No, you can not
by Charles Battig, MD

In six short months, the inspiring campaign motto “Yes We Can” has been replaced by a pervasive “No, You Can Not!” attitude. How disappointed must be those who voted for believable change and a fresh start for our nation.

No, You Can Not: point to a new openness in government, and easily access and read on-line, pending federal bills five days before they come to a vote (indeed, not even the Congress bothers to read its own 1,000 plus legislative bills with 300 page midnight add-ons).

No, You Can Not: possibly have read and understood the monstrous TARP bill hastily foisted on us by the Congress via predictions of unimaginable disasters should it not have been passed, and lest unemployment not rise above eight per cent, an optimistic maximum now that that level has been passed.

No, You Can Not: see a reduction in the number of lobbyists trading in the business of influence peddling. The House passed Waxman-Marley Cap and Trade tax bill bears testimony to the success of thousands of interventions on behalf of numerous industries and special interest groups to carve out niches of exemptions and favored treatment. No new start here.

No, You Can Not: see the promised reduction in and transparency of Congressional ear marks.

No, You Can Not: yet see a new era of colorblind leadership. The politics of race are still with us in this new Government, which was elected with the vision and optimistic hope of ending the vestiges of racial prejudice. When fate presented an unannounced opportunity to decline comment, our President chose to issue off-the-cuff accusations of stupidity against the home town police and reintroduce racial stereotypes into the news headlines. The world must wonder if the leader of the most powerful nation is prone to make snap decisions in other affairs as well.

No, You Can Not: see the promised new era of bipartisanship bringing Republicans into a meaningful role of co-crafting legislation. My way and no other way seems to be the rule.

No, You Can Not: expect activist, political hardball tactics to be set aside when they might be useful in moving an unpopular agenda. The media recently reported that the Chief of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was called to the White House for a “special” meeting to discuss his report which failed to show the desired and expected cost savings from the proposed health care reform bill.

No, You Can Not: trust your own doctor anymore. He might be giving you the wrong colored pills and performing unnecessary surgery, just to make that extra buck; but you are expected to trust, instead, a new, governmental health care rationing system. Can the public expect Congress to willingly enroll in the same plan for themselves? Can the public trust any of the assurances made to them that the proposed health bill will “allow” them to retain their desired private health coverage; that the federal deficit will not balloon, and that taxes will not be driven upward?

No, You Can Not: publically protest against proposed Federal legislation because you are deemed to be a mob, even though such activism is part of the Chicago School of political hard ball tactics.

No, You Can Not!

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