Obama and the Lessons of Not Listening
Passing Obamacare was an overreach of Democratic Party ambition not based upon the majority of Americans’ desires, but an opportunistic play by a filibuster-proof majority to abuse their power and expand government reach.
(by Josef Merrill, Former US Diplomat) -- Quick question: who was the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the beginning of the Great Depression? Answer: who cares, because we only remember that Hoover was President. The Great Depression was Hoover’s legacy because he was supposed to be the responsible adult and it was his watch. This lesson is lost on King Obama in the current impasse with the House of Representatives over the federal budget and extension of the federal debt ceiling.
Why do I say King Obama? Because it is the luxury of a King to ignore the pleadings of the masses and impose his will upon his people. The fact of the matter is that a majority of the US House of Representatives, representing the people of the United States, are concerned about or want to repeal Obamacare. King Obama refuses to even listen to their concerns. Reflecting the mood of the House of Representatives, almost every unbiased poll shows that over 50% of the US electorate either opposes Obamacare or is deeply concerned about it. In response to these glaring concerns, the House of Representatives did not vote to defund Obamacare as a condition to voting for a continuing budget resolution; instead, they asked for a one year reprieve for individual insurance buyers –the same reprieve Obama gave businesses already. They also asked for the elimination of a tax on medical devices that is widely understood to be detrimental to healthcare costs for all Americans. These two simple requests are what King Obama is calling the radical demands of a loose cannon Republican faction.
To the President’s defense, he is trying to implement a law passed by both houses of Congress just a few years ago. How then is he not listening to the will of the people? Because quite frankly, this law only passed in a Congress that was solely elected on the basis of a national repudiation of Bush era government abuse, not a white-hot passion for health care reform. Passing Obamacare was an overreach of Democratic Party ambition not based upon the majority of Americans desires, but an opportunistic play by a filibuster-proof majority to abuse their power and expand government reach. The Obama administration not only fails to recognize this fact, but is buying into its own spin, thinking that their position does not require a careful reexamination of American opinion in order to provide King Obama the power to lead as president with a popular mandate.
If the President still had this popular mandate in favor of Obamacare, why don’t we see that reflected in the House of Representatives? Because Americans know, even if the President does not, that we’re not yet ready for Obamacare. Corporations know that, and successfully lobbied for a one year extension before they had to be compliant. Obama is unwilling to give rank-and-file taxpayers the same extension he already gave corporations. This means that Obama is ramming down the taxpayer throat an insurance buying mandate enforced by a crash and error prone government website that is clearly not ready for prime time.
The US Constitution was designed to force the President to listen to the majority voice of the people so that he would not become a king. This is why we have a House of Representatives. What will undoubtedly follow our current royal unwillingness to listen to the masses, is the continued paralysis of our economy and a failed legacy for a President who was too proud to listen to the people. Whatever happens from this point forward, regardless of who is to blame, it will be long remembered that this was King Obama’s folly. These are just the cold hard facts of history, whether the President is listening or not.
Joe Merrill is an independent voter, author, and education leader. Joe has actively managed various education entities, including an executive position in an $1BN investment fund between the Carlyle Group and Apollo Global. Joe also has held executive positions at John Deere and is a former US Diplomat with assignments in Washington, DC; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Abuja, Nigeria; and Seoul, Korea. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of California, Davis.