On some issues, it seems like Obama's hope to please everyone results in compromises that please no one. Take the proposed health care plan, for instance. I read a little while ago that the people instituting the plan wanted to make sure that, if health care was made mandatory, the plans would be affordable. But if we're aiming for universal health care, shouldn't the health plans be, well, free? It makes the Republican tactic of referring to "socialized medicine" even more ridiculous than it already was, as mandatory health insurance that you still have to pay for doesn't strike me as any more socialistic than the auto insurance industry, which also forces drivers to buy insurance. If Obama IS a socialist, as his critics love to say, he's not doing a very good job of it. It's funny that I sometimes hear that the Republican Party is falling apart, because apparently no one told the president. Or is it just that many Democrats nowadays are practically indistinguishable from Republicans, except they probably don't want to force public schools to teach the creation of the firmament as science?
I also think the attempt of some (like Sean Hannity, for instance) to call attention to and repeatedly criticize Obama's statement that Jim Crowley "acted stupidly" in arresting Henry Gates is really grasping at straws. I guess I could see if they think Obama should have just avoided broadcasting his opinions to the entire nation when they only affect one small part of it, but I think that it's a rather minor matter in the end. And really, for anyone bad-mouthing Gates, would YOU remain calm if someone tried to arrest you for breaking into your own house? I'm not necessarily saying that he was right, or that Crowley shouldn't have made sure everything was in order (although, from what I've heard, there WAS some racial profiling involved, as much as the Hannitys of the world want to deny it), just that it's a normal human reaction to be indignant if you're being hassled by law enforcement when you haven't done anything wrong. Regardless of this, however, I think Obama might have once again paid too much attention to his critics in this matter. It's fine if he regretted his choice of words (although I have to say I was all right with it), but it kind of seems like he felt he had to keep coming back to the issue because of the comments of a vocal minority.