Paul Jacob

Less than a year in, Americans have already lost faith in President Obama. Most had previously lost faith in congressional Democrats, and before that, congressional Republicans. In each case, the only reasonable question is: What took voters so long to face facts?

The lagtime, here, appears to depend (at minimum) on the time required to betray a pledge. That is, from the moment that candidate Obama first promised televised deliberations for the creation of a new nationalized health care system to the untelevised congressional deliberations of same. The point of putting it on C-Span was, of course, to prevent precisely the dirty backroom deals that have now insolently been stuffed into the legislation.

As president, Barack Obama can’t be bothered to keep his word — even by meekly suggesting to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid that they allow the American people a peephole into Washington’s backroom sausage factory.

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

It’s funny. Or Speaker Pelosi thinks so. She laughed mockingly this week, when asked about Obama’s health care transparency pledge.

The naked truth of modern politics is that our elections are meaningless affairs in which two blow-dried phonies with the same agenda lie to us shamelessly . . . when not charging each other with greater degrees of hypocrisy, deception, and kleptomania.

If voters inevitably play the sucker, it’s no laughing matter. This truth has consequences: We cannot trust our new president or our new Congress. We could not trust our old ones. Indeed, the bankruptcy of both major parties is no secret. Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele recently called many of his own party’s leadership, especially in Congress, “part of the problem, not the solution.”

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that the much-maligned Tea Party movement is much more popular than either Republicans or Democrats. While there is some GOP influence in the Tea Party movement, and it’s clearly more conservative than liberal, there is a very strong non-partisan (or transpartisan) impulse in the movement.

An independent, citizen-led political movement is precisely the antidote for the professional partisan politics that is killing our golden goose. But it is critical the movement not become yet another political party.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.