Barack Obama’s radio address today couched the Democrats’ health care proposals as a boon to the economy. On the merits, this is a bad argument. But what I found offensive about Obama’s address was the peroration:
As we move forward in the coming weeks, I understand that members of Congress from both parties will want to engage in a vigorous debate and contribute their own ideas. And I welcome those contributions. I welcome any sincere attempts to improve legislation before it reaches my desk. But what I will not accept are attempts to stall, or drag our feet. I will not accept partisan efforts to block reform at any cost.
So Obama will not “accept” efforts to prevent the Democrat proposals from passing. What does that mean, exactly? If the Democrats don’t have the votes to pass their bill–whatever it ultimately proves to be–how will Obama refuse to “accept” that result? Will he put out a contract on any Senator or Congressman who votes No?
What Obama doesn’t want to accept is that the Democrats’ scheme for government takeover of health care is deeply controversial. In fact, most Americans oppose it, many bitterly–as, in my view, they should.
Obama also doesn’t seem to understand that he is a not-very-popular President with a poor track record of accomplishment who is not in a position to demand anything from Congress. At the end of the day, the Democrats may or may not have the votes to pass a radical “reform” bill. But whether they do or do not have the votes will not be determined by empty threats from President Obama.