Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Never Waste a Crisis - Next Up: Health Care

By: Kelli Krauss

“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things.” These are the words of Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. It appears that the President, his administration and a willing Democratic Congress are using Emanuel's rule to push through their agenda, without questions, at the expense of the American people.

After Barack Obama became President, he quickly worked to pass his stimulus bill, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He claimed that "A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future," He pushed for such fast action that neither he nor Congress had time to actually read the bill, or maybe they didn't care to, that spent $787 billion dollars. The White House estimates that the government will create a record $1.8 trillion budget deficit this year which is more than four times last year's all-time high.

Since the passage of the stimulus bill, our economy has continued to decline and our unemployment rate is now at 9.4 percent, a 25 year high. Under Obama's plan, the unemployment rate was supposed to peak at 8 percent. The answer President Obama has come up with now is to spend more money even faster, though he admitted in an interview, "Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on health care so far."

Then came the announcement that Supreme Court Justice David Souter will retire in October. Once again, it must be a crisis because President Obama has set a deadline for a vote on nominee Sonia Sotamayor by the start of the Senate's five-week recess in August, and Senator Leahy has obeyed. Leahy announced the confirmation hearings will begin on July 13.

Apparently Senator Leahy made the announcement of the confirmation hearings before letting the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee know the date had been set. The Republicans had urged for the hearings to be set for September since there are ten times as many cases to review than Justice Roberts had. Hearings in September would allow plenty of time for Sotomayor to prepare to take over in early October.

Senator Jeff Sessions has now asked Sotomayor to provide more detail on her questionnaire because some of her answers were incomplete. "The least we can expect is complete and full answers," commented Senator Sessions and six other Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed and joined Sessions in his written request to Sotomayor. The Democrats are following the rule, hold the hearings quickly, while answers are incomplete and no one has time to comb through her records because it's a crisis and, "they are opportunities to do big things."

So now to health care. President Obama is now making the rounds and campaigning (the thing he does best) on fast passage of a health care bill. He said, "We can't afford to put this off," in a meeting with Senate Democrats. "This window between now and the August recess I think is going to be the make-or-break period. This is the time where we've got to get this running."

Once again, we find ourselves with our President lecturing us on the need for fast action. Are we to move so fast again that there will be no time to actually read the bill? What happened to the promised 5 days of bills being out on the internet for the public to browse before being signed? Obama has said that rising health care costs are unsustainable for families, businesses and governments and wants immediate congressional action on a health care bill so it can be passed by the end of the year.

With the current administration, we can expect everything to be a crisis. Immediate action to a crisis with this administration and the Democrats in Congress, enables them to pass legislation or Supreme Court nominees, without any real debate or questions. This just shows that in the arena of ideas and solutions, the Obama administration and the Democrats have none.

So I leave you with Rahm Emanuel's words again, “Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things.” When will the American people wake up and pull the blanket of wool, that Obama and the Democrats have so intricately weaved, off of their eyes?


Anonymous said...

A question of response:
Do we respond with intelligence while using their tactics and methods to an extent?

Today's person in need of convincing seems to respond more readily to ad hominems and straw men than reason and logic clearly stated.

If we can couch our reason and logic in inflammatory frames similar in sound to ad hominems. First, would that be possible?
Second, would we do that?

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