Tag Archives: Sen. Charles Grassley

Obama Address Congress on Healthcare – Can He Still Win?

President Obama goes for all the marbles next Wednesday when he addresses a joint session of Congress of healthcare reform. At this point, he might as well swing for the fences. Changing the nation’s healthcare system for the better is, like it or not, the defining issue of his presidency. Polls indicate the nation isn’t all that happy with the way he’s handled things thus far, but the game isn’t over yet. I’m using a few sports metaphors on purpose here. That’s because for the president’s opposition, healthcare has become a high stakes game of chicken.

Look for a moment at the duplicity of Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley. For months now, Grassley has been dangling the hope of bipartisan compromise on reform. He is, after all, the ranking Republican member of the Finance Committee, and part of the “Gang of Six” that were in talks to get something done. He’d even been to the White House three times to meet with the president. Then came August, and the rancorous town hall meetings across the country. Grassley’s commitment to bipartisanship seems to have ended right there. Compare for yourself.

Grassley in April: “Health care not only is 16% of the gross national product, but it touches the quality of life of every household as few others do. I’m doing everything I can to make the reform effort in Congress a bipartisan one.”

Grassley in an August fund raising letter: “The simple truth is that I am and always have been opposed to the Obama Administration’s plans to nationalize health care. Period.”

So much for playing nice. And now it looks like Obama has at least in part learned his lesson. Instead of negotiating with Grassley, he’s talking to Maine’s Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, probably a better choice to begin with. And it looks like he’ll press forward with his vision of healthcare reform not just to members of Congress, but to the American people as well. This makes sense, since recent polls say most folks in fact support a public option as part of reform.

It may not be the single payer, universal plan that I personally favor, but it’s better than the status quo some lawmakers are advocating. And of course, when you look at where some of these people get their campaign contributions from, the real reason for their opposition becomes clear.

What exactly the president will say to Congress is anybody’s guess, since we’re just under a week away from the address. If he asked my opinion (and he hasn’t), I’d say it’s time for one of those inspirational speeches like the ones he gave so well during the campaign. You can win this battle, Mr. President. Just don’t make this speech a mind numbing recitation of statistics and numbers. Bring fire, Barack Obama! The stakes are high.

What do you think. Can President Obama still win the healthcare reform battle?

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Is It Okay for Obama to see Paris?

So where exactly can the Obama family go without being criticized for it? Let’s see now, they go to New York for dinner and a play (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, mind you), and the Republican National Committee calls it a “Joyride on Air Force One”.

Of course, it wasn’t the big, jumbo jet, but a 12 passenger plane. Somehow the RNC forgot that any plane the president uses is called Air Force One. They tried to make this look like one night of Sodom and Gomorrah while the American people are suffering through a recession.

Okay, so that one really didn’t work so well. After all, GW Bush jetted off to Texas for many a weekend during the Iraq war, didn’t he?

Flustered-Bush-R

Perhaps it would have been better if the Obamas had gone to Chicago and waited for the road company of “Joe Turner”.

Anyhow, now the GOP has cooked up a new mountain out of a molehill. Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, apparently forgetting Obama was in France to commemorate D-Day, lashed out at him on Twitter.

normandy

Ah, don’t you just love social networking? The silly musings of a politician suddenly become national news. To wit, Grassley’s first tweet. “Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us ‘time to deliver’ on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND.” To which he added a second. “Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said ‘time to delivr on healthcare’ When you are a ‘hammer’ u think evrything is NAIL I’m no NAIL.”

Now at the same time Grassley is grousing, reporters across the pond are upset with President Obama are upset because he and the family didn’t do enough sightseeing in the City of Light. Amazing, isn’t it? Grassley, of course, is upset that the president is trying to nudge the Congress on healthcare reform while at the same time he’s overseas. Does he think this president is unable to chew gum and walk at the same time?

Televangelists Finances

Maybe some in the body politic agree with Grassley and the RNC. Maybe President Obama will have to simply lock himself in the Oval Office and not leave until all the problems that began on their watch are magically solved. Never mind the trips here involve family, something the Republicans are supposed to revere. Never mind that Sunday was daughter Sasha’s 8th birthday. What matters is Republicans are trying their best to derail the Obama agenda.

Wouldn’t you think they could do better than a couple of lame posts on Twitter?

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