Monday, August 17, 2009

The Weekly Strike-8/17-8/23

Good morning and welcome to the Weekly Strike, where we preview the week in politics. I think many of my fellow liberals will agree that we're happy to see last week go.

THE WHITE HOUSE: This is a good time for the White House to pick themselves up and dust themselves off. Though The Big Picture and I disagreed on whether yesterday actually spelled the death of the public option, that's how it's being portrayed in the media, and thus, the storyline is that the White House is being forced to compromise on one of the key components of reform. This will only embolden the crazy town hall-goers and the right-wing echo chamber that supports them, and it makes the coming weeks even more challenging to those of us who still believe that health care reform is absolutely essential. At first glance of the President's schedule, it seems like the White House is leaning towards a period of benign neglect. Nobody in the administration likes the trajectory of the debate right now. It seems like everyday we are on the defensive against ludicrous lies, are conceding another key element of reform, or gritting our teeth while Democratic members of Congress delay, waffle and cower.

Speaking of delay, House negotiators now say that they are likely to put off a vote on health care reform until late September. This might not be the worst thing in the world, because members can have a cooling off period after a month of raucous town hall meetings. But as The Big Picture wisely notes, the delay is another sign of the terrible direction of this whole effort. Every time we have delayed, the plan becomes more politically unpopular, and we make another compromise. At least we won't have to hear any more complaints about members not having enough time to read the bill.

The President could always add a town hall or two to the schedule unexpectedly, but so far, his schedule focuses on other issues. Today, he speaks at a VFW national convention in Arizona. No doubt the President will talk to veterans about his support for veterans health care enhancement and the 21st century GI bill, which makes it easier for veterans to go to college. One notable absence, is Arizona's most famous VFW, John McCain, who is apparently out of the country this week.

Tomorrow, the Presidents hosts Egyptian President Mubarak at the White House. Wednesday, it's NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Probably not a member of the President's base. Thursday, the President holds more meetings at the White House before he leaves for a two week vacation Friday to Camp David and Martha's Vineyard.

We'll keep you up to date on the President's schedule as it changes. Otherwise, we'll be doing more theme-based entries this week, starting with one tonight on Democratic defeatism. See you tonight!

No comments:

Post a Comment