David Rodeback's Blog

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Thursday, September 10, 2009
Links to Discussion of the Health Care Speech

A few thoughts of my own, but mostly links to others' discussion of President Obama's Wednesday evening offering.

I'm sorely tempted to go through President Obama's speech on health care line by line and point out fallacies, misunderstandings, untruths, and other flora and fauna. But you've endured too many long blog posts from me lately as it is, and my time is already overcommitted this week. So I offer just a few things others have written.

First, here's the speech. It's alternately risible and infuriating, but almost entirely predictable, to my mind. It's not leadership; it's a campaign speech. It may constitute proof that Washington, DC, really is located on another planet. Our President either doesn't know or doesn't care about economics, small business, federalism, or how medical care and health insurance work in the real world.

Mona Charen comes closest to my response to the speech in "Obama's Trouble with Numbers."

There's a pretty good analysis of the speech by Mike Gonzalez at Heritage.org. You'll get some idea of his viewpoint from the title: "The President Learned Nothing from August."

Tony Blankley says a health care deal is brewing in Washington in spite of August and falling poll numbers, despite multiple reports that the Democrats don't have the votes to pull it off.

CNN's poll measuring Americans' response to the speech suspiciously sampled about twice as many Democrats as Republicans. If one decides beforehand what the results should say, there are ways . . .

Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic liked the speech and likes the health care plan, but has two additional, interesting points: The audience it needed to sway was in the House chamber, not in the nation's living rooms. And the speech makes a larger statement about the importance of government in people's lives. Obama wanted "to remind people that government is already a part of our lives, and a force for good, in ways that are entirely consistent with basic notions of citizenship and shared responsibility." (So they do know what it's about! Big government!)

Michael Gerson's entire essay, "Obama, Health Care and the Limits of Charm," is as insightful as its ending:

Obama now leads the party of liberalism. The GOP bids to become the party of anger. America needs at least one of them to be the party of ideas.

Rich Galen has some thoughts about why the President is addressing a joint session of Congress on this one. And stay tuned for the ending; I liked it.

Finally, I enjoyed my brother's blog post -- that's Jon Rodeback's "Capitol Circus."

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