It's no accident that his 9/7/09 speech to the AFL-CIO harkens right back to these two skills -- whenever a tough situation arises, make a speech, rouse the crowd to cheer "Yes, We Can" and think you've done your job.
I don't claim to be an expert on the inner workings of Congress, but isn't "debate" one of the players in the great legislative game? There exist many avenues by which proposed legislation becomes law, (see this link, if 7th grade was a long time ago for you, too,) and debate is certainly part of the process.
Now, in this speech to Labor, Obama is telling us the time for debate is over? To the best of my recollection, we don't have a viable bill in either the House or the Senate, nor has the eagerly-awaited magic Obama White House bill yet been unveiled -- but the debate is over?
Houston, what the heck?
I find it incredibly frustrating that those who speak in opposition to West Wing proposals are continually accused of "spreading lies," of being "right-wing extremists" or "special interest groups" determined to sandbag the Democrats' plans. Those epithets trickle down from the Obama spout all the way to network media.
Why can't the opposition be considered exactly that -- those opposed to health care/insurance reform, as it has been presented, based on ideological or budgetary grounds? Why must everyone not marching in lock step with President O be constantly demonized?
This is taken from the above AFL-CIO speech (in case you didn't click the link):
"I've got a question for all these folks who say, you know, we're going to pull the plug on Grandma and this is all about illegal immigrants -- you've heard all the lies," Obama said. "I've got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What's your answer? What's your solution?
"And you know what? They don't have one."
The president seemed eager to recapture some of the enthusiasm that propelled him during his campaign. A prolonged recession has sapped morale, he said, as have pundits who warn that "this isn't working and that's not working."
In the face of a collective "funk," Obama reprised a story from the 2008 campaign about a South Carolina official who electrified one of his appearances through a chant of "Fired up; ready to go!" The story was not part of his prepared speech, and the White House later said Obama had launched into it spontaneously. If nothing else, the chant buoyed his aides, who whooped and shouted as the president trotted out the anecdote.
With about 20,000 people listening in and outside the pavilion, Obama said "every debate at some point comes to an end. At some point, it's time to decide. At some point, it's time to act. Ohio, it's time to act and get this thing done."
Yeah -- let's shut down debate and just "act and get this thing done" while we don't have a consensus, while the Congressional Budget Office has controverted Obama's own team's analyses and before Obama's own bill has seen the light of day.
Sounds like a good plan to me -- sounds about like the rest of this administration's actions to date.
Maybe I missed something in the last nine months -- what the hell's the hurry about passing this critical, sweeping, overwhelming legislation that will affect nearly everyone in America in some way or other?
Reform may be inevitable, but shouldn't it be measured, thoughtful and the best solution possible?
Obama may be "fired up and ready to go" but my money isn't all that eager to leave my bank account until we have a plan that just may actually work. We all know these programs NEVER get repealed. This reform will be with us until, well, forever. Can't we wait and do it right, instead of being forced to do it wrong, right now?