It’s a common situation. Workers have a much different set of criteria and priorities that they base their decisions on than management does. To be honest, management often has far more factors to consider than the workers and some of those factors are not even known or considered by workers.
As someone who finds himself more often in the position of the worker than management, I am not trying to defend management but I will admit that the decision making process they undertake is not always as easy as it seems
It essentially comes down to the fact that leadership is not easy. With it comes more things to consider, tougher decisions and greater amounts of responsibility. Yet still workers tend to wish they could be managers. They say to themselves, “I would do things differently and make things better“. Conversely, faced with greater responsibilities and tougher choices, some in management find themselves throwing up their hands and saying “screw all this, I don’t need the aggravation. Just let me do my job and go home at the end of the day”.
To a certain degree this analogy can be equated to politics.
For eight years, Democrats cried about how stupid the managing Republicans in the White House and Congress were. In a steady stream of talk show interviews, online editorials and public speaking engagements, they screamed about the need to replace Republicans with Democrats and give liberals control of things because they could do much better than the ruling Republicans.
Democrats took every opportunity to portray Republicans as irresponsible and claim that they would do things better. Not being in power, it was easy to make these claims. Without any leadership or leadership responsibilities of their own, criticism was all they had to offer. And with it being difficult to prove a negative, their lack of ability to implement their own leadership and policies allowed any criticisms of theirs to exist as what may have sounded like good alternatives to the ones being implemented by the Republican majority.
Today, the tables have turned.
With Democrats now in total control of the federal government they are the ones faced with the responsibilities that come with it. They are in charge and they are therefore open to the criticism that they once had the luxury of offering.
But Democrats have put themselves in a corner.
When they were not in power, they became famous for criticizing Republicans for what they called a “go-it-alone” foreign policy.
Democrats suggested that our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and on the war on terror were not approved of by the world community and had no international support. With more than 36 nations involved in these efforts, the claim was not true but what does the truth have to do with facts?
Nevertheless, the liberal claim that we needed to build more consensus in our efforts received some traction in the minds of some and Democrats ran with it.
But the same anti-go-it-alone policy that helped Democrats to look good when they were out of power is the same policy that is creating a very serious dilemma for Democrats now that they are in power.
On the issue of healthcare reform Democrats have a clear path to pass anything that they want. Yet even though their majority in the Senate is filibuster proof and their majority in Congress accounts for an even larger margin than that, their partisan health reform bill still can’t seem to muster enough support to become law. This fact helps to demonstrate that Republicans are not the barrier to the bills passage. The blockage here is purely among Democrats. They could easily pass health reform initiatives all on their own.
Over the past few days, some officials of the administration as well as some congressional leaders have suggested that going-it-alone might be exactly what they will do. A member of the Democrat Senate leadership stated that “any legislative means to get legislation through” should be used.
Today when Robert Gibbs, the blunderful White House Press Secretary, was asked if Democrats will get healthcare reform passed, based solely along partisan lines, he replied “absolutely not”.
But how do they intend to get it passed any way other than along a strictly partisan vote?
The administration has failed to work in a bipartisan manner and neither have the liberal house or senate leaders. None of them have done anything to attract Republicans over to support their partisan bill. If the President was sincere about a bipartisan approach to a problem facing all Americans he might have tried to at least include something like tort reform in HR 3200. But the truth is that there is no sincere bipartisan or nonpartisan effort on this issue.
In a previous post I pointed out that the lack of any truly bipartisan approach to health reform has been the number one reason for any failures to deliver reforms on the issues every time it has been attempted.
It failed under FDR in the thirties when he gave Congress a strictly partisan health reform bill and the same was the case under Truman in the forties and under Democrats in the 60’s and 90’s as well.
As the Obama administration and Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid continue to push for their own partisan health reform legislation it too is doomed to failure. Unless of course they “go-it-alone”.
The fact that there exists so much public opposition to the current reform initiatives that even some Democrats are scared of going against the will of their constituents indicates that even a party line vote may be impossible. But what if the President, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid twisted enough arms and cut enough deals to get enough Democrats to vote for HR3200 and pass it?
Considering that Democrats are beginning to own everything from the economy to our war efforts, do they really want to be the sole owners of government run healthcare? By taking a go-it-alone-strategy on healthcare they will also have to endure a blame-it-all-on-them reaction.
Going in this direction would also help to further prove a long standing assertion of mine that Democrats are hypocrites. By going-it-alone on this issues while denouncing such action on other issues they will simply being adding more credence to that assertion.
But more than that, by going-it-alone on a bill that puts a fifth of our economy under the control of a federal bureaucracy at a time when we are already on shaky economic ground, Democrats will also be jeopardizing their own political survival and will most certainly be assuring themselves minority status in as few as two election cycles.
In the end, most Democrats including the President, promised a public option on healthcare reform. By not delivering , they will severely undermine their support within their liberal base. To actually deliver it along strictly partisan lines will undermine their support within the rest of the electorate. So I believe that the liberal leadership of the Democrat party will ultimately settle for a bill that actually does little of anything. They will not want to walk away from this bloody healthcare battle without being able to point to something that they can say they did.
Of course, if they sincerely believe in their partisan bill and believe that it is the best thing for America, they could take a stand and pass it knowing full well that they may oppose public opinion and lose any attempt to win reelection and stay in power. That would require them to ask themselves if they are sincere about the issues or if they are only in this for power.
Either way, Democrats spent the years they had without any leadership responsibilities creating some of the problems that they now face in the position of leadership. If they go-it-alone on their partisan bill, they are hypocrites and must bear the burden of full responsibility for the detrimental effects that it will bring.
If they are secure in their position and know that is the best thing for their country and not their party, why not go for it? Do it! Pass your healthcare bill and prove us wrong. They hold all the cards and the game is theirs to lose.
Or, they could use their leadership role to do some of what they demanded of Republicans when they were in control. Democrats could try to be bipartisan and use consensus to pass their legislation. Maybe they could try to hammer out a bill that uses more words like voluntary and private sector and that includes Republican concerns such as tort reform.
An old Chinese proverb reminds people to be careful of what they wish for. Democrats wished to be in control and have the responsibilities that come with leadership. Well now they have it. What will they do with it? Will they be hypocrites and “go-it-alone”. Or will they be responsible and try to achieve some of the consensus building and bipartisanship that they preached for when they criticized those who were in the position that they are in now?
It sucks to be a Democrat today.