Saturday, February 27, 2010

No, I didn't watch the whole 6-7 hours of the Health Care Summit the other day, but I did watch the end, and then later went and watched a few clips. What I saw was a President clearly in command, able to cut through all of the talking points and rhetoric and spin and put chumps in their place. He knew the GOP was gonna show up with props and the same old arguments. One of the Republicans, forget who, said he suspected Obama spelled summit "s-e-t-u-p." Yep, it was a setup. But the GOP asked for it. And they thought they had a guy who couldn't handle anything without a teleprompter. Guys who weren't paying attention, that is (which is anyone who watches Fox "news" on a regular basis). But then the Prez visited the GOP caucus last month and that was a precursor of what came on Thursday, someone who is clearly leagues above everyone else in terms of debate, preparation, and policy wonkiness...but in a way that cut through a lot of the b.s.

Will Obama's message get through, that basically this is (at least) a budget neutral, market based approach (that, frankly, pisses off a lot of libs)? Hopefully anyone on the fence who cares enough about the issue will get the message. And hopefully the libs who may not have planned to show up at the polls in November in their respective districts will think again about what they'd end up with if their disengagement leads us back to a GOP majority in both houses.

The thing that's so exasperating about this, as this table outlines, is that the current plan (Senate version including Obama's 11 page compromise/reconciliation proposals), looks a lot like a plan Repubs submitted in 1993, during the Clinton HC debacle. One needn't look any further about the GOP's rightward shift than this example.

Obama knew the repubs were gonna find a way to say "no" no matter what. They can't let a Dem President and House/Senate pass legislation this big, even if most of the elements are things they would agree with on their own. First of all their blanket ideology (government = baaaad) prohibits anything that would make government look better, and secondly, they know they will be on the wrong side of History. But I suspect they know they already are.

I find it laughable that people like Glenn Beck (who is insane, as anyone with a brain can clearly see) are trying to disassociate with Teddy Roosevelt because of his "progressivism" (new bad word) and that, get this, Warren G. Harding and his "return to normalcy" made him the first great President of the 20th Century. I just about spit out my coffee when I heard that. That was fuckin' funny. But it makes sense, as Warren G. and George W. were Presidential soul mates. The only thing about Harding is that he didn't live long enough to do any lasting damage, though Teapot Dome gave us a clue, and look what happened with the Laissez Faire policies of Coolidge and Hoover? Can anyone honestly say that, given time, the Laissez faire policies of Coolidge and Hoover would have gotten us out of the Great Depression? How about Harding's "return to normalcy?" How would that have looked on 12/7/41? A glimpse at that fictional world would be "The Plot Against America." Same thing that could have happened last year.

Ramble and rant over. And I realize I am a political junkie. Fuck the 12 step process.

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