Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Take the gloves off, Barack

Bill Moyers has a piece at Salon.com titled, "Mr. President, it's time to fight," and I think he's right. The Obama Administration lost control of the message in their push for an overhaul of the health care system, and the debate has lurched into the realm of irrationality. It is time to take back the issue and to do what is best for the nation.

The Democrats control both houses of Congress, and they need to push forward and get it done -- and to do so without giving in to Republican whining and scare tactics. And the president needs to get tougher.

Update (9/9): Obama speaks about health care to a joint session of Congress tonight at 8 p.m.


Anonymous said...

What the president needs to do is file a bill. He left it up to Pelosi and friends.He needs to get specific,how much is this going to cost?Everybody,even the right wing lunatics know we need healthcare reform. Its frustrating that party politics gets petty when we need them to be leaders.

N.starluna said...

I think the decision to leave it up to Congress was based on Clinton's experience. One of the reasons that it did not make it through Congress was because Clinton and their team excluded Congress from the negotiations. According to the histories that I've read, this ticked off what they expected would be a sympathetic Congress.

Theda Skocpol wrote a pretty comprehensive post-mortem of it in Boomerang: Clinton’s Health Security Effort and the Turn Against Government in U.S. Politics. There's also a book by Jacob Hacker on this called The Road to Nowhere: The Genesis of President Clinton’s Plan for Health Security. I preferred Skocpol's book but Hacker's is an interesting read.

If you look at the longer history of the effort to get any comprehensive health care bills through Congress, it seems like the lesson is "you're damned if you do and damned if you don't."

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Nstarluna.With the overwhelming democratic majority that Obama has now unlike Bill Clinton's situation,he has more base support.I watched the President last night and although I thought his performance was lacking in substance,he reinforced the need for action to be taken. Lets see what happens now.