Clive Crook's Healthcare CW

I just don't get this:

The critical failure in all this was the failure to win public support. Cohn sort of acknowledges this. ("Public support would obviously help--a lot." Yes, it would.) But that failure is not mainly the Republicans' fault. I don't think their criticisms carry much weight: Republicans are no more trusted by the public than Democrats. It is Obama's fault, first for putting Congress in charge, and then for standing aside for more than a year.

Obama fault Number One: "putting Congress in charge" of legislation. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the point of Congress to pass legislation. What is the legislative branch for if it isn't to, er, legislate? In such a huge undertaking, will it be long and messy? Of course. So what? Is this plan super-liberal? It has no public option, it cuts Medicare, to trims the deficit and it bends over so far to please the drug and insurance companies it could get a job in the Cirque du Soleil.

I can imagine Clive writing back in the Clinton years the exact same conventional wisdom that the Clintons should not have tried to come up with an executive branch scheme and foisted it on the Congress. Same centrist world-weariness.

Now for this nonsense that Obama "stood aside for more than a year".

Was Clive alive last September? See David Brooks here on one of the best pieces of presidential oratory - turning around public opinion on the subject. Atul Gawande here. Andrew Sprung here. Half the blogosphere here. The other half here. Even Mickey Kaus - who originally didn't want Obama to give a big risk-taking health reform speech - here. Dish live-blogging here. My conclusion?

A masterful speech, somehow a blend of governance and also campaigning. He has Clinton's mastery of policy detail with Bush's under-rated ability to give a great speech. But above all, it is a reprise of the core reason for his candidacy and presidency: to get past the abstractions of ideology and the easy scorn of the cable circus and the cynicism that has thereby infected this country's ability to tackle pressing problems. This was why he was elected, and we should not be swayed by the old Washington and the old ideologies and the old politics. He stands at the center urging a small shift to more government because the times demand it.

And he makes sense. And this was not a cautious speech; it was a reasoned but courageous speech. He has put his presidency on the line for this. And that is a hard thing to do.

But according to Clive, Obama "stood aside for more than a year". WTF?

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Just In