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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Public Option Spells Success or Failure for the Obama presidency!!!

If you listen to the tube, the Public Option in the health care struggle is doomed. This cannot be allowed to happen!! The loss of the Public Option will mean the Obama administration will be a failed administration, likely a one-term presidency. Universal health care was the center piece of his campaign. Forty-seven million Americans, many of whom are employed, have no health care. More than seven in 10 home foreclosures are the result of medical expenses. This is a working class issue. Health care is a high priority for the black community and everyday Americans. It is common knowledge that the present model is unsustainable. Reform is a must. The only way to reform it is with the public option. Failure on this issue portends future failures and therefore, a failed administration.

Given Obama’s stunning successes to this point, it is hard to envision a failure. He won over the American people. At one point his approval ratings were nearly 70%. The public thought well of his selections for his Cabinet and major advisors. They trusted him with the economy. On the world stage he triumphed, whether it was Europe, Latin America, Egypt or Ghana, he restored much of America’s prestige.

In the election, he won going away! Thinking people in America trusted him. His race notwithstanding, they trusted him. He was charismatic. He was intelligent. He was competent. He was also Cool. A majority of the American people, African Americans, Latinos, Asians and a plurality of whites put him over the top. That 70% approval rating was no doubt made up of some of that white majority that did not vote for him. Obviously, now that his approval ratings are in the mid-50s, it is safe to assume that it is some of that white majority that is slipping away.

Much of that slippage is a direct result of a campaign of misinformation by lobbying fronts for the health care industry. As stated on the Huffington Post this is a battle between the Obama party and the Fox party. The Fox party must be defeated. It is the Fox party that drummed up the Tea-baggers, the “birthers” and the” deathers.” By appealing to their whiteness, Fox has “awakened a sleeping giant.” Giants who "want their country back." Giants who do not want "this country turning into a socialist Russia." They want the "Constitution followed."

This is the struggle. It is a struggle that Obama must win. The compromise all along has been the public option as opposed to the preferable single payer. It is the Fox party that is the party of “No” when it comes to health care. The lobbyists and their right wing recruits have joined Fox to derail reform. It is the Fox party that fans the flames of racism. Even though he is not alone, Glenn Beck of Fox News is the major stoker of white nationalist sentiments. His characterizations of President Obama as a Hitler, a fascist, and a racist, among other things, show up on signs at town hall meetings.

That being said, the administration cannot lose on this. The administration must prove that when the stakes are down, the more progressive side of the aisle must win one for the people, for the citizenry not the corporations. Congressman Keith Ellison D-MN and former Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean make a compelling case that any reform and does not include a public option is no reform at all. The Obama party must beat back the lies of the Fox party. They lie about how the people of England feel about the National Health Service. The Obama administration and Democratic party must be” the change we have been waiting for,” a change that was a rejection to caving in to America’s right wing.

The Public Option must be saved. Write/call your senators and representatives. Demand keeping the public option. Write op-ed pieces. Attend town hall meetings. Save the public option. Obama must win the public option. The success of his presidency depends on it. As Thom Hartman says: “Tag, you are it!!!” RGN

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