Archive for September 10th, 2009

Republican makes embarrassing comment, former Republican reacts embarrassingly.

Sep 10, 2009 in Politics

I know it’s in his blood but could somebody tap Arlen Specter on the shoulder and let him know that throwing a hissy-fit only serves to encourage the Chris Matthews and Sean Hannitys?

-mg

The irrefutable argument is the ultimate weapon.

Sep 10, 2009 in Barack Obama, Health Care, Politics

Democrats have perpetually failed by being afraid to use their best arguments forcefully, so as to club their enemies about the head, neck and chest area and turn those ideas into real, valuable, pragmatic policies.

President Barack Obama is, so far, the master of political rope-a-dope. Time and time again he has let his opponents unleash their full fury on him. He has stumbled, looked weak, spoken with frustration, and perpetually exasperated his supporters. He keeps this going until people start to throw up their hands and say, “Damn, I think he got licked this time.”

Before tonight’s speech, we were undoubtedly reliving this experience. “Hope-less,” reads the Newsweek cartoon. Joe Klein declared the public option dead. Iowa Liberal seethed at his weakness.

And yet, he has done it again. No, we’re not done yet, but he has in a single masterstroke gained the upper hand.

With tonight’s speech, Obama wrapped the moral argument for health care reform around the pragmatic argument, utterly destroying and erasing every scrap of noise Republicans have made about reform. He sealed the case that he approached the GOP in good faith, leaving it doubtless that such was not returned. He reaffirmed the public option as a compromise, an option already standing in the center between the left and right, yet one that can be incredibly effective. He soothed people’s real fears about health care, revealing the cartoonish buffoonery of the GOP scare campaign. Already out of gas, the “death panel” panic was itself put to death. “Health care for illegals!” was also snuffed out, strangled with the moronic cry of Rep. Joe Wilson, who has already apologized for yelling, “You lie.” Besides being incredibly rude and uncouth, he himself was lying. Obama was right. And so they flail.

Health care reform is now within our reach. There is more work to do, but Obama just filled the left’s tank with rocket fuel. Once again, people can believe he’ll fight on this issue, and rally behind him with less fear of being left out in the open. He has afforded his followers the right to be known as champions of what is right and good.

To those liberals still critical of Obama (*nudging Thomas Tallis*), keep in mind that this post is about health care. It’s not every issue, it’s one issue. Yet it is a momentous issue, one of the most important issues of the past sixty years. President after president has tried to make headway on this, at best winning incremental steps like Medicare and Medicaid. Yet all the time, the system kept warping into something dangerous to Americans, draining their wealth and leaving them for dead. The success of health care reform will signal a monument in our nation’s history, one that will forever have Obama’s name attached to it.

Best of all, its completion in his first year gives us three (well, everybody knows it’s seven) more years to ride his back about the other things we must do in order to truly point the country in a new direction. Ending our Middle East wars, restoring Constitutional rights, returning regulation to Wall Street, charting a path out of deficit, and creating a green economy will fill up the rest of Obama’s time easily, not to mention the inevitable future contingencies.

Make no mistake, however, this time right now must be focused, and nobody who calls themselves Democrat, left, liberal, progressive, or simply a concerned American citizen focused on doing what is right for our country can be idle or distracted with those other issues. Health care owns this time, and it will not be over until it is done. Now is the time to get out of the car and push, ’cause ain’t nobody giving us a free ride.

-jb