Speaking as the Loyal Opposition
I think, even through my complaints, it would be fair to call me an Obama supporter. I want the Obama presidency to succeed for the same reason I wanted his election campaign to succeed: the side effects of having a successful Black president. I’ve also found when an intelligent person does something I don’t follow, it’s because they’re playing a game I don’t see or am not privy to. This makes me want to find him reasonable.
It is not always possible. I wasn’t polled, but my confidence in the way Obama is handling his part of the discussion dropped to zero when he continued to laud Grassley’s determined pursuit of a bipartisan solution after the man admitted we’d already have a health care bill but for his foot dragging.
This really does not make me happy. And if Democrats do not pass a strong bill, you’re going to see armed tea parties everywhere Fox News has influence, for the rest of the Obama presidency. At least. And please don’t tell me he’s only been in office seven months, because he’s doing things now…waiting months to comment on what anyone is doing right now makes no sense.
I am on his side though. You can tell because I’m not going to stop at bitching. I’m going to tell you want I’d like to see from him. And this is partly inspired by Senators Grassley and Conrad’s performance on Face the Nation yesterday, as well as Peggy Noonan’s advice to ‘fess up to The American People.
On his return from vacation, I would like Pres. Obama to tell people he’s thought long and hard about the messages delivered in town hall meetings across America, including the implied threats. (I gotta say, I wish Chris Matthews had asked the gun-toting Libertarian in Portsmith, "Exactly who are the patriots with whose blood you would water the tree of liberty?") Say he’s realized the anger over the way the government has handled things all the way back to Fall 2008 is greater than he thought. Identify the issues that have everyone so hyper…the financial system bailout and the auto industry reorganization were both handled so abruptly that everyone took the first oportunity to be heard to fully express their anger.
But the financial system bailout was established before he took office. All we can do now is (stuff to make sure it doesn’t happen again) to make sure it doesn’t happen again. As for the auto industry reorganization, consider the impact of the cash for clunkers program on jobs and the economy in general. The impact of the collapse of auto industry in America would have had an even greater, but negative, impact. We need to protect our manufacturing base, blah blah.
In other words, get them things out of the way.
As for the current mess, explain how health care reform (medical panels) was conflated with health insurance reform and long term budget reform. The bill contains all three of these things, but they are three things that cannot be confused. And deal with them as separate categories going forward. Make it clear that the business plan for the entire medical insurance industry is broken…do the same sort of calculations on insurance premiums that Republicans do on Medicare.
And tell the Senate that because there has been boasting about delaying progress, the Gang of Six has be be judged a mistake, the whole finance committee should work out their bill.
You got over 75% of the country that wants a public plan. Let insurance companies sell supplemental policies if they like.