Columns 2009

Message to the Dems… You won – act like it.

Here’s a message I would like someone to take back to the Democratic Party in DC. You won. Yep, you really did. You won. I can see where there are simply not enough media platforms in today’s world to get that news through to you.

This means you should stop acting like losers. Stop letting the people who lost the election define the terms of today’s debates, whether it is health care reform or interrogation techniques. But most especially, health care reform.

It should be an embarrassment to any sentient American that this country, the country we like to think of as the greatest in the world, is incapable of providing its citizens with basic services that citizens of every other first world country take for granted. Heck, even Costa Rica provides health care for its citizens.

The opposition have defined the terms of this debate to the point where any logical, thoughtful discussion is once again lost to catchy phrases that mean nothing but make great sound bites. Death squads, anyone?

Republicans once walked us into a war of choice by defining the terms to their liking and then marching in lockstep as they brought that message across the country. It wasn’t until much later, and in much more subdued tones, that they admitted that yes, in fact it was true that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda. And yes, on second glance at the same material they always had in hand, it was pretty clear there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Think about that. Many years later that war is still costing us the precious life and limbs of our best men and women, soldiers whose courage in protecting us should be handled with an exquisite care that would never send them to die in a war of choice. But you, Democrats, with an enormous majority in both houses of government and a president leading the fight, are unable to convince the majority of Americans that you actually have a coherent plan to provide Americans with universal health care.

France can do it. Germany can do it. England, Canada, Costa Rica… all these countries have figured out how to give their citizens affordable health care. All have health indices better than anything America can present until you come to our senior population where statistically we catch up. Hmm, could that be because seniors have a government health program that guarantees they will receive the care they need?

Yet here sits the Democratic Party, with more power than they’ve had in a generation, still acting as though the school yard bully was going to beat them up at lunchtime.

Did the opposition say they didn’t like the idea of government funded health care? Hey, no problem, we can drop that silly little idea.

Did the opposition say they don’t like single payer options? Well, just consider that gone.

In fact, listening to the Democrats as they propound their idea for health care reform has simply become a joke because there is nothing they propose that they won’t discard if asked to by the Republicans. The Dems seems to think this is called negotiating.

I talked to a long time reader recently who told me that he could never see himself voting Republican. But, he added, given the way the Democrats were acting, he could see sitting out the next few election cycles and not fighting for Democratic candidates the way he had in the last cycle.

This is the real danger the Democrats face. Not that their voters will go over to the dark side, but that they will simply sit on their hands and not do anything to ensure a Democratic win. And why should they when a Democratic win seems to translate into the Republicans still calling all the shots, still defining all the terms of the debate and the Dems bowing and scraping as low as they can to appease them.

Has it been so long since the Democrats won anything that they’ve forgotten how winners act?