cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
President Obama once again rose to the podium in prime time and delivered the speech that was expected to clarify and add substance to his thoughts on health care reform. The expectations created were probably too high; he didn't succeed in adding substance as I viewed the speech. Maybe I expected too much since I am close to the health care delivery system, and since I've spent untold hours scouring the various bills and papers that have been created by sundry people in Washington, D.C.
The late roll-out of Sen. Edward (Teddy) Kennedy was, in my opinion, the height of tackiness and smacked of the Sen. Paul Wellstone funeral debacle of some years ago. He just couldn't help himself, I guess.
The high points:
- if I criticize I'm either a Neanderthal or a liar
- if I raise points using his own rhetoric, I'm misconstruing or over-reacting
- if I suspect that the devil lies in the details, I'm overly critical and distrusting
- if I say I think this will bankrupt us and ruin the health care system, I'm "one of those people"
What does my crystal ball show me this morning?
- Something will definitely be passed under the broad title of health care reform; I suspect that will be something less than the "whole enchilada" for the moment.
- I seriously doubt that the Democrats will pull enough votes together to get past the magic 60 votes in the senate unless they bring the Blue Dogs in with modifications and scaled down efforts.
- If the Democrats use the "reconciliation" budget tool to pass health care reform with a simple majority of 51 votes, they'll pay a terrible price in the coming elections.
- We are at the point of looking forward to the lesser of evils so far as change to our health care system, and that is absolutely shameful.
High point but virtually meaningless point:
- the talk of tort reform tests in Idaho; there must be fewer attorneys that contribute money in that state on top of the fact that there are fewer votes to lose.
My cynicism continues at a high level. I don't see much in the way of leadership from our president other than for the ability to use his rhetorical gifts. He didn't do what he needed to do last evening, so far as I was concerned. The level of expectations came nowhere near be met. He didn't tell us what would and wouldn't be covered. We have no idea of what this will cost, but we do know that it will add to our deficit in spite of his protestations to the contrary.
He played to his liberal cohorts and they loved the pep talk. He did nothing to move the ball further down the field. He "reached out" to Republicans with whom he has refused to meet before, essentially accusing them of not having "a plan" (which they do and which they have had for some time but which is too commonsensical to go anywhere in Washington, D.C.), and of not having tried to talk with him.
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled "I'm From The Government, And..."