A Consummate Master Of the Game

Droppin Science From The Bully Pulpit

Droppin Science From The Bully Pulpit

And  The Game Is Politics!

The  power of the President’s speech on the health care issue last night was such that the veteran reporters on CNN – Candy Crowley, Wolf Blitzer, et al – were clearly breathless with admiration for his oratorical skills.  Yet aside from his verbal virtuosity and powerful baritone voice, Mr. Obama has a fine intellect and proved to be really on top of the details of critical issues regarding health care delivery.   Plus the truth is on his side.  While no one should conclude that he will win over many Republicans – the plutocrats who own the GOP will not be moved because their views are determined by concrete financial interests, and their working class base is so stupid  they are impervious to fact or reason – the President may well have cemented the support of his own party and erased the anxieties of those citizens who have been terrified by Republican horror stories about “death panels” and other outrageous non-sense.

He also cleverly put the Republicans on the spot by his graciousness, giving the devil his due, calling out certain key Republicans and giving them props for positive work they have done on health care issues.  And  judging by John McCain’s response after the speech in an interview with Larry King, the Republican’s will self destruct.  After grinning like a Cheshire Cat when the President gave him props for his ideas about reducing the cost of health care, he told Larry that the President’s speech was too partisan!  And McCain is one of the sanest of the Republicans, in spite of his willingness to entrust the fate of the nation to a mindless Alaskan barbarian who incited mobs to cries for a lynching of the President during the campaign, a shameless charlatan who is clearly willing say or do anything for fame and fortune.

With eloquence and passion the President spoke directly to the American people and pulled no punches as he took on his critics in the Republican Party, exposing their arguments against health care reform as hysterical non-sense and brazen lies.  But the most impressive thing about his argument was that he is ever mindful of what I regard as an immutable axiom: “Politics is the art of the possible!”  Hence the president, like myself, is not interested in any strategy based on Hari Kari.

In American politics, where in spite of arguments to the contrary from radicals on the left and right, elected officials are responsive to the demands of their constituents, and each branch of government checks the abuse of power by the other, one must compromise in order to get things done.  It is all so simple that only a deluded ideologue could fail to dig it.  The US President is not a dictator or a king – thank the Gods! – and thus he cannot wave his hand and make things happen.

In America we must first win the debate  – which is to say win the hearts and minds of the people, who are the ultimate power in our system of government – then we turn our ideas into law!  This is a complex process and to succeed one must render unto God that which is God’s and unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.  And that’s what the President did, he invited the Republicans to present him with any serious ideas they feel are better than the policy options he favors, but he warned the obstructionist that he would tolerate none of their foolishness.  And he made it clear that he will not abandon his promise to provide quality health care to all those whom the insurance industry rejects with a government option!

The President was roundly applauded with a standing ovation…it was a very good show that appears to have united the democratic party – which means there will be a healthcare bill on the President’s desk by December.  And I heartily await the polls on the public’s response.

That Mr. Obama will not be able to reach many Republicans – especially stupid southern Racist like congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina – who called the President a lair from the gallery as he spoke.  But if that dumb redneck had read the bill he would know the President was right!   I am convinced if the Republican’s continue to behave the way they are behaving now, it will hasten their party along the road to becoming a southern regional party composed of poor dumb rednecks.  And I’d bet my bottom dollar that they will never beat President Obama at anythingthing!  Hence I predict that he will get a health care program and much more.


Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

September 17, 20o9

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