Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Obama: Tragic Hero?

Maybe just tragic.  I get what David is saying, but I think it's not quite right.  I agree that Obama's continued fetish for a bipartisan Washington is tragic, but not because Republican's are such assholes and he refuses to recognize that.  I think that the Republican positioning makes sense.  It is problematic in our political system, but when I vote for someone (as opposed to against someone else) I do so hoping that they will fight for things they (and I) believe in.  Republicans do so.

Yes, most people in this country voted for Democrats, which should mean that we get Democratic governance, but there are lots of people who voted for Republicans, and they don't want Democratic governance.  If we had a parliamentary government, that wouldn't really matter because Democrats would just do whatever they wanted, and if things went well, they would continue to be in power.  If things were to go poorly then we the people would toss them out, replace them with Republicans who would then have a go.

We don't have a parliament, however.  We have a Congress made up of a dysfunctional Senate and a heavily gerrymandered House.  Compromise is ostensibly necessary for anything to get accomplished...particularly for Democrats.

My impression from Obama isn't so much that compromise is necessary and good for a functioning government but rather that compromise produces the best results.  But it doesn't.  There are many health care systems in the world, and we know which work better and worse.  The compromise plan that is Obamacare will not be even close to a best performing system.  It will be a bit better than what we have had, but that's it.  If we wanted a good system, then it would have been Medicare for everyone.

Our government requires compromise, but that is because our system of allotting congress critters and the congresses themselves are dysfunctional.  Seeking compromise as an end in and of itself is really quite stupid.

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