With the summer winding down, a fresh season of politics is looming right around the corner. At this time last year the pending American Election served as a "morphine drip" for news addicts while parliament and Congress were not in session. In August of 2009, the news cycle has been relatively quiet, at least in Canada. South of the border however, it would appear that the temperature has been turned up on the Obama Administration.
These "town hall meetings" stirring up anti-Obama sentiment have been keeping Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher in business during an otherwise slow news cycle. While some opinion makers are delighting in branding these "protestors" as lunatics who spend too much time watching Glenn Beck re-runs, the truth is that they are voicing their opinion in a peaceful and legal way. Meanwhile, the real lunatics who were rioting in Minnesota during the Republican convention, well they are okay. Janine Garafoolo would defend the crazies throwing trash cans through windows because their anger is justified through her eyes, and people who are worried about Government taking over health care, they are bigoted remnants of the KKK. It is all about perspective.
Truth be told, there are lunatics on both sides of the aisle. I'm just not convinced that the people raising their voices at town hall meetings are being irrational in any way. On the other hand, those people who have convinced themselves that Obama was not born in the USA are a great deal more "unhinged" than people who are opposed to "Obama Care". Personally, since I do not live in America, I don't much care about these particular domestic policies. I have no complaints about my Canadian Health Care. Last year I required a CT scan, and it was done within a week. I saw a specialist a week after my CT scan, and was cured in a month. If I need to see a doctor, I can do so right away with a minimal wait. The longest that I have had to wait to see a doctor in the last 5 years was 20 minutes. Granted, my opinion on the effectiveness of the Canadian system would likely change if I were to be afflicted with cancer, but as it is the system has served me well.
That which I find uncomfortable about the Health Care debate in the USA is the manner in which the Administration and its supporters are attacking their detractors. To suggest that anyone who disagrees with Liberal doctrine is stupid does not sound to me like a "new era of bipartisanship". I remember during the campaign how Obama spoke often about absorbing opinion from both sides when drafting legislation. I'm not seeing any negotiation with Republicans to reach a compromise. It is evident that what Obama meant by bipartisanship is that Republicans should unequivocally support his policies whether they agree with them or not. To disagree is a sure sign of stupidity.
I can recall watching Obama's victory speech at the Democratic convention, listening to all his policy promises, thinking that somebody should be tallying a price tag at the bottom of the screen. Cap and trade, price tag. National health care, price tag. Greater welfare payouts, price tag. And so on and so forth. Then to say that he would cut taxes for 95% of Americans despite making obscene spending promises was laughable. Even Dalton McGuinty didn't buy that Obama would be able to afford his campaign spending promises! It was never going to work. I have defended George Bush in the past on certain policy matters, but he was a major disappointment to fiscal conservatives who would like to see government spending minimized. Bush essentially bankrupted the treasury just in time for Obama to win an election with the most ambitious spending agenda the Oval Office has ever seen. Jim Cramer was raked over the coals by his fellow Liberals for suggesting that Obama was trying to do too much too soon. Granted, I trust Jim Cramer more than I trust Jon Stewart.
As concerned as I was at the pending Obama victory and what socialist policies would follow him, I felt strangely at peace with him winning last November. Despite my opposition to his agenda, my opinion at the time was just let him do what he said he would do, it would not work, and his failure would swing the pendulum back to the right. If he wants to be Jimmy Carter 2.0, let him. Let the Bill Maher’s of the world defend the impending failures, because Conservatives would benefit. Just because I do not believe that the Kyoto Protocol is not worth the paper it is printed on, does not mean that I am stupid. To the contrary, I have a University Degree, and I’m sure Joe Biden would love to know that my IQ was officially tested north of 130. Seriously? How could I possibly score in the upper echelon of intelligence if I oppose Obama’s policies? Shouldn’t my opposition signal that I am stupid and not worthy of a public opinion? History has proven that communism does not work, but I suppose presenting real evidence that Obama is running full speed down a slippery slope would only prove my stupidity. Like when an intelligent Liberal analyst presents his educated opinion that Obama is doing too much too soon, within a week he is savaged on the Daily Show. I suppose if I were an opinion maker that people actually listened to, I could look forward to being ridiculed by Jon Stewart in the near future.