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September 16, 2009

Enough Already…

Kevin E. Dayhoff

In the last week, we have witnessed a full-court press by President Barack Obama, in his efforts to push forward broad sweeping health care reform. He’s everywhere. He’s everywhere…


This weekend will witness the president appearing on five Sunday morning shows. I’m not making this up.


Writing for the web site, Mediaite, Steve Krakauer snarked: “Do you feel like you haven’t seen enough of President Barack Obama lately? It’s been nearly two days since his last speech! Well if you need your Obama fix – get ready for the commander-in-chief to go on the biggest media push ever: five, yes, five Sunday morning shows this weekend. But no FOX…”


Enough with the cult of personality. When in a hole, stop digging.


Too many citizens are beginning to feel ill over our non-stop summer of dyspepsia. It is as if the chattering class and our nationally elected officials have collectively developed a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder in addition to the obnoxious personality disorder that already passes as meaningful discussion of national public policy.


We all hope for a change…


Maybe there is no better time for health care reform to be implemented incrementally – one initiative at a time.


Break the present 1,000-plus-page H.R.3200 – America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, introduced July 31, 2009 – into five or six pieces of legislation and put each piece up for consideration on its own merits.


Look, on a basic level, I'm with the president. Our health-care system needs to be changed.


One of the few things upon which I agreed with him in his speech to a joint session of Congress last week is that we are all in agreement on approximately 80 percent of the proposals.


Yet, I have hardly ever witnessed such an inept, oafish, at times comical, development of public policy in my life. And that’s saying a lot. I still wince when I ponder the administration of Jimmy Carter.


In the first place, I would love to see the ruling party stop characterizing, politicizing, marginalizing, and demonizing people who have other ideas – and disagreements.


What a stupid approach to bringing everyone together. It’s the White House, not “Animal House,” and there is no better time than now to stop using the parliamentary procedure and public policy management of a drunken frat house meeting.


Amazingly, the administration harps on Republican opposition to the initiative, when, essentially the president’s most pressing challenge is getting conservative and liberal Democrats on the same page – especially the extreme left-wing of his party, which has no interest on compromising on anything.


If health care can essentially be passed in Congress with but a few Republican votes, then why all the rhetoric about the conservatives who are vocal – and obnoxious – with their disagreement?


Of course, the reason is that too many Democrats were elected as an anomaly in an otherwise conservative district, in an election that may be viewed later by historians, as the perfect storm.


By focusing attention on the Republican opposition, the president hopes the Democrats will circle the wagons.


It won’t work. The 2010 elections are already looming over the many anomalous Democrats elected to conservative districts and they know they will not be re-elected if they continue to vote for the president’s leftist agenda – or a health care plan that the country cannot afford and places health care decisions in the hands of government bureaucrats in various stages of cardiac arrest.


One of the more interesting running commentaries on the Obama presidency has been written by Camille Paglia. She is currently writing for


Ms. Paglia wrote on August 12: “Buyer's remorse? Not me… I, for one, voted for Obama and continue to support him.” She has a wonderful knack for calling it as she sees it and annoying everybody – all the time.


It is simply wonderful reading.


As early as March 11, she wrote in a piece titled “Free Barack:” “Yes, free the president from his flacks, fixers and goons – his posse of smirky smart alecks and provincial rubes, who were shrewd enough to beat the slow, pompous Clintons in the mano-a-mano primaries but who seem like dazed lost lambs in the brave new world of federal legislation and global statesmanship.


“Heads should be rolling at the White House for the embarrassing series of flubs that have overshadowed President Obama's first seven weeks in office… (Michelle, please use those fabulous toned arms to butt some heads!)”


It gets better – and better.


She thundered on: “First it was that chaotic pig rut of a stimulus package, which let House Democrats throw a thousand crazy kitchen sinks into what should have been a focused blueprint for economic recovery.”


But it was her analysis in that August 12 commentary – “Obama's healthcare horror. Heads should roll, beginning with Nancy Pelosi's!” – that had me rolling:


“…I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll?


“…Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys…. Case in point: the administration's grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation….


“What looked like smooth coasting to the 2010 election has now become a nail-biter. Both major parties have become a rats' nest of hypocrisy and incompetence.”


Next chance you get, the next time President Obama gives a speech – which could be at any moment now – turn down the sound and put some classical (heavy metal) music by the German composer, Richard Wagner, on the stereo.


I did it the other night with “Tannhauser.” Or you may choose “The Flying Dutchman,” or even “The Valkyrie.” It is more fun than you can stand.


Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at


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