A lot has been made of tonight’s address to congress. The overall theme being, tonight is a make or break moment for Obama. I find that to be a bit overstated. He kills every “make or break” moment and I would expect nothing less. No, tonight will be a fine speech. What will be interesting will be the post speech reaction. Will he debunk all the health care lies that have been floating around? Will he (vaguely) call out specific members for not working in good faith? Will he defend the public option?
Personally, I’m hoping to see a forceful rebuke of the last month, a strong argument reminding Americans why we’re talking about it, and a framework of the plan going forward. Ultimately, I want to see him own this. The truth is, health care reform is high political ground, and the stronger it is, the better it is for those who vote in favor of it.
The way I see it, 1/3 of the people staunchly against everything and congress will never make them happy. Another 1/3 will be destroyed should a half-assed, watered down reform bill pass. The final 1/3 knows that reforms are needed, but they’re not sure what the best way to go about it is. Under this notion, you will upset two-thirds of the population with a soft, crummy bill. However, you will get two-thirds of the electorate with a strong, reasonable bill.
I enjoy politics because there are so many similarities to sports. In this case, the visiting team has had the ball for a long time now. They’ve been threatening the goal line, but have been unable to score. It’s time for the home team to take the ball back, march down the field, and put it in the end zone. Tonight, President Obama takes the ball back and intends on scoring in what should be a fantastic finish.