David Knopfler Blog

Somewhat political observations

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another year on and now what...

I don't expect to change anyone's minds about anything - conservatives will remain conservative and visa versa. We read opinions largely to confirm our own prejudices but I read somewhere today the boggling fact that the US spends more than any other nation on Health but it plainly has less to show for it if comparative reports are to be believed. If you spend, per capita, more than twice the French, but get substantially less for it... something is seemingly rotten is it not? Can it be sensible to have to phone an insurance company if you need an ambulance? Extraordinary for an outsider to see how impossibly mired the US has been for decades with this one. Almost every Administration has tried and failed to make much headway with it.

As a Mr Smith looking in from the outside, it seems to me ending the billions wasted on lobby flab in Washington could be a good place to start reform, rather than the usual voices of "reason" in the media insisting long suffering low income groups must expect less social provision if State spending is to be reigned in. I'm not saying that the whole sprawling ineffective system of State and Federal Government isn't in dire need of new vision and better administration, but I am saying that when effectively their decisions are being made, based on the biggest spends of the lobby, true Democracy, for the people, of the people and by the people can't hope to begin to work effectively can it? No doubt there are other so called elephants in the room but that one seems hard to miss.

And one year on, exasperated voters, who believed Obama's message of change and hope are disenchanted by his failure to throw them a bone or two. His rhetoric has been nothing short of stunning but in practice, he's not yet demonstrating any sharp shift in policy from the eight years that preceded him. He's looked for bipartisanship instead of nailing their failures to the mast and as a reward been saddled by the Republican opposition with blame for all the sh*t they pulled. Meanwhile where are the stringent regulations on Wall Street? Where is even a glimmer of Roosevelt's New Deal when it's most needed? Where's the repeal of the Patriot Act? Why is the Peace Prize winner who opposed the War in Iraq sending drone bombs to Pakistan and Yemen, illegal detentions continue... and on and on. If he really has liberal convictions then why do almost none of his appointments reflect it? Why is the Pentagon seemingly able to call more shots than him? He has another mere ten months before the awful multi-billion dollar campaigning starts all over again... If he doesn't read this slap in the face in Massechusetts correctly, the electorate plainly will vote him out... if only through the apathy of non-voting.