By: Eddie Clements

Who would have thought John Edwards line about the two America’s was right? Of course, his premise of economic division was half baked and contradictory, but he was on to something he didn’t even realize, and might not have suggested if he had known. There are two America’s: the liberal-progressives, and the rest of us.

The rest of us are pushing back. After years of swallowing distasteful legislation from lawmakers that rub against their grain, ordinary Americans are speaking out. Some of it is a little ugly, but not nearly as ugly as the perceived prospect of watching your loved ones – or yourself – suffer because they can’t receive medical services when needed. Enough already; stop the madness; a line in the sand; don’t tread on me. That last one actually gets you beat up, if the fracas in St. Louis means anything.

The President of the United States, leader of the free world, (don’t laugh, now!) is out there telling a meeting of carefully chosen citizens the snake oil he is selling really works. The sycophants are lapping it up. Hope and change! I’ll even bet if it doesn’t work, these same people will blame Republicans, conservatives, talk radio, etc. Obama will get credited with trying. Nobel Prize in medicine for Doctor Obama!

The curve trends against Democrats/liberal-progressives. Every time he speaks about health care, his favorability ratings drop further. Unaware that he has awakened a sleeping giant, Obama insists on kicking our shins.

The suggestion has been made to let lawmakers test the plan by going on it. That won’t work. Special provisions will be made to ensure the scheme works. True costs will be hidden, replaced with phony numbers showing how cheaply the program was administered. The final outcome will be, it worked for us – now it’s your turn!

Senator Arlen Specter might be re-christened Senator Spectacle. I’m not saying that to be cute. That is what he made of himself at a townhall meeting this morning, 08/11/09. He made himself a spectacle with a performance that epitomized everything wrong with Congress. He appeared unable to control the meeting in any way. Polite questions were put forth by serious, concerned citizens – the type that vote – which should have been easily deflected. Instead, the fact became obvious he had little knowledge or understanding of what was in the bill.

Questions were asked about sections of the proposed bill by reading them directly. He denied the existence of the wording right there before him. His tone was of a stern mother lecturing children why they should drink their milk and eat their spinach: because it’s not only good for you, but more importantly, because you were told to do it. Every mother knows you make the stuff taste better; end of problem. He would not listen to objections. No discussion or retorts on the order of “Maybe we should work on that provision. What do you think the bill should say about that? How would you improve it?” Congressmen don’t want to know, or don’t care, or both.

My money’s on “both”. This kind of “exchange”, using the term loosely, indicates there is no doubt an agenda is at work here that has nothing to do with health care for Americans. If the claimed number of people without health care coverage were really the issue, a bill would be proposed covering them. Surely this could be arranged without disrupting the doctor-patient relations of some 70% of Americans. It might even cost less than a trazillion dollars.

And now, it has become a personal power struggle between a President who doesn’t take no for an answer and dislikes questions about his motives even more. So the only answer from Obama is to face down the pushback with his own pushback, and force all Americans to accept something they don’t want using the community organizer tactics that worked so well in the corrupt city of Chicago.

But everywhere else ain’t Chicago and health care ain’t milk and spinach. There are plenty of towns less corrupt, and food alternatives just as nutritious. There are no substitutes for health care. You need a cure or procedure, you can’t get it at the local convenience store. You don’t like one convenience store, you shop at another. No such choice with health issues, thus the widespread concern.

A sincerely engaged President would faithfully address those concerns. His actions thus far suggest he is irritated the health care thing has taken this long; he is ready to move on to the next hopey-changey agenda item. Whatever that is, you can be sure, 1. we won’t like it; 2. it will be imposed by force; 3. the result will be further wealth redistribution; 4. Democrats and their supporters will benefit, and the rest will suffer.

More importantly, there is something else. During the campaign, Obama bragged about “uniting” all Americans. Many independents and even some conservatives voted for him in hopes of transcending some of the bitter partisanship, backbiting, corruption, and arrogance displayed by too many in Washington. To put it crudely, his mouth wrote checks his butt couldn’t cash. He has demonstrably divided Americans, not across the socioeconomic lines he had hoped to, but along philosophical lines. These are between those who treasure traditional American values, embodied by words like God, family, duty, honor, country, and self-reliance, and liberal-progressives on the left who eschew all these values as jingoistic, anachronistic, and just plain icky.

Those independents and conservatives who voted for Obama have now seen his failure to deliver on full display. Obama is too arrogant to admit this even to himself, but like the old boxer said, you can run but you can’t hide. His words and deeds are on full display, and none of it is pretty.

Obama has driven a wedge down the middle of America. We must respond correctly to retain our liberty so hard won, so easily lost.

Eddie Clements

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