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Remember November, 1994? Or: Why ObamaCare Is Doomed To Be A Republican Success...

Eric Renderking Fisk - September 16th, 2009 Bookmark and Share

Nobody seems to remember November, 1994.

Nobody wants to remember the firestorm created by then First Lady Hillary Clinton who took charge of Health Care Reform. Nobody seems to remember that anyone who dissented or openly criticized this program or the unelected and unappointed unofficial cabinet member, they were vilified and targeted by the Carville - Stephanopoulos - Begala smear machine.

Have questions or concerns about HillaryCare? Then your name would be dragged through the mud by the "Clinton Spin Machine" on all the Sunday Morning talking head shows. Critics of HillaryCare were denounced as being either ignorant and uninformed, or mean spirited or evil. They claimed that if you're against HillaryCare, you're obviously some "Republican stooge" or Insurance Company plant. Or you simply hate poor, sick, and elderly people.

Nobody also seems to remember that back in the late 1980's and early 1990's there was a little known Congressman named Newt Gingrich who climbed out of relative obscurity and crafted the Republican Revolution that won (or stole, depending on who you ask) both The House and The Senate with the "Contract With America." Who was Newt Gingrich besides someone who became the voice of Conservative Reason with a calm and disarming tone? Newt Gingrich seemed to be the soothing voice that countered the radical hysteria from the left, the wise elder to the Chicken Little "sky is falling" scare tactics from The Clintons: "We have to do this now! Before it's too late! Rush rush rush this bill through! Faster, faster, faster!"

Speaking of Rush, there was the call from some to silence Rush Limbaugh because of his fear-mongering tactics on his daily radio show, while others discounted him and his listeners as conservative knuckle draggers and blowhards. But then nobody thought that Mr. Limbaugh and his listeners could do much harm to The Clinton Agenda.

Nobody seems to remember the pendulum swing of political paradigm shifts, or the rhetoric that causes them. Nobody seems to remember that what I just described was a perfect storm created by The Clintons and their supporters and was used by Conservatives that resulted in a disaster for Democrats during the 1994 Mid-Term Elections. Afterwards, it was the Republicans that dictated the direction the country was going to go in. To remain relevant, Mr. Clinton took the advice of Dick Morris and went with the polls - following the "Contract With America" movement.

Why are the events of 1994 relevant today? Could it be happening again?


As addressed by members on our forum, The Electric Speakeasy, The Obama Administration and his supporters are making the same mistakes The Clintons and their supporters made back during the first two years of his first term: Ignoring the dissent or vilifying those who have questions or concerns creates more enemies then new converts or supporters.

Worse than forgetting the lessons of The Clinton Era - this current administration has forgotten the lessons of the previous one. What was the world's reaction when George "Dubya" Bush said in regards to The War On Terror: "You're either with us... or against us." What was the reaction from the left? Embarrassment, rage, or frustration?

President Obama taking the same "you're either with us or against us" approach to the current debate on health care and his supporters giving him a pass on such an approach seems both ironic and tragic. To take an "Us against Them" approach in the War On Terror is wrong, but taking the same approach to Health Care Reform is correct?

 It seems to me after watching the debate this summer, this is the sprit of the exchange...

"I have concerns about the rumors about 'death panel,' can you explain to me what's really going on here?"

"You're a really bad person for reading those nasty e-mails and for even thinking that maybe 'death panels' could be a reality."

You stop and think about that for a while. The "Question Authority" generation that I grew up with and elected this President now wants to silence anyone who has a question about a plan with such serious implications, that will effect our lives on such a huge scale. Questions or concerns are brushed off, and the questioner or commentator is demonized or marginalized.

Is it a correct observation to make when I say that the only opinions that's "relevant" in this debate are the ones that are enthusiastically for this Heath Care plan? I have serious doubts about any government-controlled health care plan, regardless of who is in the White House or who has the majority in Congress. Does that make me a troll? A vicious monster who need to have his website stripped from me?

The only opinion tolerated is the one that is supportive of the President? Think about it for a minute in the context of The Bush Administration. Imagine the outrage.

This mentality is causing President Obama to hemorrhage support because he's slitting his own political throat.


The bitter fruit of this labor has already began to show in the form of President Obama's plummeting poll numbers [Zogby Interactive: Loss of Democrats' Support Helps Bring Obama Job Approval Down to 42% - PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR THE PEOPLE & THE PRESS: "Obama's Approval Ratings Slide: By the Numbers," September 4, 2009]

Trying to silence the new heir-apparent to Rush Limbaugh's throne - Glen Beck - has done little more then rally his supporters and bring his name to the front pages of many news sites. Has calling Mr. Beck's listeners "dangerous idiots" done anything to hurt his ratings, or has it had the opposite effect and rallied his supporters?

Has the calls to censure Joe "You Lie" Wilson (R. South Carolina) for his outburst during President Obama's State Of The Union Speech done anything to make the controversy go away? Or has this empowered him to become the  "Newt Gingrich" in 2010?

Then there's the report that people's trust in the media has plummeted [Pew Research Center: "Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low - Public Evaluations of the News Media: 1985-2009."] because of what readers and viewers now see the main-stream media as an extension of the DNC Propaganda machine. If you can't see how and venom from hosts like Chris Mathews and Keith Oberman isn't as potentially dangerous to the political process as someone like Limbaugh or Beck, you're delusional with your own deep bias.

Simultaneously media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have under reported the ACORN scandal. As of this writing (September 15th, 11:55PM) there is no story on CNN about the passing of HR3288 with the amendment that cuts all HUD funding to ACORN. Nor about the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs calls for an investigation into that organization.

An organization that had close ties to the current President Of The United States. And that's not news?

Finally - there's the under-reported 2 Million people who showed up for the Tea Party March in Washington DC. I think one media outlet brushed them off as "Tea Baggers." [Carol Shea-Porter being the most recent elected official to use that derogatory term, which will be used by Republican candidates for the next 14 months.]

All of this is creating is the same set of circumstances that occurred before The November 2004 Mid-Term elections where outraged voters will join a new conservative movement similar to Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" revolution in the mid-1990's and vote to strip President Obama of his majority in the House and Senate.

If Barack Obama wants to win this debate on Health Care Reform, he and his cabinet and his team at "Change For America" need to do more to get the word out about what this health care reform really is, and what it really isn't. They need to get into hammering out specifics, since the opponents are doing a better job of reciting chapter and verse of this health care plan, H.R. 3200.

Dismissing opponents questions and concerns as "fear mongering" isn't doing anything besides rallying the Conservative base. Why doesn't he see this, how can someone who is supposed to be so smart with such a sharp clear vision for "change" be so blind to the harm he's doing to his own cause?

These characters have to go back and listen to the speech Mr. Obama gave the night he won the election, his Inauguration speech ["Will You Join Me In Taking This Medicine Called Hope?"] and reiterate the points he made during the last State of the Union Speech about wanting to come together and fix what's wrong with the bill as it stands today...

Rather then vilifying the people with questions or concerns, he has to get back to his promises about ending the partisan rhetoric. I want to like and respect this man, Barack Obama. I want to like him as a person and respect him as a leader. I want the guy who campaigned on platform of changing the dialog in Washington and the way business is done; change it's tone. I want the man the people of New Hampshire met when the 2008 Campaign began.

If not, that's the first thing his opponents will use against him; his biggest campaign promise.

The question now remains, is it too late? Has the damage already been done? Can Barack Obama win back moderates and independents?

I'll give Bill Clinton who spoke with Esquire Magazine for this month's issue, the last word.


September 8, 2009, 9:44 AM

Bill Clinton, Then and Now:
The Esquire Interview

"What I'm more worried about is our people getting careless, forgetting the experience of '94, and that it is imperative that they produce a health-care bill for the president and make it the best one they can; if it's not perfect, we'll go back and fix it. But the people hire you to deliver."

"This electorate has suffered. They've suffered economically, they've suffered an enormous amount of sort of psychic insecurity from 9/11 to the economic breakdown, they've seen all this change going on around them, and they see in Obama a cool and intelligent guy who can multitask in a world where they know you've got to multitask. What they don't know is whether our guys are going to stand and deliver. And sooner or later you've got to stand and deliver. All we have to worry about is getting things done and doing them as well as we can. Don't even worry about the Republicans. Let them figure out what they're going to stand for. 'Cause as long as they're sitting around waiting for us to mess up, they don't have a chance."

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