Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Less than Perfect Presentation

Good Morning Bloggers! The president's prime-time news conference last night seemed okay on the surface, but most of the early feedback seems to suggest the president has fallen short.

There's no doubt he was informative and extremely competent (a far cry from the way the illiterate George Bush sold his expensive wars and half-ass legislation), but unfortunately that may not be enough when it comes to fighting the evil forces out to kill health care reform.

A billion dollars a year derived from 20% plus profits occupying one-sixth of our GDP can generate some pretty tough opposition - especially when you have greedy Republicans available for purchase.

Instead of a press conference Mr. President, perhaps you should have considered a speech, or a lecture? There is no doubt Americans want health care reform, but most of the current complaints (by reasonable people) are about how the plan will effect them personally, or about how it will add to deficit spending. Those answers would have been helped by more visuals.

We all understand show and tell. Powerpoint? You definitely needed a few visual aids sir.

I feel horrible criticizing a man who I consider one of the smartest and most competent, but tough times call for extreme measures. The only way health care reform will succeed is with the support of the vast majority of Americans - it's the only way to fight the riches of the industry and the greed of the Republicans.

Most Americans need to be hand-held into this reform. Unfortunately, the president didn't reach far enough last night.

Fighting the Republican lies is only possible by educating the people. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) admitted on CNBC Wednesday that "a desire to prevent the Democratic president from scoring a historical victory with a public health plan accounts for at least 50 percent of the GOP opposition to the plan." Senator Demint called the health care struggle the president's possible "waterloo."

It's clear the Republican opposition is devious. They are the ultimate con artists. They sell expensive wars and legislation (benefiting big business) with barely any opposition, while we are forced to account for every word and every dime. They succeed by lying to their constituents, and to the American people. So, how do you fight that kind of opposition? You do whatever you have to do, that's how.

To the President and Congress

First of all, I think the president and congressional Democrats should do more to point out the Republican past. They should remind Americans who created the debt, who got us into war, who destroyed the economy, who passed expensive corporate legislation, and who has done little to help middle-class Americans over the past thirty years or so. It would remind people who to trust.

Destroying Republican credibility would help undermine their current opposition. We could simply tell the truth!

Second, this reform effort requires every man on deck, including celebrities, scholars, community leaders and activists, or anybody who can help. You're doing a lot Mr. President, but you need more help. Please don't try to go it alone.

Finally, unlike George Bush who encouraged us to "go shopping" during wartime, you should encourage us to hit the streets. We're willing and able to do whatever is necessary. We have your back sir, as long as we have your leadership. Explain until you cannot explain anymore, and use us as necessary. We are ready to do our part.

Thursday's Political Rant - Michael


Conrad Strong said...

Michael I agree with you and would like to have seen the President be a little tougher last night. However, I think back through the campaign and remember several times that I disagreed with their approach and in the end, their way turned out to be brilliant strategy. So, I'm trying to have faith that they have a strategy that will win out in the end. I'm very nervous about going into the August recess without a bill. There will be an all out assault on health care reform during that period. I also recognize that there is a fine line on how to deal with the blue dog Democrats. We all want to hammer them, me included, but I'm reminded that they helped us pick up seats in red states and red districts and it's slightly better than having a right-wingers in those seats. I've been awfully critical of the way Republicans have gone after their moderates so I'm trying to practice what I preach but it's difficult not to unload on the blue dog Democrats. But, if they are responsible for killing healthcare reform, then I'll be ready to go after every one of them. We've been talking about this issue for 61 years. We just have to pass this even it means getting their through the reconciliation process with 51 votes.

Infidel753 said...

I'm not sure the Republicans are the real problem here. Sure, they're desperate to Waterloo Obama on something, and health-care reform is as good an opportunity to do so as any. But the Republicans alone don't have the votes. It's the blew-dog Democrats who can sink or save this thing.

Congress does respond to constituent pressure when it's strong enough. No doubt that's what Obama was trying to stimulate by appealing to the public as a whole. But what might be more effective is efforts to mobilize people in the state and constituencies represented by Democrats who are on the fence. (I wouldn't bother with most Republicans -- their voters are conservatives in mostly red states, who are unlikely to be swayed excwept by an implausibly intense effort.) Such targeted appeals might not be appropriate for the President to make personally, but grassroots mobilization has been effective in this type of situation before.

That being said, your overall point is valid. There's more that Obama could do to rally general support. We need fireside chats, not press conferences.

by Michael Boh said...

I hope you're right Conrad. I have been trying to keep the faith, but it's hard when you worked on Capitol Hill and know how quickly things can die on the vine - even when they're steered by very smart people. I'll try to buck up.

Infidel, I agree with you about the Blue Dogs. That's kind of why I think Obama should be calling us out - using us more. I hope he does. We need a good bill.

GR, sorry, but as usual your comments broke multiple rules. I also see you're posting on Conrad's site using Anon - at least it "sounds" like you. Good luck with that dude.

Infidel753 said...

Amother problem with the press-conference format: it's too easy for the MSM to change the subject. If they'd managed to get Obama to say something about Michael Jackson, it would have crowded out all the substantive news for weeks.

Infidel753 said...

Just to make things even crazier, Randall Terry is now threatening terrorist attacks if health-care reform passes.....

ghostrider6265 said...

"We all understand show and tell. Powerpoint? You definitely needed a few visual aids sir."

Everyone but OBAMA the man would not know what to do with a Powerpoint presentation, unless you could some how tie it to his teleprompter, otherwise the man would not know how to convince anyone that he knew what he was talking about.