Saturday, December 06, 2008

Be the change you want

While I understand the concerns of many progressives that Obama is going to pull a bait and switch on issues like health care, it strikes me that part of the problem is we've become so jaded after 8 years of bad faith governance that we can't believe a politician might actually act in good faith. But I, for one, am willing to give our new President-elect the benefit of the doubt until he really does betray our trust. So far it appears even to my jaded eye he's trying to keep his promises and the way he's approaching the issue looks like a change for the better to me.
By applying the high-tech tools and grass-roots activism that helped him win the White House, Obama hopes to circumvent many of the traditionally powerful special interests that have quashed previous health-care reform efforts. [...]

With the transition team contemplating how to deliver on his campaign promise to expand health coverage and lower costs, "what we want to do now is to move to a discussion across the country," Daschle said in a speech yesterday in Denver. "We want your exact ideas."

In addition to the house parties, Obama's transition Web site,, is collecting thousands of comments on health-care reform.
They're suggesting people have house parties over the holidays and discuss how they think the system should work. Then they want you to tell them, directly, which you can do from the contact page at or more specifically under the issues button where there's a drop down menu that also has commenting capacity.

A big part of the reason I supported Obama was because of his understanding of the internet as a tool for political organization. I had great hope he would use it to bring the process of goverance back to the people by using it to encourage greater participation. I haven't lost that hope yet.

My philosophy has always been to prepare for the worst, but expect the best of people. I can't help but think we would have more success in moving that window to the left by offering constructive input now about what we want him to do, rather than cricitizing him for what we think he might do in the future.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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