Thursday, April 15, 2010

PBS Frontline Video: Obama's Deal

For some political news outside of Taiwan (for once). I picked up on this through the usual Facebook feeds. It's a worthy watch for anyone, as it gives insight into how politics works in Washington. Change? Hardly. Just more of the same under a different mask.

Excerpt from this description of the video off the website:

On March 23, 2010, after a bruising year of debate, negotiation and backlash, President Barack Obama finally signed the health reform bill that he had promised more than a year before. But at what cost to his popularity and to the ideals of bipartisanship and open government that he'd campaigned on?

In Obama's Deal, veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk (Bush's War, Dreams of Obama) takes viewers behind the headlines to reveal the political maneuvering behind Barack Obama's effort to remake the American health system and transform the way Washington works. Through interviews with administration officials, senators and Washington lobbyists, Obama's Deal reveals the dramatic details of how an idealistic president pursued the health care fight -- despite the warnings of many of his closest advisers -- and how he ended up making deals with many of the powerful special interests he had campaigned against.

Click here for link to Frontline Video, Obama's Deal.

The biggest surprise for me was that despite knowing that Obama was not the real deal that he made himself out to be, was that Obama ended up making backroom deals with those he criticized the most. If you watch the video, this is the part where they talk about how Obama blasts Billy Tauzin during his campaigning in 2008 for his lobbyist activities, and then later signs a secret deal with Tauzin in order to push through health-care reform.

The sad part about this all is that it was not what the American public wanted. Polls after polls showed that the American public did not want the current health care bill. We end up with a broken bill that is not what Obama wanted, but in his effort to just get it done for the sake of claiming he got it done, this is what we are left with.

This should serve as a warning for Taiwan. Currently, President Ma is trying to push through an ECFA with China despite poll after poll showing the Taiwanese public having many concerns over an ECFA agreement. Furthermore, a lot of Taiwanese don't even know what the ECFA will contain. You must continually ask this question: Why does President Ma not wish to hold a referendum on whether to pass an ECFA or not? I believe there is no viable answer for this question that upholds Taiwan's democracy and best interests at the same time. If you have one that does, please let us know. Here's a good post from A-gu about what's going on with the referendum issue, past and current.

No comments: