Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Not The First Time Zero Has Feigned Indignation

In Illinois, a Similar Fight Tested a Future President

From The DC Examiner via Chris Stirewalt

A story this bad needs to be read.

Writers Michael Shear and Ceci Connolly engage in a massive bait and switch as they take thousands of words to talk about how state Sen. Barack Obama dealt with the issue of health care as the proponent of the Illinois Health Care Justice Act in 2004, intended to expand coverage to the state’s uninsured.

Like a treatment for a political remake of Rocky, the story has Obama aiming high and then seeming almost defeated by impossible odds. The story reaches its crescendo as the gentleman from Cook County rises to accuse those who complain about a back door to socialized medicine are telling lies and attacking him personally.

Shear and Connolly get the vapors writing about how Obama’s bluster won back liberals who felt the senator was aiming for impossible consensus instead of just pushing through basic legislation on a party-line vote.

But the real story is that Obama got his bill passed by stripping it down to a nothing plan that created a non-binding commission to make recommendations to the state senate.

The plan for a highly-subsidized individual mandate, like the plans that have crushed Massachusetts and Maine, came forth, just as opponents predicted, and then nothing happened.

Shear and Connolly flick away the sell out and inaction by blaming Rod Blagojevich’s corruption, but the recommendation died because it was too expensive and impractical. It sat for all of 2007 and most of 2008 before Blago went down. But even before the blue ribbon commission had made its report, Obama had ridden off to Washington with health care under his belt.

Selling out and then thundering at wicked Republicans works if you have someplace else to go, but not as well if you have the top job. Even so, Obama may look to talk tough tonight and then kick the can on health care.

Don’t tell Shear and Connolly, though. They’re still thrilling to Obama’s 2004 attack on the GOP. But that s proof itself that a harangue can get the liberal juices flowing.

“Gathered in the chamber, under the bas-relief sculpture of Manifest Destiny, were the senators who would vote that evening. Watching from the gallery was Delgado, who had begun the quest with Obama 18 months earlier and pushed the bill through the House.

Obama was known as a cool -- some say detached -- politician, rarely prone to emotion. But lawmakers saw another side of him that evening. ‘He's non-nfrontational, non-antagonistic,’ Delgado said. ‘But when all of a sudden he lets it out like he did on that last day, people say, ‘‘Wow, he really cares about this.'’”

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