The Health Care/Mid-term Election Debate
I thought it was a pretty good show, actually. Not that the big Health Care Summit had absolutely anything to do with reaching a policy compromise. Let’s face it. It was all politics aimed at the 2010 mid-term elections. Viewed through that primal prism, both sides did well enough.
The Democratic strategy is to position Republicans as obstructionists and they need vehicles to do this. Enter the “summit.” The visuals were striking. The President looked in command and did his best cool and reasonable-sounding Obama-thing. He carried all the water getting no discernible assistance from most of his Democratic congressional buddies.
Republicans were prepared with numbers and framed their less-government philosophies pretty well. Wisconsin Republican Congressman, Paul Ryan, was impressive as was Oklahoma Republican Senator, Tom Coburn. GOP House Minority Leader, John Boehner, I believe, needs to reassess whether a deep tan is really appropriate for February.
I did not find this to be a boring affair. I thought it was rather interesting and even a little healthy to see both sides of this important issue making their cases in a public forum that went over seven hours. Obama was right when he said the philosophical issues will be settled at the polls in November.
That’s what this was. It was a “mid-term” version of a Presidential debate and as political theatre, it was fascinating to watch. Not a lot of fireworks, but the issues and disagreements were pretty clearly framed. Appropriately, the people will decide eight months from now.