When Barack Obama assumed the presidency in January of 2009, I knew that the right would eventually get riled up over anything he did.
Well, they have and for a demoralized Republican Party, much of their wing nuttery is not only believed but repeated so much, that is becomes the truth to many.
These folks would never vote Obama and their voices are small, but they have their own big megaphone in talk radio and Fox News.
We all have to give the Republican Party credit for taking one issue as health care and demoralizing it, even though their own seniors would never give up Medicare, a government run single payer program. We have seen their likes at the Astroturf town hall meetings, with faux outrage, carrying guns, comparing Obama to Hitler and screaming socialized medicine.
All of this is outrageous, but their one liners have stuck. "Socialized medicine, death panels, death book, government takeover." Yes, all of this has stuck and have been targeted towards the seniors in this country. It has been effective so far because we see all these one liners coming up in polls.
As impressive a job that Barack Obama has done thus far, it will be the battle of health care that will stand out for everyone. I state this because the American Public have short memories, many don't know how the system works in D.C., they don't understand the three branches of government but it is these very voters that can make or break a campaign. We know this, we had to educate the American Public on who Barack Obama was and what he stood for, and it took 2 years.
This is a turning point, Wednesday that is, President Obama must be decisive, direct, forceful, and tell the American Public what he stands for when it comes to health care reform. There cannot be any vagueness, whishy-washy triangulation (which this administration has been BAD at), it must be direct and every point must not be one that can be moved down the 50-yard line.
Which brings me to how to embolden the Republicans? Easy, continue to insist on a bipartisan bill, continue to negotiate everything away, and don't back and state that you want a public option in this bill. The Republican Party has already won the month of August, now we are coming down to the final stretch. If our team cave on every point and give the Republicans and insurance companies whatever they want on the sake of a bill, it is going to be tough for 2010. It is called, "suppressing your base, demoralizing your base", this has been the calculated risk that the tiny Republican Party has been betting on. And it is working. People are sitting out on the sidelines, many who voted for Obama and the Democrats because of unclarity and miscommunication from the White House and the Democratic Congress. We can win these people back, have them in the streets, but only with a speech and fire of "a fierce urgency of now", along with the definitive voice of "I want a public option or public plan" in the final bill. If we don't hear that, the ones on the sidelines will just walk away. Some already have, we know this and we need these people. And remember Denver a year ago?
A year ago, Denver enthusiastically hosted the Democratic National Convention, which culminated with Obama's acceptance speech before more than 80,000 people at the Denver Broncos' football stadium. Legions of volunteers, young and old, fanned out across the state throughout the fall to rally the vote for Obama's campaign.
Today, the energy that powered Obama to victory has begun to dissipate. Some of his supporters remain on the sidelines; others are, if not disillusioned, questioning what has happened to his presidency. As they look toward 2010, Democrats are nervous. Gov. Bill Ritter, appointed Sen. Michael F. Bennet and at least one Democratic member of the House will probably face difficult election campaigns next year.
The Obama of 2008 seemed perfectly attuned to a state known for its youthfulness, future-oriented outlook and positive spirit. If he struggled at times with older voters in Rust Belt states, he always found a welcome in Colorado, easily defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic caucuses before cruising past McCain in the general election.
Today, Coloradans appear more downbeat. Anxiety has replaced optimism. The recession has changed habits and attitudes. Obama's agenda has raised questions among independent voters because of its ambitious scope and potential impact on the deficit. His style has left some original supporters concerned about his toughness.
Well, what can anyone say after this? It is out there. I heard it all summer from many independents and Republicans who voted for Obama and the Democrats. This is why Wednesday speech is important.
And the Republican Party? They will continue to lie, continue being over the top, continue with massive lobbyists influence, monopolize the television coverage, and try to force this administration to BACK DOWN. That is what their final push is. If they win on how they demoralized the health care debate, they will do it every single time for any bill that comes up and this White House will be perceived as weak. We all know this, which is why Barack Obama must tell it like it is on Wednesday, state unequivocally where he stands with the public option or public plan and take the other side OUT.
The Mr. Nice Guy should be gone after Wednesday.
If we can win with the public option, the Republicans would have LOST. They will then know that creating faux havoc, "just won't do". It will be them demoralized, not us. They will be relegated to a fringe party with nuts running around in it and the Republican Congress will not be able to ask for ANYTHING from this administration, going forward.
Finally, the reason that the health care battle means so much to many Americans is because we understood what Barack Obama was saying during his campaign. We know the insurance companies deny claims on purpose; we know they will kick anyone off the very minute they can if anyone has an existing pre-condition; we know these very companies continue to raise premiums while taking away coverage; we know this because Barack Obama told us his personal story. So, the thing or argument of that was just what he said during the campaign won't work here. Barack Obama said, "...words matter" and he told this country that we should have "....health care like congress...", well it is time to pony up and deliver. And it is way past time to whip the Blue Dogs and these conservative Democrats in the senate. They are the obstructionists, not the other way around.
I am looking for a new and improved President Obama on Wednesday. At this point, we all are.
Cross-posted @ Daily Kos