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The Obama administration appears to be pinning its hopes for passing health care reform on President Obama’s speech next week before a joint session of Congress. However, political analyst Lawrence O’Donnell believes that Obama is acting “from a defensive posture” and is unlikely to succeed.
“Obama is giving a speech they never intended to make,” O’Donnell told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday. “September was supposed to be the signing ceremony in the Rose Garden for this legislation. … So they’re doing something now that was not in their script. They’re doing this from desperation.”
When Maddow asked whether there is any chance that Obama’s speech can “reclaim the possibility of health reform this year,” O’Donnell replied firmly, “Speeches do not drive legislation.”
O’Donnell was chief of staff for the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee when President Bill Clinton tried and failed to put through health care reform in 1993-94. He believes that President Obama is “actually in a much worse place” than Clinton was then, because Clinton at least had Republicans who were willing to negotiate with him and “there was much, much, much more possibility.”
O’Donnell also suggested that the Obama administration may have drawn the wrong lessons from Clinton’s failure, such as concluding that they should “not send the Congress a written bill .. because then the Congress will just have to rip that apart and do its own thing.”
“So now we’ve seen the opposite tactic used,” O’Donnell told Maddow, “and the opposite tactic is no better.”
Maddow attempted repeatedly to ask what the Obama administration can do to salvage its health care reform proposals, but O’Donell had no answers for her. He suggested instead that if only the Democrats had “just shut up about this for about two years after 1994 and then started very seriously proposing Medicare for all … the country might be ready for it [today].”
But as things stand now, O’Donnell concluded, “there’s no one in any kitchen table around Ameerica who can explain to you what any of these bills are.”
Originally posted by warrenb
The administration never answered the important questions:
1. Why where they trying to ram the health bill through before the August break?
2. Why not let everyone take the time to read it first?
3. Why focus on health care now at this point in time during a recession?
There is something unsettling about the timing - the predictions of a great percentage of the population getting sick - while insuring that this new health care plan - gets put in place ASAP. The "rush" is suspicious.
The 2010 election will be held on Tuesday 2 November, with at least 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested and all U.S. House seats coming up for election.
Originally posted by jam321
reply to post by spinkyboo
From what I understand, it would take years to fully implement. I just think they wanted it passed before Congress started focusing on 2010 reelection. Once they start their reelection campaign, they are less likely to tackle controversial issues. I believe there are 471 members of Congress up for reelection.
But, when I read the word "desperation" in the title it struck me a pure bias.