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{Empty title} | The Nation

The no-bell piece prize? Yes, Mr. President, you received a prize, but now it's time to pull together the pieces so we can all cheer once again to the sound of your bell. I was an avid supporter of your campaign and I enthusiastically voted for you. Like millions of Americans we projected our wishes on you after being starved and deprived by the worst governing in our history for the previous eight years. We believed in you, and our collective enthusiasm propelled you to the presidency.

When I was a teenager I worked for the Bobby Kennedy campaign as a coordinator of the college youth vote. I can say that I have not been excited about anyone else since 1968, until I saw your Iowa speech as the tears rolled down my cheeks. You were given this prize because the Nobel committee also believes their projections on you will result in the change you yelled about from the rooftops of the world. I know you wish to also change the tone of politicians, but domestically that may not be possible, so please, if you can't get the other side to agree, mow them down. They live every moment looking to chop you apart and discredit you in anyway they can, up to and including their silence on the outrageous lunatic fringe comments about you. They literally are praying for your failure. If they needed to cross the water and you parted the sea for them, they would accuse you of messing up the environment. If you single-handedly found a cure for cancer, they would call you a murderer and say that you had this cure as you watched people die.

This week you were given two gifts. One was a non-profit healthcare provider denying coverage to a healthy 4-month-old child because in its view the infant was overweight, and the big one was Monday's report from the insurance companies that no matter what bill is passed, they will raise rates to over 100 percent. They dissed you, sir, as you were trying to keep them at the table with apparent cooperation. Just as Senator Grassley dissed you as you were giving speeches singing his praises, as a Republican who is working hard for a decent bill. He too was giving speeches saying he was against everything that he helped put in the bill and that you were out to kill Grandma. Enough! It seems everyone has a seat at the negotiating table, except the people. The American people are for a public option by nearly 70 percent, including the Blue Dog states. Now you have your cover for passionate support on a public option. It's unseemly to me that what the people want can't happen because a handful of servants of the people are standing in its way in order to earn their checks from insurance companies. This, sir, is not change.

There is also the irony of being a war president and getting a peace prize. We spent eight years in Afghanistan and we don't want to spend ten more there, so please earn your prize and don't get us into another quagmire in a war that cannot be won by traditional means, as was the case in Viet Nam. We trust your judgment and your intelligent powers of discretion to come up with a creative solution.

Please, sir, fulfill all our projections, be the man that the whole world knows that you are and give us a meaningful healthcare bill that works for the people, with a now obviously badly needed public option. The Max Mucus bill as it stands makes me sick. Although there are good points in it, the main purpose seems to be to placate all the special interests involved so they will support the bill. This is supposed to be a process to get the people what they need, not what various interests want.

One of the best lines that I ever heard came from John Lennon: "Life is what's happening to you as you are busy making other plans." Now is your moment, seize it, stand tall and make us hear the sounds of your bell once again, by putting together the right pieces.

(I'd like to direct Nation readers to my blog.)