Secret meetings: Another broken Obama campaign promise
President Barack Obama's campaign promise of an open government disappeared shortly after he took office and the closed-door, secret negotiations on health care reform demonstrate all too clearly that politics in Washington remain "business as usual" in his administration.
The secrecy that surrounds White House actions rivals that of the often-criticized administration of former President George W. Bush and key decisions on health care reform now are not being made in the open but in behind the scenes negations involving three Democratic Senators: Majority Leader Harry Reid, Christopher Dodd and Max Baucus.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is also participating in the secret sessions along with other members of the White House health care team: A far cry from the open door government that Obama promised while campaigning for office.
Washington Post staff writer Perry Bacon Jr. reports that the closed door sessions are "a setting that is anything but revolutionary in Washington."
The group will make such key decisions as whether to include a government-run insurance plan designed to compete with private insurance companies. The bill passed in July by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which Dodd led while Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) was ailing, included such a provision, but the legislation passed last week by Baucus's Finance Committee did not.
The secret sessions are a far cry from promises Obama made 90 days before the election when he said "I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table," adding that the negotiations would be "televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."
Republicans, of course, are not happy with the secrecy:
"This bill is being written in the dark of night," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio told the Post. "The president ought to keep his promise to the American people and open this process up."
Few in Washington expect that to happen.
**********From Capitol Hill Blue October 18, 2009**********
Business as Usual - Of course. What did we expect?
Obama IS a politician. We elected a right of center politician, did we really think it was going to change THAT significantly?
The system is entrenched and will take a major upheaval of revolutionary proportion to get it changed.
It is not the fault of the people in DC. Not really.
IT IS the fault of you, me and everyone else in the country that continually ignored it for decades until it got so bad we could not ignore it any longer. We have placed official after official in that rancid muck hole to destroy this country while we were too busy deciding what to eat, where to eat it, what mindless drivel with which to fill up our time, what to buy next to fill the empty hole in our bellies in which that moral compass once lived
We need a good shock to pull us out of the doldrums and bring us kicking and screaming, clawing back reality…..We went off the precipice and thought we could fly but are crashing to the bottom and don’t even recognize that the ground rising to meet us is actually us falling.
We are responsible for the failings of Washington since we ARE Washington – voting in crooks, liars, scam artists while accepting their inhumanity and lack of morality. They are representative of the people since we have all lost our own willingness to stand for what we say we believe, what we say we exemplify, what we say we are.
We are fat, lazy, immature, whining scared little children who need to grow up and grow up fast or we just might lose what we claim to be so precious…if we haven’t already.