Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why your country has two names? IV

I have two main reasons for putting this extremely boring and poorly written paper as my new post.

The first reason is I want to reinforce my explanation in my previous Why your country has two names III that stated that the poverty of the Burmese people is deliberately created by Burmese government, not because the government is negligent, dumb and mad but they are very smart and far more adept at the basic theories of political sciences than most people could estimate.

People are somehow optimistic that after the election, the new government might be probably pressed to work for the people. Many the educated think the good ideas for the development of the people could probably be generated from debates in the parliament. There are many good examples that even real democracy doesn’t work in a number of countries, such as Bangladesh and many states in Northern India. There are numerous good examples that many countries ruled by mafia governments and gun groups, of course are far worse than our Buddhist military government, e.g. Eastern and central Europe, always have the democratic elections regularly. They always win or the parties under their patronage will be declared as victors in elections. The bottom people remain the same and far more demoralized every year. In our case of Burma, the electoral setup is just another machine system of this nasty Burmese government to legitimize their tyranny.

As long as, these clever idiots rule, don’t hope that the middle class might have some opportunity to breath at some other time. This clever government well-understood that the rise of the middle class is the death knell to them and their primary timeless duty as the government is to eliminate the middle class completely. Not because our government is bad and the middle class extinguishes, but it is what this government wants so that the middle class is to be extinguished.

The second reason is because I think the political experience of America is a good basic textbook to be learned if we want to understand the political mechanism of Democracy. Even for Lincoln, he fully realized that democracy is a learning process and the learning process will never be complete enough. Democracy is the best, but so much imperfect and people need to strive all the time to make it perfect but it will never become perfect and will always remain so much imperfect. In fact, this understanding of imperfection of democracy let founding fathers of America develop the current political mechanism prevailing in America.

As a matter of fact, we Burmese are formula-centered people and are very much tended to think that perfect formulas could bring excellent results. This kind of notion can be easily observed in our Burmese culture such as the “wish-everything-you-get” tree; or a socialist utopia’s saying and fancy belief that is still prevailing our society, “showering with cooking oil, warming home with medical roots, rice piling up like a mountain” if we have a good government; or today’s popular attitude that urge most of us to think we just need to find a money-generating niche and ride with it forever. My second reason also focuses on learning basic reasons for feeling bad about those moral ineptitudes by observing the empirical evidence to know how democracy in America is too formulaless to make people ever find comfortable.

All right, the paper itself is not comfortable reading as I have very limited time, (two overnight express) to struggle with it and is a fact-centered one rather than having space for freedom of creativity. The instructor who demanded this heavy work from his students is one of the most systematic working instructors I have ever seen to drive his fellows to work hard until they feel professionally competent, of course not without hard work and exhaustion. He was also one of the former members of Hilary Clinton’s task force for health care reform and this academic paper, even though it is not good quality, couldn’t have been written without his arduous teaching to us about American politics and institutions.

Final Assignment

For the final paper please select a policy or program and trace its historical developments using a polity-centered approach. A Polity centered approach takes into consideration interest groups, institutions of government, democracy and election based politics, leadership and administrative capacity. It also recognizes that policies build off of past policies and existing governmental infrastructure/capacity. Skocpol showed how powerful this analysis can be. You can also include how ideology influences policy development.

Papers should be between 15 and 20-pages, double-spaced (12 point font, 1 inch margins).They should be written tightly and rewritten and re-edited before submission. These are historical developmental papers and not advocacy pieces. You are not trying to pitch an approach or lament that the U.S. does not have universal fill in the blank. What we do want to know is how history shaped options and programs. I am interested in how political parties, democracy, interest groups, leadership, bureaucracy and ideology influenced the development of policy and not why it is not the best policy.

You can examine critical change points in policies development (perhaps select two points in time). You could study its inception and the growth of a constituency around it. How was the program constricted by ideology, shaped by the institutions of government, and modified by the courts? I know that there is latitude here. You must include how this historical analysis is relevant to contemporary developments. What I am really interested in having you demonstrate an understanding of an issue within the broader historical context of welfare state development.

Table of Contents

The paradox of a laggard 2

Never give rein to Devil 2

Specter of Big Government and Socialists' Utopia 3

Freedom is not granted by ascription 4

Historical lessons from old men (1901-93) 5

As sharp as the serpents? 8

Trapping the Godzilla in a spider's web 9

Dragons all the way up 10

A dog walking on her hind legs 11

Just a pound of flesh is enough! 11

Totalitarian Couple and the media Titan 12

My husband is not a boxer! 13

They kindled fire on the table again 15

Don't do like what the couple had done 15

You have no superior reason to quarrel with God 17

O' BrienCare is not sweet 17

Obama-Reid-Pelosi machine 18

Commander-in-Chief's fight 19

Conclusion 20

America's new health care

The paradox of a laggard

The Wiggensteinians are used to confuse people by saying "I don't believe that I believe". Nothing looks less self-contradictory than America's health care system.

While the technology of American medicine is the envy of the world, the US ranks 31st in the world for life expectancy and 37th for infant mortality. A primary care physician in US is paid an annual rate of $190,000; and Americans currently spend 17 percent of their GDP for health care annually. In the meantime, the U.S census Bureau said more than 45 million in US lack of health care coverage.

America's public welfare is lagging behind Canada and other European nations in many major categories of a healthy nation. Notwithstanding, "Europeanization" is felt by many Americans as degrading their American values.

Never give rein to Devil

The New Hampshirians will live free or die.
Without any exception, what an American will never concede is his inalienable right for the pursuit of happiness. Democracy in America is arranged in such a way that this naturally endowed right awarded to every human by the Creator is not to be ever imposed by any manifested variation of tyranny.

The founding fathers, who were influenced by Adam Smith (spontaneous order), Charles Montesquieu (separation of powers), and especially John Locke (natural rights), prudently[1] set up control devices to forestall the danger of different manifests of tyranny in drafting the Constitution. The unleashed power of the Tyranny Machine has never been underestimated in American history, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"[2] as said by John Acton. The relentless mechanism of human evil desire for consolidation of power was assumed to be a huge hurdle to stop, once the engine of tyranny could start to spin.

Some philosophers assume democracy the only means to overthrow tyranny without bloodshed[3] so it should prevail everything else. The forefathers, who practiced democracy in modern history for the first time, noticed a subtle niche of Devil's footprint in democracy, which is inclined to reign as the tyranny of the majority unless a counter device could rein it. They didn't rely on a single tool to fabricate the future of their free land.

In fact, factionalism is grounded on a highly abstract probability estimate of a creative mathematician. The forefathers wisely recognized that the mathematical probability of finding a black swan[4] was not that few. Madison expressed his confidence by saying that by asserting factionalism in American political practice the only capable person who is talented enough to get the compromise of groups of special interests could assert his worthiness of leadership among the factions of America[5], eliminating the rule of an idiot, that would have happened when the majority idiots or powerful idiot groups are able to rule.

Forefathers added the method of factionalism as major counter device for controlling the corruption of democracy. Achieving an end in America needs to get the harmony of factional groups of differing interests in mutual frustration. Their founding of the Federal nation was justified if only by if factionalism was practiced to control the hegemony of a single group, a group of oligarchs, or the majority.

Specter of Big Government and Socialists' Utopia

Since its inception, the struggle for the pursuit of happyness of Americans has always been based on prudence that is the strict vigilance to compress the resilience of any tyranny.

The growth of the government is equated with the specter of tyranny. Invincible formulas and permanently tenable plans of social engineering are not accepted by American society. The bogus allure of the utopia from socialists is seen as the road to serfdom [6] by Americans. The pursuit of happyness of a man is your own happiness for your freedom in the pursuit of virtue and wisdom. Not the freedom of free-riding and frivolousness in the Kingdom of collective Ends. The encroachment of the government into the private creativity and ownership in the name of the public goodness is not tolerated in American society.

The power is borrowed to the US government with a four years lease by American people. In the Gettysburg address, Abraham Lincoln said "this government of the people, for the people, by the people should never perish from earth". Democracy in America mandates that the government is the servant of the people, not the other way round.

Freedom is not granted by ascription

Vast plain lands of China and India is the explanation of easy oppression of their governments over the common Chinese and Indians who inevitably become passive and the crawlers to the ruling class. The natural barriers of mountains, rivers and valleys of Europe explained the defensible and escapable competition of land owners' class with the rule of European kings. Aristocrats of Europe [7] were often admired as the powerful group competing with the European rulers. On the other hand, the Aristocratic class is the culprit of class struggles for Karl Marx when Europe became industrialized.

Yankees' experience of democracy in America has been pretty different from histories of Asia's superpowers and European nobles. Since the Declaration of Independence, with the affirmative statement of all men are created free and equal, the prosperity of the middle class has been guaranteed and their economic boom has been established. "Tyrannyàoppressionàthe pooràthe powerlessàmore tyranny" is acknowledged as a vicious cycle of the bottom billion of the world. "Less governmentà equal opportunityà economic freedomà rise of middle classà more economic powerà more opportunityà more freedomàmore competing powerà less governmentà secure more freedom" can be seen as the reinforcing defense mechanism of Democracy in America.

"Freedom is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it never known it again", Americans heard from Ronald Regan in his first inaugural address as the governor of California in 1967. The responsibility of defense for freedom is assumed to be mainly taken by the non-homogenous American middle class people. The economic collapse of the middle class is the clue of the diminishing freedom. The encroachment of the government into the economic life of people is a confession of the failure and elimination of the middle class. The public welfare is either the insult or condescension to them. Welfare is not only seen as the disincentive for working but also deemed a form of robbery over the middle class.

American liberalism believes that contribution to society shall come from a person's willingness and willingness[8], not by enforcement. Capitalism is founded on trust and volunteerism, not on passion and collectivism.

Historical lessons from old men (1901-93)

The founding philosophy of America, the contexts of American tradition for its strong awareness for the need of defense for liberalism, and forefathers' shrewd old technique of factionalism as the key method letting people defensible against the Tyranny Machine, make any government extremely difficult to lay down progressive social policies.

Hilary Clinton confessed she had not realized the magnitude of the task she was undertaking. Since nobody is sovereign in America, the races are numerous, multi-pronged and uphill for ultimate acquisition of victory but most are ended with either mixed success or complete failure.

One hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt and other progressive leaders started to propose universal health care coverage. In 1935, FDR tried to complement Social Security with national health insurance but his plan was completely crushed under the opposition of AMA (American Medical Association) who feared that the government would control over medical doctors' practice. Truman also took up the cause of universal health care in his campaign for the 1948 election. He, too, was thwarted by well-financed and well-organized opposition from AMA and the US Chamber of Commerce.

It is interesting to notice that when people's power is very strong in North America, it becomes nothing in the bottom billion's countries even though big revolutions from the people sometimes happen. One simple explanation of this difference is that people in poverty are never organized so that they could be easily crushed by tyrannical regimes no matter how huge their armless revolution is.

Influenced by a Jainist master and his inclination toward a Buddhist thought of the love for the Truth (note this is with Big T), when Gandhi first applied a Buddhist's philosophy of Ahimsa, the non-violence principle for the struggle of the Indian Independence, he didn't think the principle could be powerful enough with the off-hand people of disarray. Rather he believed the non-violence principle could be extremely strong for British if it was practiced by a well-prepared group of some people[9]. Gandhi's philosophy was supportive along with the validation of the importance of Aristocrats in European evolution of democracy pointed out by Zakaria and the numerous victories from strength of the upper middle class group for wrestling against the growth of a big government in US. The success of the Czech velvet revolution that involved the majority of the middle class who had already prospered enough economically in European standard before the revolution also validate with this assumption.

After the defeat, Truman was content with his modest proposal of providing health insurance for recipients of Social Security which later would be known as Medicare. 1940-50s saw the bargains of labor unions for health care benefits of the workers in labor contracts. Other employers began offering benefits to non-union employees. This led US into the broad coverage of health insurance by employers. Currently 60 percent of Americans under age 65 receive insurance through their workplace[10].

During Eisenhower's administration of Republicans from 1953 to1961, two important movements in health care legislation were made. One was the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and another was expansion and institutionalization of tax break for employer-based insurance. The first one that was based on open enrollment, was often seen as a model for future national health insurance[11]. Based on the average of the estimates from 2004-08, the second one costs the federal government more than $150 billion [12] every year. This amount of money was thought as the possible big source of revenue in the latest health care reform war.

With the publicity of the model proposed by Senator Jacob Javits [13], JFK was close to legislating Medicare in 1962. However, he was narrowly defeated by the Congress finally when one senator switched sides. In 1965, LBJ's initiative of Great Society created two federally funded health insurance programs, Medicaid for the poor and Medicare for the elderly. Johnson's effort was made possible by a huge Democratic majority in Congress. It was the greatest success in the American welfare reform so far and the most important victory of the progressive Democrats to be recognized.

In his 1974 State of the Union address, Nixon called for comprehensive health insurance. In February in the same year, he introduced the Comprehensive Health Insurance Act in which employers are required to pay for limited benefits of employees. The proposal failed because the influential policy champion, Ted Kennedy, rejected the universal coverage plan[14]. Later, Kennedy, who said health reform was the cause in his life, realized it was a major opportunity for the progress. Since that time, no proposal for universal coverage got a majority vote from a congressional committee until another twenty years later.

Ford from the Republican and Jimmy Carter from the Democrat also pursued reform in 1970s. During Carter's presidency, the Democrat Party was even split because of the clash between Ted and Jimmy over the matter of what should be done for health reform. The former, who had never given up his cause, pressed for national health insurance whereas, the latter couldn't be wed to national coverage.

Regan's presidency produced two additional benefits: one was the catastrophic coverage for Medicare and another was the prescription drug benefits. However, the introduction of new taxes swirled the revolt among many older Americans and Congress had to repeal the law early in the Presidency of George W Bush[15].

Over those decades, the health insurance industry had grown bigger and bigger and extremely powerful. Many insurance companies tried to block universal coverage lest their premiums would be set lower and their opportunism for risk selection would be eliminated.

As sharp as the serpents?

In 1993, Hilary Clinton was assigned the chair of President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform which organized the giant working group of 600 expert people for debating and reviewing specific parts of reform plan in detail.

The attempt to include as many viewpoints of people as possible turned out to be a disaster. The group was so large that many felt peripheral to the center of action. Many others were also interested in their own agenda, rather than collaborating with the overall plan. Some even stopped coming to the meeting. The First Lady was also sued by the health care industry, which used the federal law of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that was designed to prevent private interests from surreptitiously influencing government decision making and usurping public's right to know[16].

The mistake of the First Lady was that she didn't invite the press to the task force's meetings. She finally won the case because the DC circuit ruled that the First Lady of the United States could be seen as a government officer so the procedural requirement of FACA could be waived.

Trapping the Godzilla in a spider's web

From the legislative point of view, the main difficulty for Hilary was unification of Democrats, who were too splintered in factions to ever become united. At that time, Democrats had only an insignificant 56 to 44 advantage over Republicans. She was not confident that she could muster sixty votes to overcome the filibuster, a tactic used by opponents to delay a legislative action.

Following the recommendation from House Majority Leader, Dick Gephardt, the First Lady tried a tactical maneuver that was to attach the health care bill to a budget bill called the Budget Reconciliation Act. The bill allowed the combination of an array of congressional tax and budget decisions into one single bill that could be approved by a simple majority vote in the Senate. If there was a 50-50 tie then the Vice President, Al Gore, could cast the tie break vote of the 51st.

However, trapping the health reform Godzilla into this spider's web of the budget reconciliation needed a waiver from the Byrd rule which was a procedural hurdle to ensure that items placed in the Budget Reconciliation Act were to pass the nation's budget. Despite the urge from many influential supporters including the President, Senator Byrd, who had served in the Senate for 34 years and was the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, objected on the procedural grounds that his rule could not be waived[17]. He asserted the fact that the Senate was allowed only twenty hours to debate reconciliation bills so that a health care reform package of such huge magnitude couldn't have enough time. The First Lady agreed with his experienced assessment and refocused on getting health care reform through normal legislative process.

Dragons all the way up

The task force was disbanded at the end of May, 1993. After the President's address to Congress on September 22, that described the outline plan of health form, Hilary worked arduously for testifying the bill in front of five congressional committees.

By that time, the pro-reform groups and anti-reform groups had started their respective campaigns to influence the outcome. Generally, consumers, workers, the elderly, pediatrics hospitals and pediatricians were on the proponents' side but the health insurance industry, pharmaceuticals and business groups were on the opponents' side. The employers' mandate to provide the health insurance to all employees was the key threat of the bill upon business groups, especially small business owners.

The opponents spent an estimate of $300 million for campaigning against the reform. The Harry and Louis television ads paid by the Health Insurance association of America[18] contributed a large blow to Hilary, leading to unpopularity of the bill among the public. The presentation of the ads subtly highlighted anti-liberalism values of the bill: a middle class couple was forced by the government bureaucrats to sign up for a new health care plan. The essential message to Americans from the ads was "No choice, Big government, Bureaucracy" that were going to replace Free to choose, minimal government, liberty.

There was also misinformation and uncertainty of information to the pro-reform groups, who supported the bill based on the hope of their groups' interest, such as the prescription drug coverage wanted by senior citizens' group. Hilary tried to keep pro-reform forces together under the umbrella of the Health Care Reform Project which raised $ 15 million for running the public information campaign. However, the well-financed and well-organized opposition groups have already gained the initiative enough for her defeat.

A dog walking on her hind legs

After Eleanor Roosevelt, Hilary' work on trying to make a significant social change was one of the most significant landmarks of the achievements of women in American history.

In the testimonies, the Congress members were impressed by her knowledge in intricacies of health system. Nevertheless, this might be the same possible problem with her defeat by Obama in the Democratic primaries. America has been a male-biased society so far. Hilary said the surprise and lauds from Congress members were in some part, the talking dog syndrome. The British writer, Samuel Johnson, once saw a woman preach on the road. He said, "Sir, a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on its hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all".

Even though, the male-dominated Congress members had such attitude to the First Lady's work, there were many among them who even didn't even know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Newt Gingrich, who led the Republican sweep in the mid-term election, talked in a TV interview that he didn't have the government health insurance and purchased a local plan from the Blue Cross- Blue Shield while the actuality was the Federal government provided 75% his health insurance policy under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan[19].

Just a pound of flesh is enough!

A famous motto of Jimmy Carter was "Democrats legislate, Republicans investigate".

According to Democrats, Republicans always block Democrats' legislature for public welfare lest such legislative success would lead to a Democrat President's victories in the coming election. Republicans are supposed to crush Democrats one way or another but their main claim was with a different reason: to stop the socialist machine of the Left that is against the American values.

For the opposition, Hilary was too strong in the process. Republicans were going to come after her and take a pound of flesh out of her one way or another. When Senate Majority Leader, George Mitchell introduced the measure for the Health Security Act, it was 1,342 pages long[20], approximately six pounds in weight. This was a great opportunity for Republicans to be able to take a pound of flesh out of the Lady.

For Hilary, she needed to include details of the Act because the supporters wanted their demands to be already guaranteed in the bill rather than deferred negotiations after legislation. For the public's common sense opinion, it was the obvious clue of the growth of the Big Government and bureaucracy. The message from Harry and Louis had also already been implanted in their conscious mind. The people presided as the duke and Republicans' Shylock could now take the flesh from Lady Antonio with reference to this lengthy contract. Simple and clear-cut categorization is always liked by the people.

In 2010, Newt Gingrich used the same major strategy by pointing the length of 2,409 pages and the count of the appearances of the word " shall" for 4,231 times, giving people the impression on Obama's health care bill as a detraction.

Totalitarian Couple and the media Titan

At the same time, the Whitewater investigation also diminished both Hilary and Bill's credibility. The media controlled by Conservatives spread the news that the President was a communist and his wife a murderess.

The radio waves continuously announced that this totalitarian couple would take the guns from the people and force them into their socialist health system. Newt Gingrich publicized the same kind of news against Obama's health plan but this time he was quite distracted by more serious challenge from the corruption of UN and its either prostration or collusion with terrorists' regime that he saw as a more distressing problem than the secular socialist antigun machine of the Left.

In the summer of 1994, Hilary made a nationwide tour, intending that she could spread the health care plan at the grass roots level. Along her way, local and national radio hosts had been inciting protesters. She was faced with protesters who outnumbered the meeting attendants coming to her meetings. The warning from the Secret Service made her wear a bullet proof vest. During one trip, protesters swarmed along her limousine and screamed at her. Several arrests were made and two guns and a knife were confiscated from the crowd.

Protesters were openly sponsored by a political interest group called CSE (Citizens for a Sound Economy) which was in close connection with Newt Gingrich's office in Washington. Richard Mellon Scaife, the right-wing billionaire and news publisher, who was the funder for the Arkansas project for investigating the case of Bill Clinton's sexual scandal with Paula Jones', was the generous sponsor behind the group. Later, Scaife moved to a position opinion on Bill Clinton for his post-Presidency work for global help and endorsed the Presidency of Hilary in 2008.

My husband is not a boxer!

In Congress, Republican Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island tried to help with Hilary in saving the reform by garnering the bipartisan support of his Republican colleagues but ended in vain. At that point, Bill Clinton dared not come forward to fight that he might think a big risk for his next term presidency and his Democrat party.

Hilary thought the President should at least have the courage to play the game; not concerning the probability of high loss since the probability of a win from no play at all was zero. She thought after the bill could be pulled out from the Finance Committee, Majority Leader Mitchell could bring it to floor and probably the challenge of filibuster from the Republican could be pushed out with serious play.

Nevertheless, the condition was already hopeless. In August 1994, Mitchell introduced the amendments that would have delayed requirements of employers until 2002, and exempted small businesses. Even with Mitchell's revised bill, there were not enough Democratic senators to support it. The measure never came to a vote on the floor of either the House or the Senate. In 1994 mid-term elections, the Republican revolution, led by Newt Gingrich, gave the GOP (Grand Old Party) control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time since the 83rd Congress of 1953–1954. With the control of both chambers by Regan's Republicans, the progress for Clinton's health plan became completely hopeless.

Hilary thought the underestimation of the opposite forces was their biggest mistake. However, she rather thought the President's cowardice in forfeit of the game left no chance for the survival of the plan. For the journalists, the key factor was the secret meetings of the Task Force that made the very bad first impression of her health care reform.

I somehow was tended to agree with the journalists based on my knowledge in selling strategies. For a sale representative, the first impression on him by the customer is usually the most important in selling a new product. Once the first impression is gone, it is very difficult to save yourself in next attempts. Notwithstanding, Hilary practically learned how powerful is the device mechanism of factionalism innovated by forefathers of America.

The second point of Hilary's health plan debacle, that is Bill's cowardice, was the most important of all that Obama took this lesson either coincidentally by circumstances or intentionally to play one more time for a win. The key factor that judges the ultimate success of this century-long process of health reform is too simple to be believed. The President has to fight even if he loses all and everything. Without attack, no game could be won just by playing for defense. In fact, this game theory is the simplest and most fundament philosophy of the triumph of capitalism.

They kindled fire on the table again

After Hilary's debacle, the momentum for the reform of the Left had come to a stop. In fact, the right-wing Republicans, who, by their natural duty of opposition, turned the table had many agreements with Clinton's administration in that the current system had a lot more to be improved[21].

In 2003, George W Bush put his name in history with FDR by signing the prescription drug benefit, commonly known as Medicare Part D that was the biggest expansion of Medicare since its establishment. In 2008, Democrats kindled their languished fire on the table again in their Presidential campaigns. Obama, Hilary and Edwards all proposed plans for comprehensive coverage.

In the Democratic primaries, Hilary seemed to triumph over Obama in her intricacies of knowledge of health reform, for which Obama looked quite inept. Such a brilliant guy with mercurial oratory skills obviously was so lackluster in this subject and people started to suspect he was the first-tier candidate. Obama realized that he was going to be whiffed up if he didn't have a definite agenda for the all-time mantra of the liberal constituencies, "Health care for all".

Don't do like what the couple had done

There was a single biblical principle for Obama's team for health care reform, "Don't repeat the mistakes of Clintons". The most important strategic rule was "Get initiative by disarming your enemies first". Otherwise they would have taken the blood out of you. Here, the enemies were special interests, the harassing Sky Captain creatures continuously released by already dead James Madison from 1787.

The priority also was shifted from the uninsured, for whose interest theoretically weak Hilary Clinton had focused, to the middle class who were now asked to give hands to the government to defeat the corporate world. In the Chinese Tai Chi principle, if you face two enemies, maneuver to divert their attacking forces on you in the direction that they cancel each other.

In 2009, Obama's team welcomed a White House forum of the collection of 150 men from most powerful interest groups, many of whom were reputable combatants for crushing Hilary's care: Republican lawmakers, leaders of organized labor and AMA, corporate executives, consumer advocates and officials from the US chamber of Commerce, Lobbyist, Tauzin of PhRma, Ignagni of American Health Insurance Plan, and Chip Kahn, the mastermind of Harry and Louise.

The main tactical purpose of the forum was to divide the resistant forces and conquer. The divide is a fundamental totalitarian regime technique, "let the dog always feel uncertain that he will get the bone among others". With the back channel messages, in these closed door meetings the administration pressed the groups with part enticement and part threat. If you are not at the table, you will be in the menu. The business world got to believe that if they didn't get a compromise, the President was ready to put them as the villain in his drama.

On June 19, five pharmaceutical companies signed off an agreement with Obama's administration for lowering their drug prices for seniors to help the government in its covering of the infamous donut hole of Medicare Part D[22]. After the surrender from pharmaceuticals, conformity followed. Hospitals came to agree to forgo $155 billion in government reimbursement over 10 years. Other heavyweights such as Wal-Mart, nurses and some physicians began to speak in favor of the President's initiative.

You have no superior reason to quarrel with God

When the Tsun Zu's The art of war worked well for conquering the corporate and big citizens, the play needed different resources in unifying seldom united Democrats and forever united Republicans in the Congress. Another powerful group that couldn't coerced by denunciation as the enemy of the state was the very strong Catholic Group. Only you should be cautious that you would become the enemy of the Kingdom of Heavens overnight, and you also have no superior reason for your apology once you started to quarrel with the God.

When Obama's bulwark, Ted Kennedy passed away on August 25, the Bishops saw this as an opportunity to press Obama, whom they thought not as a strong, staunchly man like Ted, on their pro-anti-abortion issue. Cardinal Sena O' Malley, the archbishop of Boston, attended the funeral to pray for Ted despite the protests for the ex-senator's pro-abortion stand and gave Obama the message that the Catholic Group was willing to support the health care reform if no public fund was used for the abortion cause.

With the executive order issued on March 10, Obama declared that no federal funding be used for abortion[23]. Along with this message, not only he showed his supportive savvy of the contentious issue of the Catholic but he also allured the anti-abortion Democrats to vote for the bill, securing its passage.

O' BrienCare is not sweet

While Senator Baucus theatrically hinted that their attempt was close to garnering the bipartisan support, intra-party disputes were heating up since August. Obama's rambling performance in this prime-time news conference aggravated the concern of the public.

Conservative talk show hosts and tea party activists organized protests, calling "Obamacare". Paying for the end-of-life counseling became death panels in the words of criticism. The public turned to think O Brien's offer of the honey was in reality bitterly sour. Tea partiers conjured up the encroaching big government, protesting to test the strength of Obama's administration.

Obama-Reid-Pelosi machine

Human history has been six thousand years long so far; however, in many instances, the most important moments of great change come out from a few seconds of Blink[24]. Reid was one of the marvelous examples of those few seconds.

When Democrats were extremely angry at filibuster of their old betrayer Lieberman, running mate of Al Gore in 2000, Reid reminded of the landmarks of the old senator's help with major legislative successes of Democrats. These blink of reflection, the positive mental attitude, a business and life strategy to win somebody and one's own heart, compassion out of anger, softened the attitude of this Old One Man on the way. Many closed door negotiations that once was the modus operandi for the start of fall of Clinton's plan were successfully finished to secure the final sixty votes to overcome the filibuster.

On the other hand, even though numerous people and groups were involved in history, the change of history was most often decided by the merit and choice of a handful of people. In Hilary's case, Mitchell just threw in the towel and Bill Clinton just passively accepted the defeat of his wife and Magaziner on the rap. Nobody bothered to push the President to the frontiers of the battles, when they were going to lose.

When Abraham Lincoln first met with Harriet Beecher Stowe of Uncle Tom's Cabin, he said to her, "You are this small woman who started the civil war"[25]. The instrumental role of the first Madam Speaker of the United States was more than this. Not only, she was able to deliver to 219 votes in the House, she was the key pusher to move Obama to war frontiers to fight when Rep. Scott Brown captured Massachusetts Senate seat held for more than forty years by the late Ted.

For Newt Gingrich, the victory of Brown is the start of the return of Republican titans to sweep Democrats from both chambers all the way out. But Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine ran faster otherwise history would be repeated.

Commander-in-Chief's fight

In a sacred Hindu doctrine called Bhagavad Gita, the essential message to Lord Krishna to the mankind was "If you were a soldier, you can't be equivocal. As a soldier, your duty is to fight. Truth is to be searched through the duty". Humanity is the duty for many heroic fights against the British for Independence struggles of India[26].

Obama's administration belatedly realized that the months of delay, closed door negotiations and special deals such as Louisiana Purchase, special concession of 300 million Medicaid to Nebraska in cornhusker kickout had already vitiated the credibility of the Washington's operation. In fact, Obama himself had already hung his own democrat generals with a false strategy in most part of the reform battle on account of Szun Tsu's The art of war, which ruled "don't release your generals into the battle field without the clear instructions from you or you". For one year, Reform Democrats were all the time leaderless and lackluster. When he was just trying to instruct behind the scenes, the public became more and more obfuscated at the plan

Democrats started to press back on their Commander-in-Chief to roll up his sleeves to take on the battle. Obama himself got into the battle and sought one battle after another to garner the bipartisan support but no single Republican hand was offered. However, his full engagement encouraged jittery Democrats and promised the fragmentized their unification. Pelosi was dealing with the specter of abortion funding, shuffling from one office to another office.

On March 23, 2010, President Obama of the United States signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Hilary was right. If Bill had come into the battle field, it would have been done earlier. To be or not to be, the change of history is just a moment of blink to be fearless.


Skocpal's polity-centered approach suggested seeing the society as the hub of action. It recommends we should determine whether a particular policy ambition fits within broader policy contexts and how the history of past polices shaped the outcome of the current policy agenda. Four parameters are to be looked in the window the polity-centered approach: (1) the formation of a state and political parties (2) active social groups (civil societies) (3) how much is the degree of freedom of socially and politically active groups to different levels of access and their capability to orchestrate (4) the feedback cycle of policies.

It was evident that both Clinton and Obama's health reform plans were at the first place, to be determined whether they could stand up with the founding philosophies of the United States. Even though liberalism is redefined progressively towards the Left in United States since either the FDR's New Deal of Great Depression or it was a struggle of finesse between Hamiltonian nationalism and Jeffersonian democracy or the discordance between LBJ's Great Society and Ronald Regan's Problem Government, the primary American values of free market, freedom to choose, individualism, factionalism, "nobody is sovereign" and the Laws of Constitution have always been respected.

For me as an Easterner's perspective, American values gave one essential message, "fight all the time but with conscience and tolerance". Duty, Conscience and tolerance are core spiritual values of the major Eastern ethical systems such as Confucianism, Hinduism and Buddhism.

The freedom of association and creation of interest groups has made all welfare reform movements difficult. To get a compromise needed hard work, tricks, bargain, incentives (somehow bribery) and sometimes requires O Brien's techniques of coercion and entice. Understanding of human psychology played a crucial role in this part. Colvin's Talent is overrated[27] highlighted that there is no business expertise prodigy in history unlike those common few in sports, because making a successful deal requires understanding and correct assessment of stakeholders' human nature and their position and such experience cannot be achieved by a legendary 15 years old genius. The winning strategies in both opposition and pro-reformers conclusively have depended on who can play better for human psyche. In the first war of Clintons, the industry who took the initiative won. In the return match, the Obama Administration took the initiative and maneuvered with Hobbes' dilemma of human mentality for tendency of the choice for the minimal worst under the situation of coercion. Time is noticed to be the fourth dimension in every competitive sport to influence the outcome, as well as in the health reform race.

Coalition of groups to bigger counter forces played a major role. However, from Obama's administration experience with business industry which Hilary had not tried it, it is also noticeable that if you could make someone surrender first, others are tempting to do the same. Maybe the Domino theory of LBJ, that justified the America's war against Vietnam, could agree with, or the conformity theory of human psychology.

Arendt described in her Origins of totalitarianism[28], it is not because the mass are passive to the totalitarianism but the truth is they are happy to stand on the bad side and combine with bad people. They think their living is guaranteed and comfortable by associating with the oppressor group.

Rationalists explained that human rationality means getting things with easy, cheap and a minimal worst way. Coalition can be more counterfactual than we normally are optimistic. The paradox is not an uncommon experience in many tyrannical countries of the world as stated in Collier's Bottom billion. When the minority rises up with the arms to revolt, these rebel arm holders usually end up in coalescing with their oppressor government to share the privileges[29] in oppressing the people together. Tyranny is always a vicious cycle and the concern of the Right-wing conservatives for stopping the growth of a big government might probably be well-justified.

As a general rule, the last parameter of the polity-centered approach that describes that the past policies shape the outcome of the new agenda may be true. However, it is worth considering that human capital factors might play a more crucial role in determining the outcome. In reality, Obama's administration had fallen in the same lobster pot as Clintons did but stronger human factors finally changed the outcome.

All rules are only relatively true. We see A causes B, but if there is either no real A or no real B, our world may be just an event of randomness with uncertainty.

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