by Warner Todd Huston | September 9, 2009 2:53 pm
President Obama is going to offer “his” healthcare prescriptions tonight at a special joint session of Congress. But why is he doing this now? After all, the bills are already written and most of the committees have already passed their versions out of committee. What is it that Obama will say that will make any difference at all tonight?
Does the president imagine that “his” ideas will send Congress running back to the drawing board after they’ve already gotten their bills written and passed from committee? If he imagines that he is pretty naive.
We have several other eyebrow raisers with this joint session address, as well. First of all is the whole claim that Obama will suddenly at this late date offer “his” plan. How is it that President Obama has spent the last five months talking about his Obamacare plan but we are only now hearing “his” plan? What has he been talking about for all these many months? Hasn’t he been selling this as his plan all along?
If he hasn’t been selling these healthcare plans as “his” plan all along, then what was he selling? Did he even know? Did the president have any idea at all about what he was talking about lo these many months?
The president also told ABC’s Good Morning America that he is still ready to listen to the opposition. “I’m open to new ideas. We’re not being rigid and ideological about this thing,” Obama told the morning show hosts. But that seems to be an outright lie. After all, Obama has not invited a single Republican to his White House conferences on healthcare “reform” since April. If he’s so interested in hearing other ideas, why has he purposefully excluded the GOP leadership like this?
And let’s get back to what he expects Congress to do with “his” plan. As I said, all the bills are already written and most of them are already passed from committee. Does the president imagine that Congress will have to go back and rewrite things to include “his” ideas? Sorry, Barack, but that isn’t going to happen.
What is far more likely is that anything that the president says tonight will be meaningless to the actual bills that have for months been going through Congress. No one in Congress will be running back to the drawing board to rewrite bills because of anything the president will say tonight.
In truth, all Obama is trying to do is re-brand his sales pitch because every one of “his” ideas announced tonight will be utterly meaningless to the actual bills under consideration. This is about trying to reverse the 52% of Americans that disaprove of his efforts for healthcare “reform.” It has nothing at all to do with the actual legislation. Nothing. Nada. This is a hail Mary pass to reverse his declining positives.
In other words, this is about Obama’s popularity. If Obama loses this healthcare fight or finds a bill passed that is materially weakened from his ballyhooed policy recommendations then he will be a weakened president. Obama is in panic mode.
And rightfully so. He’s made a hash of this healthcare business, for sure.
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