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Just some random thoughts about President Obama’s address to Congress:

1. I LOOOOVE that the President finally made direct attacks at the nonsensical propoganda that has been allowed to fester at town hall meetings across the nation. While it was too litte, too late, I have to at least give him credit for an attempt to quell some of that paranoid and dillusional talk that has come to be the new Great Divide for this country.

2. I wasn’t a fan of how the President made proponents of the single payer system into political straw men, but I understand that it was necessary to garner support from the Blue Dog Dems and moderate Republicans.

3. Oppositely, I commend the President for laying out the highlights of the bill and making a solid argument for the public option.

4. Perhaps it’s just because I love watching the British House of Commons on CSPAN, but I didn’t see anything wrong with Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst. I know we pride ourselves in civility and decorum, but dagnamit sometimes all the properness and civility needs to give way to an all out battle royal. Not so cool was that Rep. Wilson is a part of the propoganda machine scaring much of the country about the evils of comprehensive health care reform.

5. The Prez lost me when he promised not to sign legislation that increases the deficit. Again, I understand why he said it…but it is simply not practical with all the stuff being proposed. Not adequately projecting the costs associated with certain initiatives is dangerous to a budget…probably why the Bush administration never bothered to factor the cost of Iraq in the budget.

6. Rep. Boustany being chosen to rebut the President’s address was a bizarre move by the Republicans. Between the malpractice charges against him when he served as a doctor, to the suggestions that he’s an honorary member of the so-called “Birther” movement, it would’ve been a little smarter had the GOP went with somebody a little cleaner. But at least it wasn’t Gov. Jindal. We all know how that went.

Overall, I’d say the President delivered a pretty solid jab at opponents of Health care reform. Unfortunately for him however, the punch was delivered much too late. In the time it took the White House to finally address the nation on this (those weak, lily-livered Democrats dropped the ball time and time again at town hall meetings), Obama’s opponents were bracing themselves with protective headgear, body suits, and armor…basically arming themselves with fearmongering. Besides all that, I’ve argued a thousand times before that trying to promote sweeping health care reform to the backdrop of an economy crisis is one the single most idiotic things a President has EVER done. With President Bush’s antics being included in that number, that’s saying a lot.

When times get rough people instinctively go into self-preservation mode. They care nothing about other people’s struggles. They only focus on themselves and those most immediate to them. This point has been underscored time and time again as mobs berate and heckle people at town hall meetings who express poignant stories about their complications with health care. In instances that SHOULD call for each of us to exhibit compassion toward our neighbors, most folks respond with a collective “Meh…” instead.

It’s not likely that the President won over enough hearts and minds with this speech. But I have to give him at least a modicum of credit for trying.

– ACL

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