Dennis Miller said it best: When the speech to Congress scheduled to begin at 6 o’clock begins at 6:15, that tells us all we need to know about the government running health care.
Nonetheless, I suppose I should comment on the speech itself.
There is no question that this was Obama’s best opportunity to tear down walls reach across the aisle and bring America together on the health care issue. It would have been a great opportunity to say “America, you’ve spoken and we are listening.” It would ahve been a great opportunity for Obama to tell Republicans, “We need your help to fix health care.”
He did none of these things. It was as if August never happened. As if the Town Hall meetings never took place.
This speech was all about Barack Obama thumbing his nose at America and saying “I don’t care what you think you want. You’re going to get what I tell you you’re going to get.”
Politically, Obama will probably see a small bump in the polls. His delivery was good. But once it sinks in, what he said will weigh much more than how he said it. And what he said, in essence, was, “we are going to do what we planned on doing all along.”
The speech contained nothing new. No revelations about specifics in any health care proposal. No capitulation on any given point. A slight nod toward listening to options other than a public option, while at the same time saying that a public option was going to happen.
In particular, I noted a similarity between this speech and the speeches given pushing the Generational Theft act back in January and February. “If this doesn’t pass, businesses will go broke, unemployment will rise, people will die.” While complaining about the scare tactics of the right out of one side of his mouth, he was using his own scare tactics out of the other side.
As important to what was said is what was not said. He never explained how he would pay for a trillion dollar plan. He never said that he is listening to the American public. He never said that he would ask Republicans to help craft a reform plan. He never said there would be tort reform.
Jonah Goldberg, of realclearpolitics.com said that “Obama’s advisers think the answer to every problem is more cowbell, if by “cowbell” you mean “Obama.” ... Every time someone comes up with an alternative to throwing Obama on TV, Axelrod says, “No, no, no. Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is . . . more Obama!”
That’s what tonight’s speech was. Nothing new. No substance. No answers. Just more cowbell.