Of course you deserve a response to questions you ask me, Mike. Let me try and take these pretty much in order, and do my best to give you a response.
...and I still say did Obama go to the people before ramming the stimulus package through congress?
Obama made a point of voting as a Senator and during the campaign for Bush's stimulus package. He made no secret of it, and was elected. Nobody loved the fact that the country was in economic trouble. Senator McCain, likewise made his position clear. He was not elected.
The verb "to ram" is not accurate and is prejudicial. Nobody loved that package or the Obama package. There was simply disagreement on its necessity. I myself disliked it, but thought it a necessary response to the worse than expected economic conditions that Obama found when he got into office. There was a debate, not simply in the congress, where it grew heated, but President Obama went out on the road and had a series of meetings with people across the country to talk with people about the bill. By doing so he was able to shore up enough votes to get the bill passed. It's not clear to me that he would have been able to do so if he had not.
You have used the words "community organizer" now and again in your political comments about the President. This was one of the selling points for the party about The President. Going to the grass roots, getting at the needs of the community and getting the community organized around getting those needs met is what Community Organization is about. So yes, I'd have to say that he went to the people, otherwise the bill wouldn't have passed at all. Also, you forgot the town meetings he attended (and gave) across the country exactly about this subject. Going to the people.
About cap and trade, I don't think I can comment since I don't know enough about the issue of the history of the issue. It's always seemed too much of a straight economics sort of thing for me to follow. If you can tell me what it is about this issue that you find bothersome, maybe I can do some research, but not knowing enough about the issue, I don't know whose side I come down on.
Was he planning to go to the people before demanding congress pass the health care bill before recess? I haven't seen a response from you regarding that, although I've mentioned it several times.
Here were are back with mind-reading again. There is no way I can tell you what the plans were in The President's mind. It doesn't matter how hard you press me on this one, I can't do that. In fact, you seem to be able to believe you can do that more reliably than I can, given some of your recent assertions.
What we do know is that he ran on insurance and health care reform, and that the response to his assertions that health care needed quick and deep reform was very strong. We also know that there are a lot of lies being spread about the plan, which is still in committee in the house and the senate both. Some of the lies treat the plan as though it was already in a single version and complete and ready to be voted on, and that it contained provisions that would be unlikely to get past either house of congress or the veto of the President.
I think it was hopeful of the President to try to get it out of congress before the August Recess. Perhaps also impractical. Once past the August Recess, it falls under the pressures of the coming elections. The issue seems likely to become even more politicized than it is now, and the possibility of any meaningful legislation appears to me to be more and more unlikely. I suspect that the August Recess was probably a deadline for when the issue had any chance at all for getting through this congress: That's my political estimation.
I think that the President was probably counting too heavily on the election results at that point, and he should have gone back to the people more aggressively than he did, especially in the districts with the Blue Dog Democrats. I don't think he did enough to get support to counter the insurance money, and the Pharma money and the Republican money being put into the issue.
I also think that he was flinching away from pushing for a single payer system, which might have made very little difference in the amount of difficulty he was getting. Probably his is naturally too conservative to support such a course, however.
Obama has gone to the people because he HAD to and for no other reason, otherwise they would have been left out of the loop altogether.
Perhaps you hadn't noticed that the two halves of your sentence aren't related to each other.
Actually, a President doesn't have to go to the People, as our last president more or less proved. The constitution pretty much set it up that way, so that he is elected every four years instead of every two years. He is set up as an administrator to make executive decisions. He is not as untouchable as a senator, but probably has more concentrated power. This suggests that Obama goes to the people out of choice, to inform and to learn and to teach and to lead. Since his party has control of the Presidency and both houses, he does not HAVE to, despite your suggestion otherwise.
As for your "otherwise they would have been left out of the loop altogether" is an assumption about what President Obama is thinking and planning. Leaving aside the telepathic qualities of that assumption, there are logical problems with it as well. The statement resolves itself down to, If he didn't keep them informed, they wouldn't be informed.
Should one choose to avoid an unnecessary use of the negative or use a more concise version, once could as easily and correctly say, He keeps them informed.
As one might have said about President Bush, He Lies to them.
I will base my conclusions on their actions, not your claims.
I think that's for the best. No matter how well meaning I am, I am frequently wrong, I'm sure. I'd like to suggest you try your own research as well.
If the Democrats are a bottom-up kind of party, and depend on communication between the various groups that make up the party as well as communication from the leadership to the base,
Since that is a conditional statement has been proven to be untrue based on the three events I have mentioned above, then that invalidates the rest of your suppositions and makes them unworthy of consideration. Of course you are going to champion the Democratic party as I am going to champion the Republican party (although I am very dissatisfied with them).
Stimulus, cap and trade, and health care are the three examples you use.
I am not informed enough to discuss cap and trade with you. I wish I was. If you let me know what your actual objections are, I'll see what I can do.
I responded to your comments about the Stimulus bill and the Health care bill, fairly decently I believe. You need to judge that for yourself. I still believe that the Democrats are a bottom up sort of party, and communication between the various parts of it remain vital to its ability to function. I don't see that I need to prove this to you. The Democrats have reached out to a wide range of groups, not simply ethnic, and religious groups, but also groups across the political spectrum, ranging from somewhat conservative to centrist to fairly Liberal. The Republicans have been getting more and more conservative and have busily been excluding people whose professed religious views and moral views and even sexual orientation don't fit.
I've had relatives and friends who've been Republicans and who are fine people but they seem to become different somehow when I start talking politics with them. I'm sure they must feel the same way about me the part about seeming crazy when we talk politics, I mean the fact that they act friendly is enough for me otherwise.
Conservatives favor less government interference in public lives. Liberals favor more. For that reason I'm a conservative.
I think that may or may not be true, about Conservatives and Liberals, I mean. You're the expert in why you're a Conservative. I think it may once have been a more accurate statement than it is today. The United States has drifted very far in the direction of becoming a Security State. Wire taps and the degradation of the protections citizens (and others) once enjoyed under the Constitution means that the Government has penetrated into more and more areas of our lives. It was once true that the congress had the power to declare war. We have been involved in many conflicts since WWII that have been wars in all but name. The Intelligence organizations that we so reluctantly started with world war II have now reached into every country in the world, and, quite possibly, into our own as well. The legislation that would inform us about their activities protects these agencies from examination. I am, personally, unclear why we went to war in Iraq. I am certain that it is likely that we will never know. At one point we were a nation of knowledgeable citizens who were equipped to make informed decisions. Now we are willing to believe that there are decisions that we aren't smart enough to help make that will affect our lives and the lives of our children.
One of the more recent Republican initiatives was to abolish social security, or at least to take enough funding out of it to be certain that it would fail. The Republican mantra was that You know enough to make your own financial decisions. You can invest your own money in the market and do better than social security.
You might, if you will, imagine the state of the country today if that particular bill had been passed and the stock market had performed as it did a year or two ago. The economic consequences would have sent the entire country through the floor, and we would not be talking about a serious recession at all. We would be talking about possibly the largest depression since the thirties, and maybe ever.
I don't believe that the government can or should do everything for the people of a country. That's a really bad idea. But a social safety net is a good idea, and the situation we're in right now is one of those times that points out why. Among other things, it was the partial undoing of the separation of the banking and insurance industries that may well have precipitated it, originally part of the safety net put in place in the great depression.
I believe that it is a function of the government to do things for the people that need to be done and which the people can't do for themselves. A safety net is one of those things.
Sincerely, Bob Kaven