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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Ebola - The Political Issue

Category: Barack Obama
Posted: 10/27/14 09:45

by Dave Mindeman

This is probably a good way to define the Age of Obama.

The Minnesota Poll took up the topic of ebola and, surprise, surprise, they found a partisan response....

While 97 percent of Democrats who responded said they had "a lot" or at least "some" confidence in the government's ability to contain an outbreak in the United States, only 60 percent of independent voters and 56 percent of Republicans expressed such faith. And 14 percent of Republicans said they had "no confidence at all" in the government's Ebola response. Zero Democrats made that claim.

In this day and age, diseases are responded to based on your political affiliation. Republicans have become insistent on making sure President Obama gets no credit for anything that might be considered positive. They trash Obamacare even though there is clear evidence on nearly all fronts that it is accomplishing exactly what it set out to do. Even tragic events like the murders of our embassy personnel in Benghazi has taken an epic political tone.

But on ebola? The problems that developed in Dallas could have happened anywhere in the country. It is tempting to make a political point about Texas, but the truth is, no city would have been fully prepared to be confronted with an ebola case right on their doorstep. We can argue indefinitely about what kind of prevention we should have been doing in this regard, but political blame is kind of absurd. Both parties had responsibilities and concerns to deal with here, but the idea that we could handle this perfectly when directly confronted with no warning is a bit much to ask.

What should matter is our reponse after the fact. And frankly, that response has not been good - and a good portion of that problem stems from ridiculous partisan politics.

The administration gets criticized for a lack of action in regards to ebola. They get sued for acting too much in regards to immigration.

It is getting harder and harder to correlate the reactions to President Obama without thinking - would the reaction be different if he was a white President?

If you look at facts alone, President Obama has accomplished a lot during his tenure. Our economy has almost fully recovered from the worst recession since the depression. We finally have a health care fix. Actions have been taken on the environment. Inequality has been brought to the forefront - in both LGBT and Women's issues. We have made progress in the fight with Al Qaeda. Bank regulations have improved the housing market and loan stability. The stock market soars and unemployment has been reduced to pre-recession levels. The car industry was saved from destruction.

But President Obama is unpopular. A relentless campaign to discredit him has gone on since he started his presidency. Republicans in Congress have taken a path of obstruction, rather than participate in dealing with the country's problems. On the economic front, their debt ceiling antics has actually increased the difficulty of Obama's economic policies...almost destroying the economy in one irresponsible action. Death threats and White House breaches of security are up. Blaming the President for everything is the new parlor game.

And yet, despite the political drag of a do nothing Congress and an obstructive Senate minority, Obama continues to move the US into prosperity.

Could we be doing better on responding to ebola? Sure. But to score political points and disseminate misinformation intentionally is not only a disservice to the American people, but creating an unnecessary danger to them.

Is the Age of Obama defined as the time of a black President? or should it be defined as the time of just a good President?

That will be the decision of people who come after us - because what we are doing now is just politics at its worst.
comments (1) permalink
10/28/14 01:32
Ebola is rare and scary ... but what if there was a magic pill / vaccine, would the Republicans want that covered under ObamaCare just like flu shots and other vaccines ?

Erik Paulsen has been complaining that the FDA has not approved a vaccine for Meningitis B ... the EU approved one in January 2013 and Canada did in December 2013, but the US has shutdowns and sequester budget cuts, so the FDA has not approved it yet. Remember, the FDA must review vaccines or face the wrath of Representative Michele Bachmann who "educated" the nation on Gardasil vaccinations.
Paulsen took a publicized bus trip to Canada to get a vaccine ... reasonable cost is probably $300 ... now if the FDA approved the vaccine, would Paulsen wanted it included in ObamaCare ... oops ... he wants Obamacare repealed ... so, the FDA can approve a vaccine, but then people will have to decide if they want to spend $300 for it ... and the number of MenB cases in 2012 was 160.
Is Paulsen making an issue out of MenB for political sakes ?
IMO, no ... I think that as a Dad, Paulsen would want his children vaccinated ... but what about the other kids that his daughters go to school with ? That's the problem ...


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