Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Whole New Ball Game

In baseball, batting .750 would be miraculous. In politics, it’s not too shabby either. In the past week, President Obama was on a hitting streak.

Passage of the long-overdue health care for 9/11 first responders, the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask - Don’t Tell” policy in the armed services, and the ratification of the START nuclear arms control treaty - all over the senseless and highly partisan objections of the extreme wing of the Republican party - are the capstone of the first half of he president’s first term. Only the failure of the DREAM act kept the week from being perfect.

Some much-needed legislation never made it to the plate, and that’s unfortunate. Don’t look for much progress in Wall Street reform or in the repeal of the misnamed Defense of Marriage Act in the near future.

Yet, despite these important advances, it’s a whole new ballgame starting next month. Corporations Republicans will have the majority in the House of Representatives, and the Party of No will become the Party of Investigations. Keeping up with their stated goal to destroy the Obama presidency at all costs, the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa, has already indicated that he will start witch-hunts investigations of just about everything and everyone in the Obama administration. I’m afraid that the $50 million of taxpayer money wasted on the Whitewater investigations will pale in comparison to the spending of the incoming House on these political extravaganzas.

It was refreshing to see many Republican senators break from their party line this week and finally perform to John McCain’s campaign slogan of “Country First.”  But with the GOP in control of the House, and the upcoming 19-month presidential marathon, we will look back at the last two years of obstructionism as “the good old days.”

Despite the significant compromises he was forced to make, the president deserves a victory lap. But he should remember that he defeated a weak team like the 1962 Mets. In January, he will face a much more powerful opposition. For the sake of the country, I wish him well.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations are indeed in order.

    My congratulations to the hundreds of gay soldiers who will now be able to serve their country without "living a lie". My sympathy to the thousands of Bible-believing soldiers who will now have to start living a lie.

    My congratulations to the 9/11 first responders - all 71,000 of them, including the 24 from Wyoming. My sympathies to the trial lawyers, who thanks to the efforts of Tom Coburn are now limited to a mere 10% of the $4.2 billion pot.

    My congratulations to Vladimir Putin, whose decaying and despotic regime can now continue the illusion of being a great power. My sympathies to, well, anyone who has to deal with Vladimir Putin.