Question: Will President Obama and Democrats pay a price for their success in passing landmark health care legislation? How often does success prove hazardous to people's careers or backfire in unexpected ways?
Answer: Will Obama and the Democrats pay a price for success? Most definitely. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's head is the first on the block. However, such a price should be no surprise to any of them, and they should be ready for the backlash. That's politics.
This is a historical decision. Something had to be done about health care and sitting on the fence was no longer an option. In a way, the Republicans have also won. They can blame the Democrats for everything that goes wrong with health care, yet they can celebrate the fact that they didn't have to be the ones to get off the pot. This will be a long road and hopefully the American people don't get hurt in the end.
When it comes to success, you will be criticized--even if you do everything right! Thus, when you take a stand and do something that you truly believe is best for the overall good--even if controversial--you need to be ready for the attacks. How do you remain in the game and survive in the long run? You act with integrity. You put everything on the table. You explain your rationale. You continue to ask for help and support. And you keep on going. Might the Republicans parlay this into a political win down the road? Perhaps. I think Obama knows that.
Yet, Obama now has a second "first" in political history--the first black President and the first President to do something about healthcare. It is all in how you define "winning." In their book Play to Win, Larry and Hersch Wilson discuss three types of people: those that play to survive, those that play NOT to lose, and those that play to win. When you play to win, you play with courage, "consciously choosing to go as far as you can with all that you have in order to learn from whatever happens." And that's exactly what Obama will do.
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