Thursday, September 10, 2009

Speech Reactions, and the Really Bad Analogy

Overall, I thought Obama's speech was pretty good, but not a "game changer". Because I watched it in the company of about 50 local democrats (who were very enthusiastic), plus the usual mix of bar patrons (who were more subdued), the audience reaction I saw skewed to the positive. I'm not sure the overall population reaction will be as upbeat.

While we already knew that Obama is a very strong orator (especially compared to the last guy), he again showed his ability to speak to the public as adults. He didn't shy away from articulating complex issues. That's good.

He did push for the "public option", but no where near as forcefully as I had hoped for. I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed. He's still trying to sound "bi-partisan", but that train left the station a long time ago. I think he was trying to be polite to the repubs.

Which wasn't reciprocated. The outburst by Rep. Wilson (R-S.C.) has garnered a lot of media attention, but the reaction is mostly negative. Wilson is now a prime example of republican obstructionism, and rude to boot. (BTW; his outburst was clearly a violation of House rules on decorum. This isn't the House of Commons.)Added: specific rule: " Refrain from speaking disrespectfully of the Speaker, other Members, the President or Vice President."

But the part that bothered me the most was the really bad analogy: comparing health insurance to car insurance. Simple fact: not everybody has to have a car, but everybody does have to have a body. I've been "car free" for over twelve years, and I have no plans to get a car in the foreseeable future. But I do have a (albeit aging) body, and it requires health care. I choose not to have a car. I didn't 'choose' to break my shoulder, and treatment was not an "option" (unless I wanted to be permanently disabled). Comparing health insurance to car insurance is like comparing apples to lobsters.

Overall, I think Obama's speech moved health care forward, but only by a small step. I'm convinced will get some kind of reform, but at the end of the sausage making process, I'm not sure how significant it will be.

1 comment:

Demeur said...

I think it was more like the parent and the bratty kid that refuses to go along. Obama is giving them every opportunity to be part of the process. At some point the job will be done republicans or not.
I think this was more a speech to the Blue dogs and the American public. We know that no republican will vote for this even if they wrote most of it and they have said as much the past few weeks.