Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dear Mr President

Dear Mr President,
First off, thanks for reading my letter. I know you're a busy man. I know you have the demands of both your job and your family to balance and your time is precious so I won't take up too much of it.

Mr President, what are you doing? I'm hearing ugly rumours that you may allow the public option to be "compromised", that is, either removed or watered down to insignificance. Sir, did you forget that the public option was the compromise position in the first place? The left-wing option was single payer, a system I live under here in the UK; the right wing option was doing virtually nothing and the public option was in the middle. "Compromising" away the public option isn't compromise, it's capitulation. It's continuing the politics of the last twenty years where the right refuse to budge at all, the left gradually come to meet them and we call the result "compromise".

Sir, are you deluding yourself into thinking that if you "compromise" some more, the Republicans will vote for this thing? They won't. There are perhaps two reasonable Republicans left in Congress, they're already looking increasingly uncomfortable in their party and they probably would have voted for a halfway decent public option. Two Republican votes and that's it. Th rest are not open to negotiation or compromise. It wouldn't have mattered what was in the bill, they would vote against it anyway because it's not about the bill, it's about you. They hate you, Mr President. They hate you even more than they hated Bill Clinton. Part of it is because of your ethnicity but mainly, it's because you're a Democrat and the only way the modern Republican party knows to deal with Democrats is to attack constantly. No negotiation, no compromise, no reason, just endless attack.

Mr President, you will never win these people over, stop trying. Craft the best bill you can. If they have worthwhile ideas to offer, include them but don't pursue bipartisanship just for the sake of it. The public doesn't care about bipartisanship, they care about getting things done. Just craft your bill. If some Republicans vote for it, great. If not, no great loss. This isn't a collegiate meeting, this is a war. You're seeing yourself as a referee and the Congressional Republicans are seeing themselves as a pugilist. Guess which one of you is going to get hit?

These people are not interested in what you have to say. They are interested only in sabotaging you. They will sabotage everything you try to do, they will spread lies about you and, if given the slightest opportunity, they will impeach you. Sir, I know you haven't done anything to warrant impeachment, it doesn't matter. They are trying to destroy you and if you don't give them the opportunity, they'll make one up. If you do not pass a string public option, the Republicans will run their 2010 and 2012 campaigns on your inability to fulfill your campaign promises because they torpedoed them. These people are not logical, sir, and they can't be reasoned with.

Sir, you were elected with an overwhelming majority in Congress and the Republicans are still running the show. They are still blustering you into siding with their position. You are being turned into the puppet of the right fringe and they're going to try and destroy you anyway. Mr President, what is it going to take? When are you going to realise that you cannot rely on these maniacs to act in the best interests of the country? They are going to act in the best interests of themselves and the corporations they are the political arm for. Sir, I know you're a comic book fan. Me too. You are trying to negotiate with Lex Luthor, sir, with the Kingpin, with the Joker and you are losing.


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