like universal state-furnished health care, trade unions representing the workforce, and everyone taking mass transit to their jobs (note I didn’t say, “taking mass transit to work.”)
It makes sense, therefore, that a European style objective should be obtained with a European style process, and the Obama Administration was gifted in the 2008 election with the potential to do just that. The process is familiar to anyone who understands how parliamentary systems work. You have the majority, “the Government.” They prepare and propose a program, elucidated by a “speech from the throne.” The minority, “the Opposition,” has the job of opposing this. Assuming that the majority passes its agenda, it stands or falls upon the success of that agenda in the next election. The whole concept of “bi-partisanship” in this kind of system is rubbish.
The Democrats, lead by their de facto Prime Ministers Obama, Pelosi and Reid (first problem: there’s more than one) had the White House and both houses of Congress. They gilded the lily by having a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, if you count their coalition partners (one Socialist, one Independent.)
Personally, I’m good with this concept. That’s why I proclaim myself as an elitist snob. They won the election, they pass their agenda, then they stand or fall based on its success or failure. Sounds simple to me. I don’t like the Democrats’ agenda, but hey, if Americans are dumb enough to vote for this, they deserve to suffer the consequences. I figured this would roll forward with little meaningful opposition.
It didn’t. Their explanation is that there is no “bi-partisanship” because the Republicans wouldn’t do anything but say “no.” But, in the European/elitist snob scheme of things, the Republicans filled their part of the bargain. As the Opposition, their job is to say no and wait until the Government goes down the tube with their agenda and they get back into power.
The core problem the Democrats are having is that they’re trying to forward an agenda that is not acceptable to their entire coalition. Before they set off on this adventure, wisdom would indicate that they should have surveyed their own people and figured out what would pass. Had they done this, they could have passed a great deal with the Republicans left with, to use Mao Zedong’s phrase, “gesticulating and criticising.”
Lesson from this: don’t entrust a European agenda to a group of people who are simply overconfident Americans with a view of themselves as exceptionalistic as their opposition has of the country. Maybe they should start by overhauling our system of government and getting a parliamentary system where this would play out like it’s supposed to. Personally I’m good with that too, but I doubt seriously that the country would be the better for it, which is why I support a party whose inclinations don’t always square with my instinctive desires.