Not with a Bang… Seminar Signals End of Administration’s Headlock on Healthcare

Upfront, the Skeptic needs to admit, that rather than watch the health care seminar held February 25 at the White House, the Skeptic elected to watch the semi-finals of women’s curling at the Vancouver Olympics. You know – curling – that somewhat more obscure and less exciting version of shuffleboard where a “stone” is slid upon the ice and then directed by “sweepers,” who melt the ice in the desired direction of travel. After reviewing the actual text and proceedings of the White House meeting, the Skeptic is now prepared to defend his choice of women’s curling as the more productive use of his time. 

 However, that is not to say that the outcome of the meeting is not historic – it is.  It marks the end of Phase I of the Administration’s health care reform effort – the big omnibus comprehensive all-Government approach.   Unlike other critics, I am not going to bash Mr. Obama’s performance – not too much anyway.  In fact, compared to his other outings (such as the embarrassingly bad speech to the joint session of Congress last Summer) this time, Mr. Obama betrayed some slight knowledge of the subject matter at hand.  His fellow Democrats, however, were generally ham-handed in their presentations and detracted from the discussion.   The anecdotal tales of health care tragedies were particularly ineffective – whenever Mr. Obama criticized the Republicans for using “talking points,”  one could not help but be struck that the Democratic use of tales of personal tragedies  to infer large scale systemic failure of the American health care system was by far the most egregious example of the overuse of talking points by either side. 

But none of this truly explains the dynamic of what took place for the Republicans, and what did not take place for the Democrats at this meeting.  In a nutshell, the Democratic presentation was simply not news – we have heard it all literally dozens of times before.  The Republican position was news – unless you are a follower of blogs or alternative media, you had simply never heard the Republican position before, and were not aware of the plans for bills that had been submitted to Mr. Obama by various Republican Senators and Congressmen.  In fact, when Mr. Obama admitted to having read these plans, he effectively silenced one of the big lies being promulgated by his Administration – that those opposed to the Senate and House bills have no ideas or plan of their own. 

In fact, after the summit was complete, commentator after commentator focused on the Republican presentation and expressed surprise at its cogency.  Why?  because they are focusing on the NEWS value out of this summit.   Basically, the Administration made a huge miscalculation in not understanding that both the Public and the news media are now immune to the stock, droning, half-truths that have been endlessly spouted by one Administration official after another – mainly by the Spouter-in-Chief, himself!!

(to be continued)

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