Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Giant Leap

I watched the House of Representatives pass the Senate amendments to the health care bill. It's hard to put into words exactly how I feel. When I think of the fact that FDR, Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton tried and failed to get any meaningful health care reform passed, I stand in awe of the Democratic leadership and the current President of the United States. I have, at times, been extremely critical of the Democrats and the President over the past year because of there perceived lack of commitment to reform. I berated them for throwing single payer overboard before the fight had even begun. I berated them for trying to find some compromise with the Republicans. I berated them for giving up the public option when they were only fighting against themselves. I berated my fellow bloggers for losing faith. There have been times when I was sure that nothing was ever going to get done. There have been times when I have lost faith in the White House. There have been times when the thought of health care reform seemed an unreachable goal. I stand humbled today. Government can indeed work for the people. Government can indeed make a positive difference in the lives of its citizens. Sometimes I think we lose sight of that fact. This bill is of course not everything we wanted, but as with Civil Rights, once the ball starts rolling, it is very hard to stop. One step will inevitably lead to another and then another. The first one is always the hardest. And now 75 years after FDR first tried to get universal health coverage for all Americans, we have finally taken our first steps toward that lofty goal.

Thank you Nancy Pelosi. Thank you Harry Reid. And thank you Mr. President. This is what leadership looks like. Let's not forget that the next time the Republicans decide to take up arms against the public good. Let's not forget what it feels like to be able to tell the American people that their government actually works for them. And remember, never stop fighting until the fight is done. Here endeth the lesson.

P.S.
Now let's do something about the absolutely criminal condition of our public schools. I have no idea how this country can perpetuate a system that arms only those children who are fortunate enough to live in wealthy districts with the tools needed to compete in a global economy. How do we allow a de facto "separate but equal" policy in education to exist? Something needs to be done now!
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13 comments:

tnlib said...

It's a mighty good feeling, isn't it? And it's fun to watch the Republicans turn yellow and blanch.
But they just keep on lying.

I agree with you about the schools.

Manifesto Joe said...

I have been disheartened by how watered-down the new law is. I have been for single-payer for well over 30 years, and had hoped for so much better. But this will have genuine benefits for people like me. Something is better than nothing. And, I am happy to see the Republicans in a dither, and the media moguls like Joe Klein of Time magazine having to admit that this president is no Jimmy Carter. Not that Jimmy was so bad in hindsight, but they were trying to hang the "ineffectual" thing on this guy. They can't anymore.

Sue said...

My thoughts exactly Mycue! Hear, Hear!

It happened last night kinda quietly didn't it? The signing will be a big deal though, I'm looking forward to that! You are right about Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. What they have accomplished is huge and I hope ALL Americans will come together to realize this dream!

Did you hear what our new Republican gov. wants to do to the schools in New Jersey? He is cutting state aid to schools which will cause tremendous hardships, teacher layoffs, crowded classrooms etc. ALL the while giving a HUGE tax cut to those making over 400,000! This is what happens when we put thugs into office, WAKE UP people!!

SJ said...

I stubbed my two in the dark at some time after 2is in the morning last light half asleep, it was one of those blows when you think you might have sheared your pinky toe off in the lightless dark (On a weightlifting bench I haven't touched in two years no less).
Muttering I made it to the kitchen to wet a towel with cold water and then started laughing when I thought about the vote only a few hours earlier...

Mycue23 is absolutely right. It has to start somewhere, and the theatrical anger of the GOP and the fools they've lied to about this bill is an indication that this LAW is not symbolism, or a capitulation, but a victory for Americans represented by no lobby, no special interest -just they people they voted for.

-SJ

SJ said...

"stubbed my toe."

SJ said...

Rife with Typos.

MMA's editable comments have spoiled me rotten.
-SJ

Sue said...

SJ, You sound like me when I was taking Ambien and trying to type at the same time! LOL

Holte Ender said...

Yea, lets a have a little celebration, and move on, don't want make the GOP mad.

SJ said...

@Holte,
they're already pretty crazy.. oh wait, you meant angry... also applicable I think.
-SJ

TomCat said...

MyCue, I fully agree. But now that health care reform has passed, it's time to go to work on health care reform. This is just the beginning.

Jack Jodell said...

SJ, I share your joy and sense of wonderment, but we still have a long way to go, as is pointed out in my current post...

Jack Jodell said...

I meant to address my comment to Mycue23. Sorry for the carelessness, guys!

Mycue23 said...

I totally agree, Jack. But as I said in the post, the first step is always the hardest. Every Democratic President since FDR has tried, at least to some extent, to take that step and everyone has failed. It is an achievement that needs to be celebrated. Of course there is more to be done, but at least those steps can now be taken from a running start.