Monday, March 22, 2010

Place in History

Jonathan Chait, of The New Republic occasionally writes something worth reading. But in the aftermath of the health care bill, he has written a piece so laughable it must be noted. It's called, "Obama's Place in History." Chait starts off with this...

Let me offer a ludicrously premature opinion: Barack Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical import.
That's not the only thing ludicrous in the article. Before I comment further, one aside. The word "historic" has been beaten to death with regard to the health care bill. In some quarters, historic seems to be used as a synonym for progress. But history is neutral. It's just as possible for something to be historically bad as to be historically good. Ok, moving on.

Chait, a major fan of big government who has been cheerleading the health care bill, concludes that Obama's success in getting it passed is so significant that he "will never be plausibly compared with Jimmy Carter." He's already been compared to Carter, and may be in the future. Even leaving aside the years to come, it is quite possible that historians might draw such comparisons.

Historians will see this health care bill as a masterfully crafted piece of legislation.
That's possibly one of the dumbest things Chait has ever written. He goes on to rave about how great the bill is, making all sorts of unsupported assertions. I seriously doubt historians are going to see the complicated mess that is this reform bill, which was forced through by sleazy parliamentary tactics, unable to attract the support of a single member of the opposition, barely enacted, and facing multiple lawsuits, as any sort of "masterfully crafted" legislation -- just the opposite. 
Republicans have spent a year chortling over the inevitable collapse of Obama, and they seem to cling even more tightly to that fantasy--"Incompetence"? "Out of his depth"?--as it slips further away.

Chait is the one living in a fantasy world. The entire process involved in the health care reform bill has further demonstrated Obama's incompetence and lack of experience. Chait is blinded by his Obama-worship. The fact that Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership barely saved Obama from a crushing defeat -- despite having an overwhelming Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, is not exactly a sign of Obama's greatness. And if the health care bill helps lead to a major Republican revival in 2010, that repeals significant parts of the legislation, even this narrow victory is going to look pretty hollow.

It's entirely possible that Republicans will gain control of the House in November and block any further domestic progress, unemployment will stay high, and Republicans will win the White House in 2012. Yet he's already left his imprint on history.
So what? Every president leaves an "imprint on history." So far Obama's is more like a stain.


No comments:

Post a Comment