Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/12 March on Washington

At 12:34p.m. the Washington D.C. Police Department estimated that the 9/12 March on Washington had grown to over 1.2 million people throughout the course of the day. ABC News is estimating the number at almost 1.5 million.

The American people are fed up with our government's spending and control. Conservatives, moderates, and Democrats alike are standing up against a public option health care bill, cap-and-trade legislation, higher taxes, and destructive spending.

What a great display of "Power to the People."


  1. It's certainly good to see conservatives becoming popularly involved like this, going to protests and all, after spending the last 8 years generally bad-mouthing anti-war protests as un-American or un-patriotic. While I certainly have to dispute your 1.2-1.5 million figure (DC Fire is reporting 60-70K), there are a lot of angry people with a wide variety of qualms about the president's policies.

    Of course, protests aren't really great places for rational debate, and have a massive tendency to simplify everything into either "[Blank] is a Nazi!" or "We want our country back and Congress to start listening to us!" I went to a few protests through college and have to say I'm disillusioned by them. They push the craziest of the crazies into the spotlight for a few hours and the rest of the people with legitimate grievances and well-thought out opinions get lost in the chanting and rowdy, one-line slogans.

    I was definitely surprised though. There were far fewer conspiracy-nut birthers there that I thought, but the sheer number of Obama is a Maoist, Stalinist, Socialist, Communist Nazi were certainly disheartening. Of course, the left was no stranger to those comparisons during the Bush years.

    You have a right to scream and yell and march, but that in no way means Congress or the president will listen. That's why people vote, I guess.

    As long as we can get away from demonizing each other and have a rational discussion on major issues, our country will stay strong. We'll only become weaker as a democracy if we allow people to be shouted down by the louder, crazier side (whoever that may be).

    I worked a bit with the DNC for the past month with health insurance reform advocacy and was surprised by the number of independents and even Republicans that were coming to the health care rallies in favor of not just reform but of a public option - even threatening to vote against Dems if the PO isn't passed. You can't really split people down the center anymore and it's hard to gauge support for policies quickly becaues of the tendency for the smartest people to stay home from protests and rallies.

  2. Both sides want reform. That is not the issue.

    It's the nuts and bolts of the process.

    Honestly, I have never seen a movement of this magnitude. The American electorate has, almost single-handedly, changed the course of policy. It doesn't take a math wiz to understand the numbers in the House and Senate. The Democrats could have had something months ago.

    But, as we have seen, health care is a potential game changer for both parties. And if played poorly, possibly even political suicide.

    Reform must and will happen. However, the public option is as good as dead and for good reasons. We have the American people to thank for that and it has been a long time since we could say that.

  3. Yes, Americans of many stripes played a role in the hit job on the public option, but certainly don't overlook the massive contributions of health care/insurance lobbying. Our representatives certainly aren't going to bite the hand that feeds them.

  4. Even months ago, I'm not quite sure reform could have been passed any easier with a public option. The polls have been all over the place and it seems it depends entirely on the way you ask the questions - whether you call it a "government-run option" or liken it to allowing younger Americans to buying into a Medicare-light program. I still think the insurance interests would have played hugely into the minds of many reps. There's just so much money out there going into Congress it's hard to really reform any major industry (and we still desperately need to reign in the financial industry).

    I think the problem with the public option was not popular resistance to affordable health care for all Americans through the assistance of a government-offered program, not the GOP and right-wing led smear campaign (featuring "Death Panels"), but Obama's casual, laid back approach to taking on reform. He came out of the gate slowly, thinking Republicans would sign on to the bill in droves if he could just smooth talk them and throw a few amendments in to placate them. He was obviously wrong and it was a terrible policy. He failed to go strong out of the gate and relentlessly press his own party to pass the bill. The Dems have the votes, but he's swayed so much on it, they're not afraid of being pinched. This is one case where he should have drove hard for the reform he wanted, run over the opposition, and whipped his party in line.

    In short, he should have owned health insurance reform from start to finish and let the American people judge the efforts in 2010 and 2012.

    He's so consumed with being a post-partisan president that it makes him seem weak and ineffectual in getting his agenda passed.

  5. I agree, in part, with a majority of what you said.

    However, I do not believe that Obama is consumed with being a post-partisan president.

    I think his inexperience and his policiies are being seen for what they are; tragic and costly. Obama speaks a HUGE game but is the worst executioner when it comes to throwing down the hammer on issues.

    The "health care speech" this past Wednesday was a great example of his inability to lead and his unwillingness to step across the aisle. As Americans listened (for a grueling 45 minutes...his first mistake) to Obama, we heard a hardlined message for bipartisan support and an urgency to stop political "bickering." However, a majority of his tone was talking AT instead of TO the GOP. He ridiculed "conspiracy theorists," called the GOP liars (before, rightfully, being called one himself), and played the blame game on the Bush Administration for the "mess" that we are in (for the umpteenth time). He even related health care spending (pathetically) to the spending for the war on global terrorism.

    Health care reform, and the way it has been handled, will be the downfall of the Obama Administration. He'll move onto cap-and-trade legislation (a crime in its own) and other global warming hysteria bills that choke our freedoms even more. In a last ditch effort to produce, Obama will sign his own death certificate...and this one we'll actually see.

  6. Wait a second, I was following you up until that last line...

    "Obama will sign his own death certificate...and this one we'll actually see."

    You've got to be kidding me. Is this an allusion to the birther movement? Are you contending that Obama may not be citizen and thus not the legitimate president of the United States? Are you sir, a birther?

    I know you have serious doubts about the moon landings (of which I think are crazy), but please tell me you are not a birther.


  7. I'm not a birther. I'm sure he is legit.

    I just think it's a little odd that he won't supply his own birth certificate. People are wasting time/money in our courts system to challenge his citizenship. It is irresponsible, especially for someone in his position, to allow this nonsense to go on.


"If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs." - Theodore Roosevelt