“It’s beginning to look a lot like … Chicago-style politics in Washington, D.C.”

By Clio

The Bold Pursuit wishes everyone a Joyous Christmas and Happy Chanukah. It is our hope that, like Mr. Obama, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, you will find your most desired gifts, wrapped in festive paper and adorned with bright ribbons under your trees. Of course, we also hope that you didn’t ask Santa for a horror of a health care plan that will burden your nation with taxes or raise the debt ceiling a few hundred billion dollars…

We found this quote from an article by Martha R. Gore on Suite101.com (full attribution and permission links below). This paragraph seems very apropos considering the man who occupies the Oval Office learned what he knows of politics from a grand city, one our favorite places, albeit one of the most politically corrupt towns in our country:

“Political corruption in Chicago in 1910s and 1920s flourished as organized crime stepped into the mix with payoffs to policemen. It continued under the leadership of Mayor Anton Cermack and then the Kelly-Nash machine that doled out patronage jobs, political appointments, and broad favors to ethnic groups. They kept the city solvent during the New Deal years by obtaining federal funds as well as resources from organized crime…” 1 (Italics added for emphasis by Clio.)

Does the above have a familiar ring? Trading funds for favors? As noted by a recent guest on Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bribes bought enough votes in order to cram through a health care bill that was not thoroughly vetted or debated (the cloture vote last weekend brought that option to a screeching halt), not to mention a bill that the majority of Americans, according to almost every major pollster, do not want. However, the Democrats want to hand Mr. Obama a “win” before Christmas – regardless of the desires or best interests of their constituents. The vote this morning tied a big RED ribbon on this lump of coal. Happy Holidays, Mr. Obama!

According to the Fox News commentator (and I paraphrase), Sen. Bill Nelson’s “sweetheart deal” (NE) or Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (LA) multi-million dollar grab bag, just to name a few of the political profiteers, in any other context would be called bribery; however, in Washington, D.C. this is simply “horse-trading.”

I will refrain from expressing myself on this point, except to say that the first word of my opinion begins with “horse.”

Mr. Obama learned and earned his political stripes in a city that, one could argue, is synonymous with political corruption. Forget former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s wiretaps, Obama and Blago chum, Tony Rezko’s convictions for fraud and money-laundering, or infamous Chicago “boss” Mayor Richard Daley tainted reign of Chi-Town; Chicago’s colorful and crooked political history is so rife with generational lawlessness that it is, by some, considered the norm. Of course, Al Capone, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, earned his reputation as one of America’s most infamous early gangsters in Chicago.

“This source of corruption, alas, is inherent in the democratic system itself, and it can only be controlled, if at all, by finding ways to encourage legislators to subordinate ambition to principle.” James L. Buckley

Honestly, I really don’t care about presenting Mr. Obama with a “win” in order to shore up his weak and ill-defined (but frenetically aggressive) agendas. Mr. Obama was elected to govern the American people and act in their best interests – not indulge his own narcissistic needs. Americans have clearly, loudly and emphatically expressed their disapproval of the federal government taking over health care, as well as the broader ramifications that will accompany acquisition of approximately one-sixth of our economy.

The protests heard in town hall meetings, marches, tea party events, letters and phone calls to elected officials fell on deaf and uncaring ears: the bill was passed, 60 – 39, and now goes to conference in which the committee will attempt to merge or reconcile the Congressional and Senate bills.

As we contemplate this next step, it is fair to ask “Are there problems with the current state of health care in America? Do we need new legislation?” Yes. I know this firsthand as an independent, small business owner.

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious illness just nine months after obtaining an individual health policy. My first claims for diagnostic tests and treatment were denied. I didn’t politely accept the denial; I fired off angry letters and rattled every cage I could find. My claims were, in short order, accepted. I am the proverbial squeaky wheel and know how to throw a first-class, window-rattling, indignant fit in order to get past patronizing gatekeepers.

Health care providers: A friend of mine owns an insurance agency. Every year, the premiums increase at rates that range from 20-35%. My friend must pass on these increases to his clients and many opt to drop certain benefits, change providers or drop coverage for all employees – they simply can’t afford the egregious premiums.

Portability: when I moved from one state to another, I was not allowed to keep my private policy. Since I had a pre-existing condition, the possibility of obtaining an affordable individual policy was unlikely.

“Big Pharma”: my first policy did not, initially, include a pharmacy plan. My out-of-pocket costs for medicine were exorbitant – even in 1992. Years later, when my employer went out of business and all of us lost our medical coverage, I tried to purchase medication and was stunned when charged hundreds of dollars for one month’s supply of medicine.

Tort reform, keeping insurance providers and the pharmaceutical industries in check without restricting free trade, offering portability, as well as affordable plans for the self- or unemployed are a few positive steps that could salvage a premier health care industry. With a few carefully considered legislative acts, we could help keep costs in check, expand coverage availability without burdening Americans with more taxes and prevent chasing away qualified medical personnel who will seek employment elsewhere in order to be able to support their families, pay onerous malpractice insurance and repay their expensive student loans. Medical professionals may even opt to choose another profession.

Of course, all of the above has been suggested by president after president to uncooperative, partisan representatives.

Mr. Obama claims that seven presidents before him tried to enact health care reform … and failed. Why did they fail, Mr. Obama? President Clinton also wanted socialized medicine for America, but America didn’t want ClintonCare.

President George W. Bush pushed for tort reform, portability, health care spending accounts and, facing an uncooperative House and Senate, was unable to pass his legislation.

Mr. Obama will claim his “win” through bribery and deceitful practices, learned from his friends and neighbors in the sullied style of the Chicago political machine. In my opinion, that’s not a win or a victory to trumpet –it’s a buyout.

This country does need health care reform – there is no question on that point. However, we should try to pass health care reform that Americans want and need, not pass out political payouts.

Mr. Obama, find your ego-stroking, big-ticket win by governing this country with integrity and hard work. We know you are inexperienced in Washington politics, having served approximately 150 days in the Senate prior to your election, but no one gets to make excuses in the Oval Office. Isn’t it time, Mr. Obama, that you stopped whining and finger-pointing at the Bush Administration and started acting like a true leader? How does one define that? Consider the following:

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Character matters; leadership descends from character.” Rush Limbaugh

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
Norman Schwarzkopf

“Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together.” Jesse Jackson

Mr. Obama, Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats in the Senate and House: Back room deals and vote manipulation may foist an unwanted partisan plan on our country, but this “win” may very well become a loss when voters go to the polls in upcoming elections. America will let you know what it thinks of your sweetheart deals, bribery and corruption. Your holiday gift may turn into an “unclean” lump of unburnable coal.

Merry Christmas, America!

1 Permission to quote granted by author, Martha R. Gore, M.L.S.Read more at Suite101: Corruption in American Cities: Chicago: From the Great Fire of 1871 to the 21st Century, Corruption Thrives | Suite101.com http://americanaffairs.suite101.com/article.cfm/corruption_in_amerian_cities_chicago#ixzz0aNU01hOe