Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Obama Calls for Reconciliation Without Saying the Word

President Obama made his long awaited health care reform remarks from the White House today. In true Obama-style, the President called for passing health care reform via the controversial reconciliation procedure without actually saying the word "reconciliation:"

He said he had asked “leaders in both Houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote.” And he used the term “simple majority,” rather than “reconciliation.”

And while the President didn't say a word about a public option, he did say that single payer is not practical for America. President Obama didn't use the term "single payer." Just like a good conservative would, he called it "government run health care." But framing the issues in Republican-speak is nothing new for Obama. His use of Republican frames was pronounced throughout the presidential campaign and served as a stark contrast to Hillary Rodham Clinton's consistent use of progressive frames. Clearly, Obama wasn't kidding when he said he admired Reagan.

And why wouldn't single payer, or "government-run health care" be practical for America? Because Obama says so. Since we never got to have a national debate on the subject, you'll just have to take the authoritarian's word for it.

President Obama sounded so defensive, so belligerent, that for a moment I thought I was listening to President Bush. Any day now I expect to hear this Democratic president talking about the urgent need to privatize Social Security.