July 1, 2009

Political Will

President Obama, from today's Health Care Town Hall:
One of the great things about this country is .... we've got a system, that's sometimes hard to change, kind of bogged down, and part of that is the way the Constitution is designed, it has served us well, we don't have coups and all kinds of governments collapsing all the time. But the disadvantage sometimes is that it's hard for us to make big bold steps. But the great thing about the system is that every once in awhile, when we finally hit a point where things just aren't working at all, we are able to generate the political will to finally get things done. That's how we got social security: after the great depression, nobody had pensions or protections and people started realizing, "We can't have a country where suddenly older Americans are just on the streets. After working hard all their lives." And finally we got social security. And then people said, "We can't have older Americans who don't have any health care." And we got Medicare. At every juncture, when we finally need to make a change, we make a change. This is one of those times. So don't be scared about the future. Let's embrace the future.
Does the country have the political will to own and bail out private companies, and also the political will to rid the nation of large vehicles (CAFE standards), and also the political will to tax carbon energies and completely revamp our power grid, and also the political will to redesign our nation's health care/insurance system, and also the political will to strike down the Defense of Marriage act?

I doubt it.

I think the President has already found out that we did not have the political will to leave Iraq within 100 days of his taking office, or close Guantanamo Bay, or close down military tribunals. And was it he, himself, who lacked the political will to put bills on public display for five days before voting on them? Was it the President who lacked the political will make his Administration Open and Transparent? And what happened to his political will when it came to stopping pork barrel spending and putting pork projects online for all to see.

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