The Bret Baier interview was pretty good, in that although there was no new information (shouldn't the president know more about what is and isn't in the bill?) it was rather revealing:
“I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate,” Obama said.
You don't say. That news flash isn't just the quote of the day, it's the quote of the year. Isn't that also Rule #3 in the Alinsky's Means v. Ends handbook?
On a side note, in my hunt for a link to Rule #3, I came across this post, and it struck me how much of it pertains to our current situation. The post was written back in September, but if you read it, you will see that there are a few correlations to what the administration is saying right now. It discusses calling any opposition immoral (siding with insurance cos./hate poor and minorities) or cowardly, and special attention should be paid to rules #3, 8, 10 and 11.
Back to the interview. Obama was quite defensive, and Baier was surprisingly aggressive, but respectfully so. He interrupted a lot, which the lefty blogs will most surely be all over tomorrow, but it was because his questions weren't getting answered, not out of disrespect. Time was short; Baier (and America) wanted answers. Too bad he didn't get any.
As usual, the President painted with a broad brush - you're either for their utopian vision or you are against humanity:
And if they don’t, if they vote against it, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo.
It's either all or nothing with these people (see the above referenced post for more insight). If you don't vote for this stinking carcass of a bill, then you don't want any reform at all. This is the same response the Republicans got when they presented him with their proposals, which included free market principles, minor regulation and tort reform. That doesn't sound like the status quo we keep hearing about, does it?
And who's really in bed with the insurance industry - the ones who want to increase competition in a free market way, or the ones who are handing over some 30 million hostages mandated to purchase not just insurance, but comprehensive (read: more expensive) insurance? Let's not forget, too, that those who are already minimally insured will have to purchase more coverage to meet the new mandates.
Obama also said:
“What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise.
There are two things wrong with this statement. The vote taken in the House will not be a vote for health care. Nor will it be a vote for the nationalization of the student loan system. It will be a vote for a rule. But, following his logic, if it is a vote for health care, then he is saying the people who vote for it will have to own up to it. So why the subterfuge? Yes, whoever votes for this is going to have to answer for it, whether it is passed by a direct vote or whether it is passed as a rule. Is the reason for technically not voting for it because there some way they can 'take it back' under demon pass if the Senate doesn't pass the reconciliation measure? That seems pretty unlikely, so democrats in the House just need to trust the Senate to pass a reconciliation bill that is acceptable to them and "man up" and own the vote - and that means actually cast one.
All in all, this was more damaging to Obama than helpful. He was definitely not in control of the interview, he didn't have any answers (or at least refused to give them), he was spewing the same old talking points, and was insincere and unconvincing.
The last ditch, hail Mary (hail Obama?) pass most definitely did not end with a touchdown. The problem with this bill is that it only appeals to the indoctrinated - mainly because they don't question. They should have waited another 20 years - you know, get another generation or two through the public school
Unfortuantely for them, they miscalculated silence for acquiescence and jumped the gun.