believes President Obama is just about done being proactive. I agree.
The Republican/conservative brightness before the burn out I keep thinking is happening, only gets brighter and brighter, and not in a good way. As the Birthers, Tea baggers, and generally just mad at the world types, descend upon the town hall meetings, I realize that my imagining of their behavior falls quantitatively short of their capabilities.
Then, Ian had this to say:
They took the lesson of the Clinton administration to be "don't enflame (sic)
the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues, and don't slash the
military". They were, of course, wrong: the radical right (and there
is hardly a non-radical right left) will oppose Obama no matter what he
does and if Obama is unwilling to use to the full might of the
administrative apparatus against them, they will simply take advantage
of his weakness to escalate. Tactics which are seen to work, will not
be abandoned, to the contrary, they will be used more and more. don't enflame
the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues
Suddenly, my imagination made a quantum jump that pictured a radical increase in the use of deadly force, with a resultant increase in dead minorities (including gay, lesbian, and transgenders).
Now, I am not about to believe one way or another that President Obama understood this possible scenario. Still, to pick health care as his first major policy push might have been for other reasons besides the time was right. Regardless of whether he recognized it was a policy that could result in the least amount of insanity and violence, in the end, it is what happened.
Ask yourself this; had President Obama picked an African American jurist for the Supreme Court, just what kind of push back do you think would have happened? Unlike health care, an African American nominee to the Supreme Court is a racial element that would have inflamed the radical right even more then the current push for health reform. I don't know about you, but my imagination in this situation includes some serious killings, maybe even a lynching or three.
What? You think that's too far? If there are calls by influential leaders of the radical right for people to bring guns to town hall meetings
, my suggestion of lynchings had President Obama attempted to place an African American on the Supreme Court is going to far? Considering how easy it is for the radical right followers to kill gays, lesbians, and transgenders during less politically decisive times, any push to end DADT, or otherwise legislate equal rights for sexual orientation, would suddenly result in a decrease of killings? We are talking about a section of the electorate that thinks it is funny to print out liberal hunting licenses
So, for whatever reason, President Obama went the path of least resistance. But, Ian is right. No matter what policy the President pursues, the radical right will fight back. And they will use any action they perceive to have already been effective. If the push for health reform does stall, and no bill is forthcoming this year, I too believe the President is dead in the water. He will achieve no further legislative goals. And even if he does pass health care reform, I still believe he's dead in the water, simply because the radical right, already inflamed and instilled with an Armageddon mindset
, will simply believe the end is nigh and make a homicidal/suicidal push. They are going to take as many with them as possible.
In my opinion, any further legislative attempts by the President and violence is assured. It is already occurring
. If President Obama manages to shove a version of health reform through congress, he's going to be faced with one angry, pissed off radical right. He will pretty much be unable to overcome any further resistance because civil unrest is only going to continue. Chances are, it will take up most of his administration's attention.
So, once he's done with as much of the legislative work he can realistically achieve, I suggest he turn his attention to judicial/legal house cleaning. Unleash the Justice Department and force a searching and fearless constitutional inventory of our government. There is a world of hurt in it, with much latent corruption and incompetence set to cause further decades of pain and suffering, thereby weakening our country. If he truly wants to be seen as an agent of change, the more important task he faces is exposure of the past administration's eight years of malfeasance and criminality. Hell, cleaning up the last 30 years of modern conservative governance is one damn fine legacy, if you ask me.
Now, I do not believe President Obama wants that for a legacy. But most people do not get to choose their destiny, it chooses them.