By David Swanson
“If you would lead, maybe we would follow,” David Michael Green writes to Obama in another witty and aggressive article (and ALMOST always I agree with and admire what Green writes). Green wishes Obama had drafted a healthcare plan rather than letting Congress do it and objects to Obama’s deference to Congress members funded by the health industry.
But you could pool the health industry bribes of any dozen congress members or senators you like and not come close to the money Obama took from the same toxic source in the last election. And you can overturn any of the most foul smelling developments in Congress’s crawl to healthcare, and you’ll find that Obama told the Democrats exactly what to do, and they did it. This is not a well-kept secret.
Yes, Green is right that Obama is not fighting for serious reform, but wrong to build in the assumption that he wants it. He never wanted it during the campaign. Why should he now? He wanted some minor tweaks that he’s now caved on. But many Democrats in Congress had much further to fall and have done so at the president’s bidding. They’ll tell you the same thing Green will: We need the president to order us to do better. But they don’t. They can send the president a good bill and force him to sign or veto it. They are the legislature. They are the first branch of our government. And 51 senators can toss out the anti-democratic filibuster rule any time they really want to.
We should not transfer law making to the executive. We should not pretend the executive has good intentions but weak spine when his intentions are evil. And we should not reduce our government to a soap opera account of one individual’s soul. We are the sovereigns. Our representatives are in the Congress. Our tools are our voices and our bodies and our willingness to nonviolently resist. If we don’t get what we want, it won’t be because of the content of Barack Obama’s character.