Wednesday, September 02, 2009

One Order of Dead HorsePuree, Please

I know I have gone beyond beating a dead horse to putting said dead horse in the food processor and hitting "puree," but it is not much of an exaggeration to say that Barack Obama's presidency is hanging in the balance on the health care issue. The sad part about the president's predicament is that it is largely of his own making.

We all remember President and Mrs. Clinton's ill-fated venture into health care:

She headed up the task force that worked behind closed doors, largely ignoring Congress. They actually came up with a fairly good plan, but 1) Congress was angry and 2) they let the opposition control the message (insert "Harry and Louise" here).

So Barack Obama watches and presumably learns, but yet he takes away exactly the wrong lessons. Instead of crafting a comprehensive plan, he leaves the details to Congress. The Congress is so good at strategic planning and dealing with details, isn't it? The president decides to act as cheerleader-in-chief, but exactly what is he cheering for? He seems noncommittal on what he expects "reform" to look like, afraid to alienate, afraid to lead. I'm sure I would support the president's proposal--if I knew what it was.

And yes again, he has allowed the opposition to define the message, from "death panels" to town hall yelling matches.

It is not too late, Mr. President, but time is not on your side. Develop a sense of urgency NOW. Returning to the dead horse theme, it is time to lead and BE PRESIDENT.

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