Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is it Just Me?

Many blogs ago I asked the question: Now that we've won, how do we turn this into good public policy?

On the national level there were a few gimmes at the start: expansion of CHIPS, the Ledbetter equal pay act, Sotomayor, and... (help me out here - there must be more.)

At the Executive level there have clearly been major changes in attitude at places like the Interior Dept, where they will stop giving everything away to the extractors. But at Treasury it's business as usual, which means giving Goldman Sachs everything they want so they can pay their precious bankers and traders $10 fucking billion in bonuses.

At the state level, it's business as usual with more taxes on beer and cigarettes because they are so sinful and Granholm clearly doesn't give a shit for the predominantly poor people who smoke and drink (let alone the awesome Michigan beer industry.) Everything else coming out of her office is nothing but chipping away at budgets with no constituency so she can keep shoveling money out the door to movie makers and any corporation that says it will add a few jobs. The vision thing just ain't there, and if Andy Dillon is the only person making grand statements (about dismantling union negotiated health care agreements no less), we've got problems.

And then we have health care, and the willingness of the Administration (which is supposed to be Our Administration) insisting that there is such a thing as a bipartisan Republican. Is the President that we worked so hard to elect really going to cede decision making to gas bag Senators from rural stares with less population than Grand Rapids? Is he really going to gut health care reform even though it is obvious the not a single Republican Senator is going to vote for it? He can't be that naive and he's clearly not stupid.

Please God tell me this is just a well laid trap where Rahm and Barack will come back from vacation and announce that they have seen enough of the Republican bullshit, and that it is obvious that they have no intention of negotiating, and the the Democrats are going to pass the right bill. If they have to ram it through reconciliation and cause the GOP to wet their pants with indignation, so be it.