Friday, February 26, 2010

You Can't Say He Didn't Try

Who "won" yesterday's health care summit depends on your politics. Having said that, the shot of Pompous John Boner looking like someone had stuffed a habanero pepper up his rear end said something about President Obama's performance.

Once again, I was impressed with the president's ability to dominate a room and control a debate with aplomb, reasonableness, and a calm command of the facts. He, with help from Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, dismantled Republican claims about their "plan" with the ease of Roger Federer putting away a slam. Obama pointed out the flaws in standalone legislation to allow the unregulated sale of health insurance across state lines, convincingly making the argument that it would be a race to the bottom, where the bottom is outrageous rate increases. With Sebelius, he explained the problems with high risk pools (see yesterday's post); Illinois Senator Dick Durbin was especially eloquent showing why tort reform as the Republicans envision takes a justice-denying chainsaw to an issue that requires a scalpel. And time and again, the president exposed out the central weakness of the Republican plan: It really wouldn't cover anybody.

More to the point, though, Republican intransigence was on full display. In a feat of political ju jitsu, Obama used their weight against them. In his closing remarks, he made two key points:
  1. Although there were areas of agreement, the disagreements were such that the gap couldn't be crossed.
  2. Obama expressed it diplomatically, but made it clear that Democrats simply didn't trust Republicans to actually work in good faith on a new bipartisan bill.
Many Democratic politicians have complained about Obama's leadership. Well, he did the heavy lifting yesterday and established the political cover necessary for them to put this bill through the reconciliation process. Now it's up to them...

If the bill is going to go through the reconciliation process, why not add a robust public option and tell Max Baucus, Mary Landrieu, Holy Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, and Ben Nelson to take a hike? They've caused more damage to the cause of health care reform than the Republicans, and their votes won't be needed. Join me in writing to your representative and senators...

Right wing blog commentors are beside themselves talking about Obama's "arrogance." He really gets under their skin. It's quite gratifying...

God damn it: Tryin' to make it real compared to what?!

One misses Benny Bailey's explosive trumpet solo from the original recording, but this is a fine performance nonetheless. Les McCann's Swiss Movement, which featured this famous track, was my first jazz album. I bought it way back when I was in high school, much too long ago...


Roy said...

Ah, man, I love that tune! The punchline is always best shouted. And wasn't Les the churchiest pianist and songwriter you ever heard?

As for the Repugs, they call the president arrogant because they know the country would crucify them if they called him what they really meant - that uppity ___. Yeah, you fill in the blank, I know you know what I mean. They just can't bear a black man standing up to them. 'Tain't fittin'!

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Great post, K.
You are single-handedly keeping me from flushing my faith in this administration down the toilet.

Still, it is an uphill battle, especially now that he wants to reduce flood funding by 17% (which ironically or not is the number I heard the Repugs say will be the percent increased cost of O's Healthcare package to the budget).
We'll see how over the coming year his other programs start to put money on the ground.
Suffice to say, if a spook like GHW Bush couldn't pull out a 2nd Term, I don't see how His'O'ner will.

And I loved your music today.
Are you back in WA?
Your Word Thingy Formator (WTFr) for this comment is "duche".
Hehehehe...I don't even have a come-back for that one!

K. said...

Back in WA w/HA a fond memory. My idea of life now consists of gazing past palm trees to watch whales frolic in the Pacific Ocean while sipping on a triple mai tai.

sussah said...

But now Hawaii is under a tsunami alert! Our relatively long, cold, wet winter weather has been a little too much like Seattle down here, and I'm looking forward to some brief perfection myself. Best always, sp, n.o.

RobinB said...

"Seems like we're always in a rut..."

Keep makin it real, K!

K. said...

Hey! Sock it to me, yeah!