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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Wednesday's Connector of the Day – Michael Steele

January 5th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele lays out his vision for the future of America in his new book: "Right Now – A 12-Step Program For Defeating The Obama Agenda".

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/05/steele.art.jpg caption="Michael Steele: Republican National Chairman."]

An outspoken critic of the president, Steele says he is reaching out to town hallers, tea partiers, independents, and anyone who is simply "fed up with a federal government drunk on power." He invites his followers to join the effort to bring back core conservative values and revive the right to build a life free of government intervention.

Actively opposing Obama's "Reign of Error," the book calls to take back National Security, and limit government spending on healthcare and education.

Both President Obama and Michael Steele share the historic honor of becoming the first African Americans to fulfill the roles of president, and RNC chairman, respectively. But that is where their similarities end.

Democratic opponents of Steele argue that he offers a lot in the way of criticism but little in the way of new policy or ideas.

If you have a question about Michael Steele’s book, President Obama, or the Republican Party in America, post it here.

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. George from Indiana

    So instead of government intervention in healthcare, economics and education, we'll go back to government intervention in foreign countries and private business intervention in government?

    I don't think so.

    Government spending on healthcare will allow me to visit a doctor for the first time in the year since I lost my insurance coverage following the layoffs of the past year. Government spending on education might make it so my our children don't have to sit in overcrowded classrooms, and have math and science and foreign language education approaching the much higher standards of many other developed and developing nations.

    This is why 2004 was the last Republican presidential vote I will cast for many, many years.

    January 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  2. mike vanyo

    just goes to show you how popular the man is.im the only writer and i dont agree with him or his party of no book.

    January 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  3. Dr. Virginia Lubell

    After spending many years of my 65 in countries where 'Government' is reduced, barely exists and is not involved in people's lives ... these are called '3rd world countries'. Come with me Michael Steele. Come live in the poverty.

    Every time we sit in an insulated house, some form of government has played a role. Every time we turn on the tap for running water or flush a toilet, drive on a road, have the garbage collected ... our government is involved.

    I'm a totally impressed by the RNC's lack of criticism for the overspending when companies pay top executives or shareholders rather than employees. Can Michael Steele not see the growth of the aristocracy of wealth?

    I'm totally amazed when the RNC does not criticize US mega corporations for what they do when they go to other countries and pollute or hire people without any employee safe guards or respect. Come with me Michael Steele and see how US businesses behave when not regulated by governments.

    The US is a unique country. The constitution is based on 'We the People' not 'I the person'. We must balance our individual rights/responsibilities with our shared rights/responsibilities.

    January 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  4. Dan Reed

    With regards to corporate cronyism, I am wondering if there is any difference between the two parties or it's leaders whatsoever. It becomes increasingly clear that it is all a show. Like Rome, the US may fall from it's own division and over inflated view of it's self.

    January 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  5. Ted Page

    The head of the Republican party scolding Obama for being "drunk on power" must be some kind of joke. Bush and his boss, Cheney, were on the biggest power bender the world has ever seen – for 8 years. And now that Obama is trying to help the powerless get decent healthcare, or enact other much needed changes in our society, he is portrayed by Steel and his buddies at Fox news as evil. Please!

    January 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  6. sammieb51

    We have a 37% drop out rate in our High Schools - good idea Mr. Steele - let's drop funding for education. How do you propose we compete in the world markets with ideas, innovations, inventions - by lobbing bombs at other countries like a bunch of neanderthals? Because that is where we are going if we don't get our educational standards UP to world par. Bush's 'no child left behind' left most of our kids in the gutter.

    January 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  7. Joe

    The political bickering between DNC and RNC makes people think that these two parties are different. Unfortunately, the sheeple that votes on party lines does not realize that both parties are bought and paid for by big corporations. Dems are doing what their masters are telling them to do (bankers, insurance companies,...). The same was done by RNC in Bush years and Obama continued with the same, of course with a different rhetoric but same outcome.

    January 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  8. Daniel Bahls

    I understand why Republicans might want to oppose everything the government is doing now that they no longer control it–but is the "everything Obama does is bad" approach really helpful? What things has Obama done in the past year that you support? Is the Republican opposition principled or is it simply reactionary?

    January 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  9. Big Woody

    Desperate times require desperate measures. Clearly the republican party is desperate.

    January 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  10. Thomas Lane

    Health care is a good thing,but are you willing to pay out of your pocket for some drunk or junkie or smokers and the Goverment will take it out of your check if you like it or not! It's not your choice anymore,so if you like to live without choices good for you. Bismarck Started this healthcare program in the 1800's,and the goverment was making such a killing on tax payers money,from health care,they moved on to other things like are almighty Obama is doing taking over private companys and telling them,what they can and can't pay,so next time you wake up make sure wait for Obama to tell you when you can go to the bathroom.!

    January 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  11. JR

    The United Sates as we know and love is over. We have too many corrupt, insecure, power and media hungry politicians, and too few statesmen. No matter how or who we vote for, we are "damned if we do, and damned if we don't". All we are now is a mere shell of what we used to be as a people and country, and what ever is left, is slowly being sucked dry by corporations and foreign governments, as was the case which led to the fall of the Roman Empire.
    God bless America, may she rest in peace!

    January 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  12. Tim

    Drunk on Power? There is not a dimes worth of difference between either party's unquenchable thirst for power. The party out of power only uses that argument when they when they are out. Just happens to be the Republican turn to sound off. The sad thing in todays politicss is that the out party doesn't care about the nations well being at all. The Dems will do that next when they are out.

    January 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  13. Mike NJ

    All you Dems are high....I can't no wonder your party symbol is a Jackass there are just too many to count.....the democratic party is the worst thing ever to happen to this country....From peanut brain Jimmy Carter, to the loose zipper Clinton, to the spineless idiot in the White House now.... same old backroom, tax and spend democrats....

    January 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  14. Patt

    What if the new admin had only followed the previous in wars and ignoring the economy? Where would YOU be now? I am glad efforts have been made. I realise that the whole administration, not only our President, makes things happen or not. I am tired of spending on a war(s) that may or may not make us safer when we are not putting effort into building our country, protecting our nation, educating and feeding our children and being able to be healthy.

    January 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  15. marcia

    JR is right. The United States is over!

    January 5, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  16. Auntkookie

    Someone said it correctly, when Obama gets up in the morning, the Repubs have something vile and nasty to say. It's not about taking over big government, its' about a man of color is leading America. The sad part about this mess, is the US is broke, in debt, poorly educated, high employment, hated by people overseas and on our shores.

    All President Obama cares about is trying to make the US a better place. The country that use to be respected around the world, is now laughed at because we still maintain the superpower role relying on China to lend us the US money to play the big super power.

    We all should thank whatever God we believe in the Obama is our President. Can you see McCain trying to fix the mess. Worst scenario, can you imagine the dip stick Palin trying to manage all the issues Obama has on his place. What would Palin say with a wink and blink, you betch ya.

    January 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  17. Dario van der Lundin

    Dear Sir, It seems an easy solution for politicians( worldwide) to criticize but difficult to provide the right answer that will help the (American) people. What is your package to reestablish the American dream in short terms?
    People is waking up and starting to ask for solution and actions. We do not ask for what you could do or what would you do if...
    Dario van der Lundin, Paris, France

    January 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  18. Jonathan Graham

    Drunk with power. How fast we forget the Bush swagger. It was the Bush Cheney team that was drunk with power. Obama whether you agree or disagree with him is at least working within the constitution and trying to undo the mess that Mr Steele party got us into

    January 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  19. Jon

    Mike from NJ, you are everything that is wrong with this country. Please give some insight to the things you are saying, otherwise it just sounds like your mind is brainwashed with the facade put on by Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and all the other egomaniacs at Fox News. Please use the blog as if you were writing an essay to persuade people your views not just generalities of things that can be read on Gingrich or Boehner's twitter accounts.

    Please tell me why is it so important to send more money down the toilet for defense spending, which is just a positive feedback cycle. By that I mean the more money you spend to fight other countries, the more terrorism will spread and give justice to the people in those countries to hate America. Please tell me if I'm wrong..

    How is it evil bureaucratic power when money is used to actually improve the welfare of our country (and if you think that word only relates to people below the poverty level in this country please consult a dictionary, or maybe we should have just spent more money on 'socialist' porgrams like education).

    When the head of the Republican Party is saying spending money on healthcare and education is not important, as an American who pays taxes I find it highly insulting. I would think with the Republican Party so focused on business practices, that investing in our countries future on such simple things would be the most rational thing to do, but then again rationality comes from your brain, not your gut where true thought comes from.

    As for the tea-bagging counterparts to say that their country was 'hijacked,' do they not know the meaning of democracy and the founding principles of our country? (Then again they are the ones who believe George Bush was elected fairly and democratically although he did not even win the popular vote and the only reason he won was because of partisan politics in the Supreme Court).

    Please please debate, that is the only true way to the truth and maybe someway I can understand why people vote for the right. I also believe in small government but sometimes government is very necessary. It is impossible to be so one-sided so please help me understand why absolutely everything on the 'liberal' agenda is so evil.

    Thank you

    January 5, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  20. Louisiana Man

    Not everyone wants to sink with the U.S.S. Obama.

    The USA .... will, indeed, be over .... as we have known it to be .... when the Democrats bankrupt us!

    Americans ... who have become slave to their credit cards - and lost in their debt ... aren't even aware that the ship is going down .. and won't notice ...... until we hit the bottom! The microcosm unfolds as the macrocosm .... so, spend on Democrats, spend on .... America!

    You're gonn'a run out of $$$ one of these days!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Reply


    January 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  22. Charlie Cart CA

    "Dear Friends,
    Dr. Stephen Fraser is a fellow anesthesiologist practicing in Indiana . He wrote the following
    letter to Senator Evan Bayh. It's a bit lengthy. The reason for that is disturbing, as you will discover. I urge you to read it all. Sincerely, Bill Rousseau"

    "Senator Bayh,

    As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the health care bill before Congress. I actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the government's proposed involvement in the patient-physician relationship. The very idea that the government will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and certainly not helpful in designing a health care system that works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we need to fix our health care system, but the proposed bills currently making their way through congress will be a disaster if passed.

    I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are in the best interests of the country and our fellow citizens.

    Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure!!

    Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill: THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

    Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!

    Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!

    Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

    Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have real-time access to individuals' finances & a 'National ID Health card' will be issued!

    Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer.

    Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations: (ACORN).

    Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the 'Exchange.'

    Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans - The Govt will ration your health care!

    Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. (Translation: illegal aliens.)

    Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups (i.e. ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.

    Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members – your health care WILL be rationed!)

    Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. (No choice.)

    Page 12 4 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt monopoly.

    Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/ American Medical Association – The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.

    Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. (NO choice!)

    Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees AND their families. (Employees shouldn't get excited about this as employers will be forced to reduce its work force, benefits, and wages/salaries to cover such a huge expense.)

    Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll! (See the last comment in parenthesis.)

    Page 150 Lines 9-13: A business with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn't provide public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

    Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.

    Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.)

    Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin.. will have access to ALL Americans' finances and personal records.

    Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." (Yes, it really says that!)

    Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors. (Low-income and the poor are affected.)

    Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors: It doesn't matter what specialty you have trained yourself in - you will all be paid the same! (Just TRY to tell me that's not Socialism!)

    Page 253 Line 10-18: The Govt sets the value of a doctor's time, profession, judgment, etc. (Literally– the value of humans.)

    Page 265 Sec 1131: The Govt mandates and controls productivity for "private" HC industries.

    Page 268 Sec 1141: The federal Govt regulates the rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

    Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

    Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable (i.e...re-admissions).

    Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission - the Govt will penalize you.

    Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!)

    Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion. (The Govt is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.)

    Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required. (Can you say ACORN?)

    Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: The Govt mandates establishment of=2 outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want - rationing.)

    Page 341 Lines 3-9: The Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. (Forcing people into the Govt plan)

    Page 354 Sec 1177: The Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of 'special needs people!' Unbelievable!

    Page 379 Sec 1191: The Govt creates more bureaucracy via a "Tele-Health Advisory Committee." (Can you say HC by phone?)

    Page 425 Lines 4-12: The Govt mandates "Advance-Care Planning Consult." (Think senior citizens end-of-life patients.)

    Page 425 Lines 17-19: The Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. (And it's mandatory!)

    426 Lines 1-3: The Govt provides an "approved" list of end-of-life resources; & nbsp;guiding you in death. (Also called 'assisted suicide.')

    Page 427 Lines 15-24: The Govt mandates a program for orders on "end-of-life." (The Govt has a say in how your life ends!)

    Page 429 Lines 1-9: An "advanced-care planning consultant" will be used frequently as a patient's health deteriorates.

    Page 429 Lines 10-12: An "advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. (AN ORDER TO DIE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?!?)

    Page 429 Lines 13-25: The GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order. (I wouldn't want to stand before God after getting paid for THAT job!)

    Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life! (Again - no choice!)

    Page 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations. (Hello? ACORN Medical Services here!?!)

    Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover marriage and family therapy. (Which means Govt will insert itself into your marriage even.)

    Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.

    Senator, I guarantee that I personally will do everything possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues are debating.

    Furthermore, if you vote for a bill that enforces socialized medicine on the country and destroys the doctor-patient relationship, I will do everything in my power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.


    Stephen E. Fraser, MD"

    Constitution does not say the Congress -Senate -House can have jurisdiction over the medical health plan . Why does the senate and house folks not have the same as We the people . They get better?
    All men are created equal? It was fine and is fine and we don't need more debt and Gov spending! We dont need "their" control , abuse and wasting money. We want America back

    January 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  23. Yehoshua

    Shalom Mr. Steele:

    What NOW creates wealth, JOBS as thus sustainable growth?

    the new economic paradigm, the "Integration of Labor(sm)," NOT obviously.

    What is the GOP done, or is it planning to do about its national development and to scale use?

    Shalom, Yehoshua Ya'acov

    January 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  24. Anais

    It's sad that the GOP has degenerated from the party of Lincoln to the party of NO. The GOP is a party that has no interest in governing or cooperating for the good of the United States. Instead, the Republicans seem to be more interested in making Obama and other Democrats look bad so they will have more Republicans elected next year. This is not what our country needs at this juncture in our history. Whatever happened to the "friendly opposition" of Republicans and Democrats in decades past (before the 1990's, when Newt, Ricky S. and others were elected to Congress)? We have people suffering at home and abroad due to US government policies and need courageous people to put aside their differences and do great things for this country. Saying no and constant criticism are the resorts of cowards. For Mike from NJ: Ben Franklin said the two sure things in life were death and taxes. Taxes pay for your schools, your local, state and federal government, your military, your roads and your police, fire and garbage service (among many other services). Taxes are essential. Cutting them will lead to bankruptcy, especially if you increase expenses (like two wars). That's why our country is in trouble now, Einstein!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  25. Bill Zack

    Dr. Lubell captured perfectly the paradox of Mr. Steele's arguing for 'less government' rather than for better, more efficient, and more integrated government – it is truly the third world. He has no solutions for any of the real problems modern governments must deal with, and his ideals hearken more to a romanticized and gauzy view of a government-free pioneer time when we shot our own dinner from our back porch. I have enough respect and admiration for the intellects of our founding fathers to believe that if they lived today, their ideas would reflect modern issues and potential solutions.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  26. Oscar Belliveau

    While there are many things that President Obama is doing that he could do better, such as not having pushed for the public option hard enough, the lack of pressure on the banking industry to bring real reform to help homeowners and the Afaganistan war surge he at least is trying to do the right thing. The Bush Chene years were filled with outright lies, constitutional tramplings and financial irresponsibility that has brought great pain upon the people of this country.
    I hope that the Dems grow stronger spines....

    January 6, 2010 at 12:01 am | Reply
  27. Bob

    Bravo, Jon! ToMike NJ: please bring original thought and argument to the debate so that in the spirit of dissent we can – together – develop stronger ideas. Do this so that we can improve our collective lives fairly, honorably, decently, and with civility and humanity. The politics of Rovian Divisiveness are OVER and do so much harm ... to you, to me, and to us. I extend my hand to you, but only if you are constructive with your spirit, your mind, and your ideas. I respect your opinion. I detest your hatred. Thank you for being open. Peace to all! Bob

    January 6, 2010 at 7:26 am | Reply
  28. Di from PA

    DI From PA,
    Common Guys, All this MESS OUR Country is facing right now IS NOT President O'Bama's fault at all and all you BIG FAT republicans know it. You all know who put OUR COUNTRY in such ruiens.. The Bush who won't show his face at all now. You know, the one in hiding. The simpleton who regulated our Country right into the DEPRESSION it is about to take..................Get over your SELVES and be HONEST AMERICANS and just admit the hard core truth. Take the good with the bad (As the saying goes). We average, hard working, AMERICANS can take anything OUR GOVERNMENT IN AMERICA dishes out. We can ride just about any tide. X President should keep in mind that there is a GOD and what matters here certainly won't matter when HE rides the cloud for the second time.......................... No oil wells there..........

    January 6, 2010 at 7:53 am | Reply
  29. zeeman

    I think Steele is a moron and so is the rep. party. Most of them are good at criticising opponents, but offers very little in policy direction. At least constructive criticism devoid of hate and malice can be helpful to america and her people. But to just criticise because you want to bring someone down is preposterous. The sad part of it all is the gullibility of the america public in hinging on any unscrupulous information that is provided by the print and electronic media. Above all, though living in the UK, I strongly believe president Obama is doing a good job. Please allow him to make the best decisions that would help america out of the past and current quagmire.

    As a word of advice to the GOP, please try to be sensitive to the needs and welfare of your people and quit the venture of slander and character assasination.

    January 6, 2010 at 8:23 am | Reply
  30. Ernie DeOcampo

    The Republican has all the chances to change the course of helath care but failed to do it.

    At least someone has the courage to do it this time. The result might not be nice to all of us but a change was made

    Whether it is a DEmocrat or a Republican, the color is the same because they are all color blind.

    January 6, 2010 at 8:34 am | Reply
  31. Godwin etuk

    At this time president obama need a little encouragement to impliment his manifesto which i believe he sounds it loud and clear during his campaign and was accepted by all before he was voted in to impliment them, i believe his programmes will be a blessing to americans and the world at large.
    mr. steele is also doing his work as an opposition party they must criticised.

    January 6, 2010 at 9:32 am | Reply
  32. friend

    "...the book calls to take back National Security, and limit government spending on healthcare and education." – OKAY! Let's just limit education and healthcare, exactly where the U.S. is lagging when compared to many other countries. Isn't anyone else tired of hearing the "against" campaigners rant all the time? It's really getting old and although I have not read this book, it seems like very rediculous when its basis is to "...build a life free of government intervention." That is just absurd. As with many of the bloggers here, like DAN REED, " It becomes increasingly clear that it is all a show."

    January 6, 2010 at 9:32 am | Reply
  33. Chukwuma

    I want to know whether in future,u wil want to run 4 the oval office.

    January 6, 2010 at 9:45 am | Reply
  34. Mike1949

    If core conservative values could address helping those unable to compete, maybe I would be more sympathetic. The Republicans have a valid point in that government tends to "over"-equalize everyone in everything - it not only brings up the least talented, it brings down the most talented. However, the Republicans have utterly failed to address the problems of greed, abuse, corruption, unemployment, health care. Its one size fits all theory of life - less government - puts us into "anarchy", the original definition being "no government." The solution isn't more government or less government, but non-ideological and practical alternatives to address real day to day problems. The Republicans are clueless and continue repeat the same worn out mantras.

    January 6, 2010 at 9:50 am | Reply
  35. Justin

    2016 - Fire them all. Third party or a write in, take your pick.

    Average return on lobbying the federal government? 22,000%. What better investment can you make?

    The problem isn't R or D. The problem is both.

    January 6, 2010 at 10:46 am | Reply
  36. Cary

    In the past the Republican Party opposed social security, medicare, medicaid, civil rights, endangered species act, etc., etc., when each of these were first raised.

    Today, it opposes single payer health care, cap & trade (and other climate change initiatives).

    One link between the two is the view that all of the above are "socialist."

    Has the Republican Party learned over the years that the red-baiting was (a.) inaccurate, and (b.) damaging to rational, civil political discourse? If so, why does it persist – persist in name-calling, demonizing the president, etc. etc.

    One followup question: what should Obama do in Afghanistan that Bush couldn't or was unwilling to do? Bush claimed "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, but obviously didn't deliver it. Can't we at least discuss this issue in a non-partisan manner?

    January 6, 2010 at 11:05 am | Reply
  37. Magda Papanikolaou

    For the first time in recent history, the US has an extremely intelligent President, who not only loves his country dearly, but also has such family values that are an example to us all...Take advantage of him, he's the best you'll ever have and I wish we had one like him here in Greece!!! As far as the Republicans go, 8 years were enough for the whole world, so words are now useless Mr.Steele, you had your chance and blew it!!!


    January 6, 2010 at 11:08 am | Reply
  38. Regular Joe

    Mr. Steele and his sort of like minded thinkers should explain to the people first why I, "Joe Plumber" (to use Mr. McCain's reference) dont have access to medical insurance and cant even afford the most basic care for my family because it would take my whole paycheck and more to have them insured.
    Or why Joe Plumber Jr. who starts working at 16 years old to pay his way through school so he can have a better life for his family than dear old mom & dad, gets the shaft from his insurance company when he really needs it?
    Jr hasnt had any "previous medical conditions" so he can get on the company healthcare plan for $200 a month. Jr loyally pays his insurance payments, doesnt complain when his prices go up eventho he's not been to a doctor outside of his company physicals. After 20 years of this, Jr gets ill for the first time and needs to go to a doctor, doctor concludes that Jr's heart is just about gone. Jr has never smoked, drank a couple beers on New Year's to celebrate but other than that, wasnt a drinker, not overweight, always ate healthy and lived a healthy lifestyle.
    When Jr's insurance gets wind of Jr's health condition, eventhough he's been a loyal customer always paying on time, they see Jr as a high risk and drop him like a hot potato.

    How is it possible that such a great nation in the world can do this to it's own people?
    Does the working class really mean that little that we cant even afford to take care of our good hard working citizens like Mr. McCain's perverbial Joe Plumber and son?

    Explain how a horrible disease such as cancer can be taken so lightly as to not even offer preventative care or genetic testing in bloodlines that show a tendency towards certain types of inherited cancer?
    That all in my opinion falls into "preventative care" and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of gold.
    Without early detection and preventative care, cancer is still very deadly and very costly to even try to treat.

    Explain why we dont have legislation in place to protect our jobs and to compensate those of us who have spent 30 years at a company only for it to go bellyup with the latest financial crisis and yet not able to get unemployment benefits?

    In my opinion Mr. Steele, you should be focusing on the problems (which I only named a few of here) instead of trying to work against the one person who is focused on such issues that are near and dear to me and many, many other Americans instead of being concerned with how to further line your own pockets.

    You Mr. Steele and others like you, should spend a month with a poor hardworking family in crisis getting to know them and their struggles and see things from the side of people that your system has let down.
    Then you will truly know and see what the true issues are to the majority (not just the Democratic) Americans.

    Stop trying to kill America and do whatever you can to help heal her. That Mr. Steele is your job as a public servant with my tax dollars paying your $500k + a year salary (which you are not performing very well in my opinion as your employer).

    January 6, 2010 at 11:18 am | Reply
  39. A Citizen

    If you want your children to get a good education George, get involved with their schoolwork. I know from first hand experience that the parents who are involved with their children, hwlp with homework, have children who do very well in school. The children whose parents don't get involved usually do poorly.

    As far as health care is concerned, I'm sorry that you lost your job. This health care bill is a sham. It will lead to elimination of employer sponsored health care, will end up increasing health care costs and will bankrupt this country. This is nothing more than a power grab. If government run health care is so wonderful, why did the Mayo Clinic just stop accepting Medicare?

    January 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  40. A Citizen

    BTW – why is it that the details of the final health care legislation are being worked out only by Democrats, and behind closed doors? Why is it that this bill may not even go to a conference committee? Can 'ol Nancy be serious that this is all being done transparently? Why doesn't CNN even mention this, or the request from CSPAN to cover negotiations on live TV?

    January 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  41. Andres Arecco

    Please give Obama time to fix what has been broken. We must not be blind followers, but we must support our president. The problems in the US are very big, therefore the solutions must be strong. Use your conscious hat and think what is best for our nation and not for a few individuals. In the past leadership of our nation greed has given few a lot and most lost. Now this must be fixed.

    January 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  42. Lincoln

    Mr Steels is still betting that there are enough supid clueless Americans out there that would fall for his shallow and hypocritical arguments. America is no real democracy with its fixed two-party system that is only slightly better than the communist one-party system, nevertheless the Republicans are the pits. After what bush wrought in America and abroad the Republicans should have the decency not to stick their heads out of the sand for some years to come. So shut up Mike!

    January 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  43. a_v_neck

    Before anybody decides to accept the idea that total healthcare for EVERYONE is a good idea, please keep this in your mind:

    *In Germany, EVERYONE has healthcare. Germany has decided that even plastic surgery is covered under health care. Yes, that means that German taxpayer's dollars cover breast implants for a woman who comes in and goes to a psychiatrist and complains that she has low "self esteem due to her small breasts." How long do you think it's going to take before some lawsuit is brought on the proposed healthcare plan to include that??

    *Also in Germany: before you even GET your monthly salary, HALF of it is taken away as Taxes. That means that if you make $4000 a month, you only SEE $2000. Sure, your healthcare is taken-care of, but what about your car? House? Children? Clothes? Food? Please, tell me why I should have HALF of what I earn every month taken away for EVERYONE ELSE'S issues? Shouldn't I have a say?

    *Japan ALSO has a government healthcare system. And it seems pretty good....until you see that they don't have enough doctors anymore because the cost of every test, visit, etc. is mandated and nobody wants to put themselves through the heck of medical school and take on $200,000 of debt in order to become a doctor that makes minimum wage.

    So again, the people against healthcare are NOT against a change in the healthcare system....they are against being REQUIRED to pay their hard-earned dollars for the healthcare of people they don't even know. If WELFARE is such a problem now (and it is) then how do we expect government-run healthcare to function effeciantly and effectively?

    January 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  44. Jojo

    When Bush was spending at least $1 billion/week on Iraq for 7 years of his presidency, no one even blinked an eye. This increased the national debt from $3.3 trillion (2000) into $13 trillion (2008). Now, Obama's proposing $ 1 trillion over 10 years and everyone's wetting their panties. Bunch of hypocryptes!

    January 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  45. Stuart in Missouri

    Our political parties are unable to work together. I see Obama trying to reach out, but neither Dems or Reps are willing to compromise or talk. We need more political parties and we need term limits. Time to flush the political system of life time politicians. Also, eliminate pension for all Senators and House of Reps; move their medical to match Federal employee plans; put them back on Social Security; limit staff members to 5; limit their spending to a predetermined cost with cost of living adjustments. Let's see who really wants to help our country vs. just be a politician. It is time to work!

    January 6, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  46. Chukwuma ofili

    I want know whether u wil consider runing 4 the oval office sumtime in the future.

    January 6, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  47. Jimmy Edu

    For the first time in recent history, the US has an extremely intelligent President, who not only loves his country dearly, but also has such family values that are an example to us all...Take advantage of him, he's the best you'll ever have and I wish we had one like him here in Nigeria!!! As far as the Republicans go, 8 years were enough for the whole world, so words are now useless Mr.Steele, you had your chance and blew it!!!

    January 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  48. Emman uk

    Leave Obama alone, He is doing well. One day you will all see.

    January 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  49. Allan, Canada

    Universal healthcare seems like a no brainer to me. I'm a firm believer in capitalism, and free markets; I also advocate for minimal government intervention.
    Yet there are things that society needs, that should NOT be tied to a private, profit-maximizing firm; at least not without another public, not-for profit equivalent. A public option is clearly necessary for those that can't afford health insurance.
    Many of you have asked "How can insurance companies drop customer after so many loyal years of payment?" The answer is simple. They are not in the business of your health. The are in the business of making profit, and if dropping you minimizes their risks, they will so it, and have!
    It's never a good idea when healthcare providers seek profit from your illness. This is not socialism. This is common sense; something that clearly is not all that common anymore.
    As a Canadian living in Canada, if I get sick, I go to the hospital. I pay nothing. My prescriptions are far less expensive than the same ones in the US. Sure, I probably don't use the system as often as others do; sure my taxes are being taken to pay for people I don't know. By implication, other people's taxes are being taken to pay for me as well. At least I know I'll get healthcare, and not have to file bankruptcy.

    January 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply

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