Tonight I actually watched Obama’s speech to Congress as opposed to reading it as I usually do. I highly recommend reading his speeches; they are far more revealing than his spoken word. Full text of Obama’s speech can be found here.
First, some quick notes about Congress and the Republican response.Congress and standing ovations. I am unsure when this practice of standing ovations (or sitting them out) started, but it just seems so childish and time consuming. Congress looks like trained seals when they pop up on cue. I would much rather hear them cheer or boo their approval, than see these phony spectacles.
Heckling the President. Speaking of booing, Rep Joe Wilson (R-SC) screamed out “ You lie” when Obama said that his “plan” would not include illegal aliens. Bravo! If you completely disagree or think that the president is stretching the truth, why not show your disapproval? If Democrats can boo Bush at a SOTUS address, then calling Obama a liar is just fine by me. Pity, Wilson chickened out and apologized already.
The Republican response. Rep. Charles Boutany’s (R-LA) response was pathetic. Did they tape Boutany in some hallway and just stick a flag behind him? Surely they could have borrowed someone’s office. Boutany, like Jindal, also uses that insipid singsong voice, like they are addressing children. Boutany made the classic mistake and started out by agreeing with Democrats, that the nation is desperate for health care reform. This was a mistake. The weakest part of Obama’s speech was his explanation for paying for health care reform (it sounds like a fairy tale wrapped in BS). So why not, let the Republican position be: “Mr. President, right now the American people are more concerned with the deficit and economy than they are with health care reform, and since you say you will pay for health care reform with savings found in the system from waste and fraud. Why not first prove to the American people that you are capable of doing just that, by significantly lowering our debt by finding waste and fraud in the federal budget like you promised during the campaign. If you are successful, we will be happy to consider your proposals”.
Overall opinion on the speech. I cannot imagine anyone who already has a position on health care reform being moved by this speech. If you are one of the undecided, this speech might work for you, but I still cannot see anyone falling for how this is going to be paid for.
Re: the Public Option. This could have gone either way. It sounded like he said he was for it, but it isn’t necessary. If we were to play the Democrat speech code game with Obama’s statement:
To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable for those without it. The public option is only a means to that end – and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal.
We all know that the progressive’s ultimate goal is a single payer health care system. So when Obama says that progressives should "remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal", is he telling progressives that these co-ops will yield the same fruit?
Re: Mandates: Hillary Clinton must be saying a silent “I told you so”. Back during the campaign, mandates were the difference between their health care reform plans. This I think will be the second issue behind paying for reform that gets people to oppose Obama’s plan.
Re: Sarah Palin. What did I tell you in my last post? Did I not say that Obama would call out Palin’s death panels? She is in his head big time!
Re: Pimpin’ Teddy. I must admit, I was a little surprised that Obama used the Teddy factor in his speech. This is purely emotional and will only resonate with Democrats. Why would anyone else say, “OK, I am for government take over of health care, because I want to honor Ted Kennedy’s memory”?
Via: Associated Press
Via: The New York Times