Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Review of President Obama's Health Care Speech

At one point I was wondering who would smile first, Barack Obama or my upset toddler (whose Elmo had been displaced). It was a long time before either one happened. It seemed to me that Barack Obama gave the policy ground to the centrists but many liberals what they wanted - anger and some good smackdowns on the Republican blowhards. He basically called Sarah Palin a liar. Which was awesome. In many ways, the speech seemed to me to be a way to mollify the Democratic left to allow them to support the president's compromises. I suspect it worked very well as political cover. Very well. So much for the public option... I wonder if it was ever more than a bargaining chip.

You could see, I think, the irritation in the chamber as the Republicans realized that they were likely to lose, lose big, and that there really isn't much they could do. Max Baucus' announcement earlier today was a pretty big blow to their hopes of scuttling the bill. Senator Snowe was smiling too, particularly in response to the small business exemptions. The big hope, that the Democratic left could be persuaded to kill the bill, may have failed tonight.

The speech was unusually combative and not particularly inspiring. I think the point was also for the President to "own" the bill. That, too, I think he did.

I've been starting to wonder. Is the reason we saw such extremism on the far right this summer precisely because there was nothing else they could do?


Raised By Republicans said...

I am outraged that Representative Wilson (R-South Carolina) yelled "You lie!" at the President when he said that it was false that the proposed reforms would cover illegal immigrants.

This guy is a throw back to when Congressmen from South Carolina would beat their Northern colleagues near to death on the floor of Congress. In a just world there would be sever consequences for him. But he is probably just the guy to represent suburban Columbia and Hilton Head.

Raised By Republicans said...

On policy, I think LTG is right that this was about getting the left wing of the Democrats on board more than convincing Republicans.

The early polls seem to show that among people who saw the speech, Obama got a 14 point bump in approval for his health care proposals.

Raised By Republicans said...

By the way, I especially liked how Obama referred to the public option as a "means to an end" rather than an end in itself. Of course, he is correct.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The stunt by Wilson was just that - a stunt to gain publicity. It worked. We are discussing it. These stunt disruptions will become the standard Republican stock-and-trade unless punished very, very severely. I am starting to think that not just censure, but expulsion, may be the only solution to prevent other nobody Republicans wanting their spotlight on Fox News from disrupting all future presidential addresses and destroying, even further, this venerable institution.