Bill Otis offers a good summary of the ways in which the health care debate has taken the luster off of the Obama presidency:
Obama has really fumbled this heathcare business. It was going to be trouble to start with, because most of the country is happy with its health care and insurance. But the whole thing has exposed him in a way the press was heretofore able to cover up, but can’t, or doesn’t want to, now.
First, so much for Mr. Post-partisan.
Second, the totalitarian/thug side is on display big time, what with the report-your-fishy-neighbor to the White House. The Stasi should have done as well.
Third, the outright lying. We can cover 46,000,000 more people but it’s going to cost less!!! RIGHT, RIGHT. The savings that will pay for it all will come from trimming waste, fraud and abuse. RIGHT, RIGHT. (It’s not just that nobody believes this, it’s that the opposite is true, as it always is in government-run programs). You can keep your private insurance (except that private insurance will be run out of business by the government “option”). You needn’t worry about Granny getting shuffled off to the mortuary (despite soft-core rationing that will “encourage” Granny to forego treatments she can now get). And yesterday’s whooper — the AARP has endorsed Obamacare.
Fourth, the quick resort to changing the subject, as with the rowdiness of the town hall meeting participants (except that the real goons are the union guys shipped in by the White House). Indeed I see that the need to find something else to talk about has now extended to Dick Cheney (secretly hated Bush), Karl Rove (got the US Attorneys fired) and the ever-reliable Sarah Palin. These are old targets, of course, but that they all need to be trotted out to divert attention is quite something. I guess I should expect tomorrow’s NYT story on Don Rumsfeld or Hurricane Katrina. . .
The surprising and encouraging thing to me is how the press, for once, is not completely blacking out our side. Maybe it’s dawned on them that once everybody else’s health care gets destroyed by the Health Commisar, theirs is going the same route.