Patterico's Pontifications

7/20/2009

Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:21 am

[Posted by Karl]

Look out, gang — Pres. Obama may get on the Twitter! Can a man this hip be denied?

Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama may have no greater test of his ability to translate personal popularity into a successful legislative agenda than the upcoming two weeks.

With skepticism about the president’s health-care reform effort mounting on Capitol Hill — even within his own party — the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to dramatically increase public pressure on Congress: all Obama, all the time. [What's new about that? -- K]

***

“Our strategy has been to allow this process to advance to the point where it made sense for the president to take the baton. Now’s that time,” said senior adviser David Axelrod. “I don’t know whether he will Twitter or tweet. But he’s going to be very, very visible.”

The two weeks mentioned by the WaPo is keyed to the August recess for Congress. Obama has stopped demanding that Congress finish work on their healthcare bills by then, because it is not going to happen. But he needs to try to pump up support for the effort, as lawmakers are likely to get an earful from what Andrew Malcolm calls “the estimated 98% who don’t want higher taxes to pay for reforms that benefit others now and maybe them later someday, who knows.”

Malcolm may have made up that figure, but the real ones are not much better. The latest WaPo poll has Obama below 50% on healthcare among adults, following the recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters. Indeed, more independents disapprove now than approve. Ed Morrissey observes that holding another prime-time press conference on Wednesday may not change much, given his eroding credibility — but it’s more than that. Another Obama presser cannot change the awful Congressional Budget Office projections for the Democrat health care proposals — the latest tacking another $239 billion tacked onto the deficit. Congress is going to try to wish it away, just as Obama is dishonestly delaying his latest, disastrous budget numbers. Yet the tax-and-spend reality of these proposals is unavoidable, driving bipartisan worries among governors and and driving moderate Congressional Democrats to reach out the GOP for a way out.

If the lapdog press actually turned watchdog at Wednesday’s prime-time presser, it would reinforce the increasingly conventional wisdom that Obamacare is in serious trouble on Capitol Hill. That would make the presser a net negative for the president. And given the decline in Obama’s overall popularity on top of the steeper decline on healthcare, the press might do its job.

–Karl

67 Responses to “Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare”

  1. Amusing, is it not, that only yesterday the trolls were repeating the mantra of a vague “75%” popularity of this dreck …

    SPQR (5811e9)

  2. Hubris, plain and simple, from the guy in the Oval Office. In that regard, he reminds me of Bill Clinton back in 1993, waving his finger at Congress and warning them there would be hell to pay if the healthcare legislation they presented to him wasn’t to his liking, meaning something very big and very costly.

    Mark (411533)

  3. As an aside, I’ve repeated made the point that Obama is not leading on this issue. I’ve pointed out that he’s not made any concrete proposals, the White House has not supplied any legislation, zipola. Cheerleading on the sidelines is not leadership. These points of mine usually get a lot of troll angst but no real substantive rebuttal.

    And lo and behold, Axelrod proves me right.

    “Our strategy has been to allow this process to advance to the point where it made sense for the president to take the baton. Now’s that time,” said senior adviser David Axelrod.

    Right there, Axelrod confirms not merely that Obama is not leading but confirms that it is a deliberate strategy.

    The Empty Suit(tm) has not wanted to get tied to any specific policy for a reason. That is not leadership.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  4. Racists

    JD (8f6877)

  5. I would just love them to ask him about the budget number at the Wednesday presser; the ensuing Wizard of Uhhhz routine would be great comedy!

    I mean, the delays must be justified; after all this is the most transparent administration-EVAH!

    Transparent alright; even their water boys at AP Obama can’t come up with excuses to cover their attempts at connivance anymore…

    And it’s only going to get worse as congressional types get an earful from their constituents during the August recess.

    The bloom is off the rose, for all of the pieces of the Obama administration’s plans to inflict enact their new “New Deal”; and the best demonstration of milking an econmomic crisis for purely political purposes since FDR. Because anyone who follows this stuff can see where they’re going. But, the aura’s diminished, the halo-tarnished, at the jedi-mind trick just ain’t foolin’ as many folks as it used to…

    Flim-Flammed!, Hoodwinked!, Bamboozled!, Hokey-Doked!

    Just Words!

    O!

    Bob (99fc1b)

  6. Thanks JD! for your usual words of encouragement and support!

    Bob (99fc1b)

  7. ohnoes. I think it’s a lot cause he doesn’t have a crisis to exploit anymores. Barack Obama’s beautiful hopeychangey crisis has given way to an unexciting plain old decidedly not hopey or changey malaise. Sucking up more prime time only underscores that. Now he’s just milking it people will say.

    Flounder.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  8. Obama seems not to have a real policy shop in the White House like other presidents. Some of the health care fiasco seems to be a determination not to do what Clinton did. That doesn’t explain the obscene feeding frenzy that was the stimulus bill or the cap and trade monstrosity that even gave up the concept of auctioning off carbon credits and gave them away to favored courtiers.

    The man is vagueness and puffery personified.

    MIke K (90939b)

  9. Some of the sheen has been polished off, but this is not time to get cocky. The teleprompter addict in chief may still be able to rattle off a few policy victories over the next few months and thereby give wound America in a bad way.

    I think a lot of Americans feel as if they like Barry the person, even if they don’t like his policies that much. Never discount the fact that Obambi remains an adorable little fuzzball of liberal white guilt alleviation.

    KingShamus (4fabb2)

  10. RE #’s 3 & 8:

    I’ve written about this dynamic before. When you get the Hopey-Changey Democratic POTUS + Dem Congress every 16-years or so, going back to JFK, Congress does always want to assert itself as a co-equal (and arguably preeminent) branch of government. The POTUS is then faced with the dilemma of trying to impose his will, or leaving the details to Congress. History suggests that neither is a particularly good option. In this case, Obama’s general detachment may allow him to blame Congress if this all blows up in his face. And he would need someone to blame, as Hillary Clinton can’t be scapegoated this time.

    Karl (f07e38)

  11. KingShamus (#9),

    The polls all tell us that Obama remains much more popular personally than his policies, perhaps for the reasons you mention. However, as I have also written about before, Dems cling to the myth that Reagan was always more popular than his policies, which really was not true, especially when unemployment was climbing (as it is today). Though I agree that no one should be getting cocky until the worst of Obama’s agenda is killed stone dead, legislators are ultimately going to care much more about how much their constituents complain about Obama’s proposals than what they think of Obama as a person.

    Karl (f07e38)

  12. My question is; if the government thinks it can reduce health care costs once it is in control of our health care, does that mean that a new Chevy is now going to cost a lot less since it has become Government Motors?

    retire05 (cf470a)

  13. Question: If Obama schedules a press conference, and nobody bothers to watch it, does it mean he actually held one?

    MarkJ (d2394a)

  14. Question: If Obama schedules a press conference, and nobody bothers to watch it, does it mean he actually held one?

    Comment by MarkJ — 7/20/2009 @ 10:12 am

    The answer is only if a tree falls on Helen Thomas.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  15. I like Barack Obama personally but I have growing concerns about his health care reform effort.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  16. “I don’t know whether he will Twitter or tweet….”

    Aren’t those the same damned thing?

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (1641e7)

  17. Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare

    The beatings will continue until morale improves

    Hawkins (3d318d)

  18. One little question would topple the sham Obama…what are the mid July budget reports from the most transparent admin evah?

    westWright (2abc10)

  19. “Though I agree that no one should be getting cocky until the worst of Obama’s agenda is killed stone dead, legislators are ultimately going to care much more about how much their constituents complain about Obama’s proposals than what they think of Obama as a person.”

    The good news for those of us who want that agenda stopped is that Obama’s personal popularity wont have coattails in the 2010 election, and congresscritters know it. THEY have to answer for voting for an ObamaCare bill that will tax the rich, mandate costs on employers, screw the old folks on Medicare, put the squeeze on hospitals which will hurt quality of care, and will herd 83 million of us like cattle from the private health insurance onto the ObamaNation of Govt run health care. All the quality, efficiency and caring of the Dept of Motors Vehicles coming to your healthcare.

    If the Dems try to impose 1984 on US, we will impose 1994 on THEM. And the funny thing is, the Dems just cant help themselves repeat history. They are THAT stubborn. (They aint the Jackass party for nothing!)

    Travis Monitor (9e3371)

  20. The Empty Suit(tm) has not wanted to get tied to any specific policy for a reason. That is not leadership.

    Makes the WashPost polling even more hilarious then. 71% said yes to “He is a strong leader”. hmmm. Must have been his strong leadership on the Iran, no wait, Honduras crisis. President Obama has lost million jobs in 8 short months since his election, but 28% ‘strongly approve’ of what he is doing on unemployment. The Kool Aid hasnt quite worn off yet.

    Travis Monitor (9e3371)

  21. Twitter?

    Well, if he deigns top step outside of his protective MSM media-bubble, he better have some rhino skin. He WILL get his butt chewed.

    mojo (8096f2)

  22. Let’s keep it simple in order to get a good health care plan. We need a petition that says any congressmen or senator who votes in favor of a national health care plan will be removed from office by the bill itself or by election if they themselves do not give up their current government health plan and become part of the newly passed national health care plan. These parasites would then do the right thing.

    George Cappuzzello (5025f7)

  23. Sounds like Axelrod’s gearing up for an astroturf campaign

    vsatt (d00f54)

  24. How will Barack Obama’s risky health care scheme affect MY family?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  25. Given the almost non – existent press conference he held last week at the very last – minute (less than a 10 – minute speech, no Q & A, goodbye), he’s appearing almost Carter – esque again regarding his “crisis” meme. Does anyone remember Carter’s idiotic “sweater speech” about the energy crisis, and then listening to him drone and whine about the “crisis of confidence” in America? I sure do, and the only crisis of confidence back then was in Carter himself, the rest of the country felt quite differently, in spite of the tough times. Obama’s way too overexposed at this point, even some of his erstwhile supporters are becoming sick to death of his 24/7 narcissism, his endless town – halls, special prime – time speeches, etc.

    He obviously never learned the old theatre secret to long – running success with your public; always leave ‘em wanting more.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  26. He needs to Twit or just get off the pot.

    Californio (ab1e88)

  27. Everybody should take a moment and read Bobby Jindal’s essay in Politico regarding healthcare. In it he concisely sums up what Obamacare actually is. And, at the end he outlines what elements real health care reform would contain…

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25136.html

    Pretty good stuff…

    Bob (99fc1b)

  28. [...] DeMartini, Big Hollywood: Obama’s Next Folly – Health Care Patterico’s Pontifications: Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare Michelle Malkin: More Soros-bots outnumbered at NY health care counterprotest and New unemployment [...]

    Obama, Tell Me Lies… Tell Me Sweet Little Lies « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  29. Bobby Jindal takes a bite out of Obama’s health care bill.

    Here’s a guy who actually has experience managing health policy. Read the last two paragraphs in which he talks about the “real world” solutions that could be instituted as opposed to throwing money against a wall and seeing what sticks.

    I’d like to know more about the nuts and bolts of his proposals but, unlike the ongoing bleating of some trolls (Myron? Are you there?) here is a knowledgeable Republican offering a different and far less expensive vision for health care reform.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  30. Damn you, Bob!!!!

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  31. I propose the following to fund insurance to un-insured.

    All Federal Government Workers must be enrolled in Medicaid. ALL.

    With our savings there, we can pay to enroll the Uninsured in Medicaid also.

    Think this will pass?

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  32. Sorry BJT…

    But, you know, I gets excited about stuff like that!

    Kinda along the lines of, “Gee, I love that kind of talk…”

    Bob (99fc1b)

  33. I’m just flummoxed over the 140-character tweets headed our way that will somehow explain the necessity for this monstrosity consisting of HUNDREDS of PAGES. Transparency so light and thin it floats away …

    10SCgal (df3824)

  34. Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare

    Will he use a strap, or a cat-o’-nine-tails?

    AD - RtR/OS! (083442)

  35. the press might do its job

    I suspect it’s already scripted. The press is wankers.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  36. “the press might do its job.”
    Hahahahaha. Comedy gold, Karl. Gold, I tell ya.

    Dr. Carlo Lombardi (d03d9a)

  37. Bill Kristol has a piece out describing what Ted Kennedy has written recently about the health care reform. I guess he finally comes out and admits that they’re going to ration health care, although he describes it as not rewarding doctors for inefficient care, or something. And on the issue of congress participating in the same system they want to stick the public with, Rep. Fleming in Louisiana has proposed a resolution that Congress should participate in the public health care system they devise. Something to demand from all of our representatives and senators.

    rochf (ae9c58)

  38. Generally speaking increasing benefits happen because a company is doing well. An employer can increase what it gives to it’s people because the money is overflowing from the coffers. When a company needs to tighten it’s belt, it does not give willy nilly and bankrupt itself. Unless of course you are the United States of America.

    jpenaz (c68703)

  39. Good old “Chappaquiddick” Teddy Kennedy’s Newsweek piece ‘The Cause of My Life’ is the usually claptrap.

    “I knew the care was expensive, but I didn’t have to worry about that. I needed the care and I got it.”

    But not if he were bound by the crap he is trying to cram down our throats. He and 3 of his children would probably be dead.

    What an incompetent buffoon.

    jeff (cbe1ae)

  40. Believing his own good press over the past two years is what is taking Obama down, now. He was uncritically praised, and imbued by the media with having so much wisdom that he and his handlers apparently forgot that sooner or later they might need to show the American people some actual substance. Friends of mine who voted for BO are still sticking by him but are admitting frustration that he seems to have few original ideas and answers of his own, but is merely cheerleading vague “concepts” and touting urgency from the sidelines while Congress does its usual thing and unelected czars make policy. His transition from campaigning to governing is not going well at all and even his ardent supporters are beginning to notice. He can flog all he wants but since there’s no “there” there, the manufactured pressers have become routine, inneffective, and almost meaningless.

    elizabeth (e65f68)

  41. Well it’s going to be Twit or Tweat from The Won.

    I remember an old Tina Turner song where she was singing that her boy friend was “funkier than a skeeter’s tweeter. . .”

    The Won may get away with all this; he certainly has the MSM by their “tweeter” and when you’ve got ‘em by the tweeter their hearts and minds just naturally follow.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  42. I don’t know… wear a sweater and do without a little heat is actually pretty damn smart, if not the president’s business.

    Do without some medical procedure I’d prefer to have because I think I’m different than the government’s one-size-fits all approach seems very un-Carter. Carter at least pretended he wasn’t trying to be a mean crazy dominator of my life.

    The level of power the government wants is so saddening. They want to control health care. It’s none of the government’s business.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  43. New Obama techno-slogan:

    President Obama: He puts the “twit” in Twitter!

    MarkJ (d2394a)

  44. This healthcare reform has become the President’s real test. It sure didn’t help President Clinton’s clout. I hope he surprises the critics since we need real healthcare reform, but that’s a whole other subject.

    Addiction Analyst (add4c2)

  45. Just saw that the networks are resisting the 4th Obama intrusion into their prime time schedule. Apparently the WH is going to have the flogging earlier on Wednesday and SOME of the networks will cover it. The fable of the “little boy who cried wolf too many times” losing his credibility comes to mind.

    elizabeth (e65f68)

  46. This is pretty lame. Does anyone believe Obama cannot hogtie the lemmings of the DNC to vote his way?

    He will use the salami slice method. Impelement it a little bit at a time, lull the witless by telling them it won’t take effect for years; eliminate their options but tell them they will have options. And as the frog finds, the pot did boil, it is cooked, it just didn’t notice.

    The pot started heating up when idiot Bush expanded Medicare rather than trying to reform tort abuses and allowing portability of medical insurance.

    Had the pols cared one wit about the average Joe they would have allowed a tax deduction to pay for medical insurance up to say 3,000 annually, but no it has always been about control.

    And tyou peons just don’t know what’s the best thing to do.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  47. TJ – Bush repeatedly pushed tort reform only to receive the expected reaction from the left. Portability was a big feature of his HSA’s.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  48. 11. Though I agree that no one should be getting cocky until the worst of Obama’s agenda is killed stone dead, legislators are ultimately going to care much more about how much their constituents complain about Obama’s proposals than what they think of Obama as a person.

    Karl

    Agreed. If representatives’ constituents make a big stink about Obamacare-like the Clare McCaskill protest-congressmen will eventually have to pay attention.

    KingShamus (4fabb2)

  49. We have a tendency in America to argue for or against a concept based on our own personal philosophy or view of the world, what advances our personal interests, or the interests of our party, family, organization, or region. Perhaps viewing the issue from a management or systemic perspective might result in innovative approaches to the issue. The American national mindset, citizen philosophy, lack of citizen motivation to be proactively healthy, and governance model make the socialization of health care in America very problematic, particularly at this point in time. A country needs to know its limitations.

    Reggie Greene / The Logistician (66904c)

  50. Can we start placing bets on which ridiculously irrelevant lefty blogger he’ll entertain a question from?

    Robert in Missouri (d42833)

  51. Back in 1993 we had to wait for the Democratic health care plan to die to see the Republican motives. This time it’s all out in front.

    Last week, in a variety of television appearances, Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina said he’d like to see the health care reform push slow down. DeMint proceeded to tell a conservative conference call what he really hoped to accomplish: “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
    Today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele endorsed this approach.

    At the end of the address he was asked by the Huffington Post whether he agreed with Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) assessment that health care reform could be Obama’s Waterloo — a chance for the Republican Party to break the president politically. “I think that’s a good way to put it,” he responded.

    There seems to be a pattern. If the right can force a delay, then the right can defeat reform and deliver a serious blow to the White House. It’s the strategy GOP consultant and CNN personality Alex Castellanos presented for his party: “If we slow this sausage-making process down, we can defeat it.”
    Bill Kristol is obviously on board with this, saying today there will be “plenty of time to work [on health care] next year,” just so long as Republicans “go for the kill” now.
    The strategy is surprisingly transparent — slow things down, kill real reform, crush Obama.

    I’d say most of the Patterico crowd is on board with this. I warn you, your health insurance might not be as good as you think—or as good as Jim DeMint’s and Bill Kristol’s… in which case, some day you might be sorry.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (94b35b)

  52. Oooooooh, scary, AJL. You convinced me to pay higher taxes, run deficits previously unimagined, and cede control of my healthcare decisions to rationing bureaucrats. Incredible skill you have there.

    JD (0a26e4)

  53. And the expected TrollBot Chicken – Little drops in with the tired and hackneyed meme of “the sky is falling! Pass it now! Wraaack!”

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  54. cede control of my healthcare decisions to rationing bureaucrats

    I at least understand the other arguments, but I don’t understand this one. Your health care is already rationed by the bureaucrats at the insurance company. The anti-Obama forces (who care much more about embarrassing Obama than about health care, in any direction) were out there suggesting that under his plan you literally wouldn’t be allowed to pay for care that the government had denied—but that isn’t true. Is there some reason to think that government bureaucrats will be more arbitrary than the insurance company employees who were awarded bonuses based on the number of claims they denied?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a21626)

  55. That is a lie and you are a liar.

    This is your proposal, your crisis. If it is such a great and popular idea, you would be able to make a case for it wiÞhout lying, without obfuscating the details, and would be able to show how you will control costs, show evidence where you have done so successfully before, and lay out the plan for people to see.

    You and yours have not, because you cannot and will not.

    JD (0a26e4)

  56. Don’t worry, JD, you can still get rabies and coprolalia treated under Obama’s proposal.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a21626)

  57. It’s the sweet scent of Teatime at the Whitehouse:

    BO: My god, I’ve got a headache.

    MO: Healthcare again?

    BO: No, my GOD… It’s my poll numbers.

    Littlest daughter: Daddy, what does deficit mean?

    MO: Sasha, dear. Go into the Rose Garden and pick some thorns will you? Daddy’s going to meet with the evil Republicans later.

    Littlest: Mommy, I can’t. The EPA said it’s off-limits after you planted our toxic vegetable garden.

    MO: Barry. Arianna’s on line #1.

    BO: Hm^f@r#%:(

    HuffPoet: Barry, dahling! Gud newz. Ve’ve got everyone blogging at ze speed of sound. Vhy don’t you fly zat big jet over a tall landmark again and remind everyone who’s top commie?

    MO: Arianna, I’ve never been so ashamed of my country.

    Littlest one: Daddy, what does deficit mean?

    BO: Look under liberal white guilt, honey. Daddy’s busy right now. Go play with the new doggie…

    Littlest: But Daddy, I can’t. Bo is peeing on the carpet in the corner again.

    Arianna (squeals with delight): Ohh… The weekly dog lessons are paying off! I’m soooo happy! (drops ice cube into glass and slams down phone while yacht makes a hard-left into the horizon. Barry logs onto Twitter to cure his headache and get in America’s face – not for the last time.)

    Vermont Neighbor (4126d0)

  58. [...] Pontifications:  What’s the Price of Tomorrow? Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare State Medical Associations Oppose [...]

    ~ Dear President Obama: Just Who Do You Think You Are, Gambling With My Grandchildren’s Future? « Quick Daily Hits — Politics and Such (fb05f5)

  59. All of Obama’s promises about healthcare are meaningless. This is now obvious with his admission that he does not even know what is in the house legislation.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  60. Your health care is already rationed by the bureaucrats at the insurance company.

    Andrew, you simply don’t understand. You can sue your insurance company and sometimes win if they don’t use proper guidelines for denial of care. Have you tried suing Medicare ?

    Mike K (db3eb5)

  61. AJL – Thank you for proving my point so perfectly.

    After Teh One can tell us what is actually in the bill, I will start paying attention to you and your ilk again. Until then, mock and scorn.

    JD (5adcdb)

  62. than the insurance company employees who were awarded bonuses based on the number of claims they denied?

    Even I know this is a complete bullsh-t claim; either show your work on supporting this fallacy or admit that you’re engaging in asspulls.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  63. “…than the insurance company employees who were awarded bonuses based on the number of claims they denied…”

    Somebody has watched way too many Matt Damon movies.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8d7b04)

  64. Notice too that Obama’s promise to lower people’s health insurance premiums by $2500 a year has disappeared as well.

    There is absolutely no Obama promise left alive today. They are all road kill.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  65. “Is there some reason to think that government bureaucrats will be more arbitrary than the insurance company employees who were awarded bonuses based on the number of claims they denied?”

    Crazy Andy – Did you lift this from the John Grisham book, Thomas Perry’s book or a blogger who didn’t attribute the idea. Perhaps it was just your overall fear of the corporate world and ignorance of how businesses actually work. You once again prove what a pinhead you are on this subject. Congratulations!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  66. “Is there some reason to think that government bureaucrats will be more arbitrary than the insurance company employees who were awarded bonuses based on the number of claims they denied?”

    Well, at least if a Private Company does it enough times, the customer takes his business elsewhere. Because trust me when I tell you — I don’t pay Aetna so they can screw my employees.

    But if it is the Gov.t I got no where to go.

    That is the difference and if honest you would say ….. my bad.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  67. [...] Pontifications: What’s the Price of Tomorrow? Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare State Medical Associations Oppose [...]

    ~ Dear President Obama: Who Do You Think You Are, Gambling Away My Grandchildren’s Future On Socialized Health Care? « Critical Political Thinking (c8b9b2)


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