Monday, June 22, 2009

Aim Higher, Mr. President.

In his editorial in the Seattle Times today, David Sirota puts into words what it is that I have been stewing on but had not yet articulated. There is no question that Mr. Sirota is a Progressive, and of the ilk that is impatient with President Obama's slow, cautious, low risk attempts at reform. But I find myself often in his camp, thinking we should be making bolder moves in reforming or reshaping our economic system, our health care system, our energy policies. Sirota makes a distinction between a reformist and a revolutionary. A reformist tinkers with what's there. A revolutionary, much like the Wright Brothers, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Franklin Roosevelt, and yes, even Ronald Reagan, re-imagines new ideas and machines and theories that did not exist before. Obama is a self-proclaimed reformer. Are we aiming high enough? Isn't it time to dream up bigger and better solutions? If not now, when? Find David Sirota's column at: Aim%20higher%2C%20Mr%2E%20President Shared via AddThis


  1. Thanks for this thought provoking post. I also have concerns but have been hesitant to give voice to them.

    I am very concerned about the health care debate. I see the country wanting one thing and Congress determined to give us another.

    It concerns me that the leaders in Congress have heavy financial investments in the medical field, both parties.

    One of my reasons for moving away from Hillary was I thought she would never be able to get health care reform through Congress and now I'm not sure Obama is going to get anything significant through.

    I'm pleased with President Obama's foreign policy. I've tried to give him some space on the economy, although, I'd like to see a heavier hand used in dealing with Wall Street.

    I realize this administration has too many major things on their plate to take many risks and I hate that. However, health care reform is the one area I would like to have seen revolution and not reform.

    I wasn't impressed with appointing Tom Daschle to the health care position and Kathleen Sebelius was late getting to the fire so I'm concerned.

    President Obama does seem to err on the side of caution and I like that (unless it's my cause).

    I fear his undoing is going to come at the hand of Democrats. We know the Republicans will all vote "no." We don't know what moderate Democrats are going to do.

  2. Good post! It's something to think about. He has a lot on his plate right now, so I'm not sure being cautious is a bad thing. I agree with Linda above with the health care issue. I'd like to see it completely revamped!

  3. Linda,
    I've thought some more about this post. Obama took to heart the teachings of Saul Alinsky, a community organizer in Chicago. Alinsky's thinking was, you could not have a successful revolution before having a reformation.

    I believe Obama sees himself as working within the system to bring reformation. Alinsky was of the 1960s time and said the young people then tried to bring change from outside the system and it failed. I believe Obama sees himself and the young people today as bringing change from inside the system. Reformation, a bridge to cross over to a revolution.

    Unfortunately this may fail also because in 4 or 8 years the Republicans will be voted back into power and they'll undo his forward thinking reformation, just as Reagan undid all of Jimmy Carter's forward thinking energy policies.

  4. Linda, this is good information. Can reform bring revolution? Or does it take the revolutionary action of some, protesting in the streets, filling up the Internet, being activists, to get the attention of those who can bring about reform within the system?

  5. Extremely thought provoking - both the column and the responses.

    Having read Obama's books, I pretty much knew this would be how he'd approach things. What Linda above stated is how I feel.

    I fear that Congress will water down the changes in healthcare because they are ALL so indebted to the lobbyists for insurance/hospitals/drug companies (often I wonder if they work in collusion).

    I very much like his foreign policy.

    As for the economy, I think the man is stuck choosing between bad and worse. I haven't heard a solution from any of his critics in this area that seems any more workable. This crisis has been coming since the '80s (How many of you were saying back then that Reagonomics was going to be a disaster? You were correct), and it isn't going away for a while.

    Bottom line: he's been President for 6 months. On the whole I think he's doing a great job of moving forward while dealing with the economic mess.

    Maybe I just feel that way because I wasn't expecting revolution. I was expecting change, and I feel I've gotten that. At least this situation in Iran isn't giving me panic attacks because I don't know if he's going to do something rash.

  6. In my week away I have been thinking a lot about the mess the nation is in and my state of California.
    When I look at the stalemate we have here I appreciate the methodical approach Obama is taking. I don't know if anything will work in our political climate but I am sure that the "my way or the highway" approach of the previous administration was very destructive to the country.


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