by Thomas Barnes, Staff Writer
Watch very closely now. Pay attention to what you are seeing and do not pay attention to what Left wing and Right wing pundits tell you that you are seeing. These pundits on both side of the American middle have radical agendas and unfortunately they are both very, very wrong. Very soon now you will see the emergence of Barak Obama, the tradtional Republican. We are almost there. I am not surprised.
I grew up in GOP politics in Philadelphia, PA where my grandfather was a GOP ward leader in the Kensignton section of that city for many years. When I retired from the Service I immediately got involved in Democratic Party politics in Northern Viriginia (Alexandria) where I decided to stay upon retirement from the Coast Guard. I have an in-depth set of experiences with both parties. I am going to give you the most close to the bone political education you will ever need right now. There is only one political party in American politics.
There has always been only one party and there will always be only one party. That party is the Incumbent Party. Mr. Obama is proving that now. Once a party has power in our system of government that group which is now ascendant will sacrifice damn near any principle to hold onto that power and enlarge it.
When a person in our country runs for office he/she is almost without doubt a very different person than the person who eventually wins office and then attempts to govern. That applies to the President down to the local township dog catcher. Running for office and holding office are universes apart. Mr. Obama is now very quickly morphing into the pragmatist he has always been. A constitutional lawyer and college professor he is actually much more like Woodrow Wilson than he is like FDR in his evolving presidential outlook.
He just wants the job to get done, he is more than willing to compromise in order to get half a loaf delivered to the table and you will certainly see more of that in the coming months. I offer the following links from today’s New York Times and Washington Post to make my point. Remember, this is one day’s worth of news. One day. To any left wing Democrat like myself, Mr. Obama’s transformation from slightly radical left leaning Democrat to middle of the road, moderate traditional Republican is breathtaking.
Here are the links I would like you to peruse:
Here is a link from today’s Times that talks about a New Foundation for health care in our country. Watch this closely, mark my words. What is going to come of this is a middle of the road, traditional Republican view of a sort of consortium of private health insurers that will band their assets into one bundle and offer a number of cheap, relatively minimal health packages that will do little to actually improve the health care coverage of the roughly 50 million Americans that presently have no coverage. There will be no direct government intervention into the health care system. Period.
Here are some links from today’s Washington Post.
Now how does any of this apply to us and our needs as veterans? Well, you must understand the one overlying fact about us that will never, and can never go away. We are an incredibly expensive entitlement. There are roughly 24 million of us that one way or another take educational or health or pension benefits out of the general revenue fund every year. From a Democratic Party point of view, we do not represent a constituency that they normally feel comfortable representing. That is to say, we "steal" money from groups they normally represent.
As a Democrat myself I can tell you from personal experience that trying to get veterans issues onto any local or state wide Democratic Party initiative is about as easy as wrestling an eleven foot alligator while you are chained to the garage floor. You are going to have an easier time of things just walking away and forgetting about it. Other than during an election cycle, veterans are just not that important to their agenda.
Republicans on the other hand love to claim us as a proud part of their constituency and do all the flag waving and jingoistic talking you can imagine, but they cringe at actually allowing the kind of expenditures we really need over the long haul. Now to be fair, G.W. Bush passed two of the largest veterans expenditure packages ever assembled in our history. I believe he did it under duress because he had no other choice while waging two wars that he started, but he did it. Give the devil his due. But the sad fact is that the GOP is entitlement shy as a matter of principle.
It is hard to understand how veterans can consistently expect larger entitlement benefits from a political party that is inherently against entitlements. It makes no sense. Our future as a group needing monies is bleak if it lies within the protective umbrella of either a Democratic Party that sees us as a necessary evil or a Republican Party that sees us as receiving entitlements that they would curtail in a second if it ever became politically palatable. Neither Party really wants us in the tent. We are just too damned expensive.
It would behoove all of us at all times to really understand that we are being suffered more than we being represented. I ask only one thing of you. Vote accordingly and do everything you can at all times and under all circumstances to get veterans issues on the local, state and national ballots as much as you can. The American political system has never had a problem passing a resolution honoring us or giving us a parade. That is nonsense. What we need is money, always, everywhere and under all circumstances.
Never let them forget that.
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)