Monday, June 15, 2009

Bill Maher - Obama needs to be more like Bush

Check out Bill Maher's shtick below:

What starts off as a goofy rant turns into a fairly sharp criticism of Obama. To paraphrase: Obama's acting like a TV star who's only concern is being popular (5:05). As a result, he's not pushing the agenda that needs to be pushed. What we really need is "more George Bush" in his personality (5:47). Why? George Bush had "horrible ideas" yet he pushed them through in their full measure (6:11).

Bill, your rant got me thinking - and I have to say, I disagree with you on two accounts.

  1. How stuff gets done, may be even more important than what gets done. The whole notion that the party in power should just cram policies through is ridiculous. Why? Because in all too short a period of time, the Democrats will be out of power and the Republicans will be back. That's just the way it works. And that's a good thing in many respects.

    If Obama's legacy, though, is that the President has to take his ideas to an unscripted crowd to respond to questions (like he's been doing with healthcare), or it becomes the norm that people you disagree with are involved in policy creation (say: insurance companies and healthcare legislation), this would be genuinely useful. It'll be helpful because you'll want these exact measures in place in the long run of the country.

    It's the opposite of the filibuster argument that seems to go on every year. The party in power complains about how the minority is destroying democracy by using the filibuster. Then, a few years later, the same people are now the minority and talking about how essential the filibuster is to a functioning democracy.

  2. What about the good ideas on the other side? By ignoring your opposition and getting your programs passed at all costs, you discount the fact that there are smart people on the other side of the isle who want to help. Sure, Newt Gingrich's prediction that American's will end up rationing healthcare is absurd. But, that doesn't mean that all voices from the right are equally out of line.

In short - we need to find a way to make our democracy work better, not turn it into alternating years of one-party-gets-to-run-the-show at a time.

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