Obama has painted himself into a bit of a corner. He allowed the debate on health care to get away from him at home, and to be held hostage to Max Baucus and the Republicans to whom Baucus ceded control of the debate. Now, Obama has to rescue a deteriorating situation, with all signs pointing to a readiness on his part to tell us what he’d prefer (a public option) while signaling what he will accept (a “trigger” that will never be pulled).
This is not an original observation, but like many I came up with it independently. Obama was swept into office in great part by the enthusiasm of people who believed in his message of hope. Many of them were young people who were previously disillusioned by the Bush thugocracy. He raised the level of hope, and it swept him into office. If he fails to deliver, or even look like he’s trying to deliver, he risks not only his future, but that of the Democratic Party, and ultimately the cause of constitutional government. The opposition, in case you hadn’t noticed, is now certifiably insane. All signs seem to indicate that he is about to cave to a health care plan that will force those young voters to buy health insurance they can’t afford and which will not cover them in any meaningful fashion. They will lose the hope that Obama engendered, and they will turn their backs on politics.
Make no mistake about it. That’s what the Republicans are fervently hoping to pull off. Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that Obama will surprise us and act like a the inspiring leader he seemed to be just a few short months ago. If he doesn’t, the Democratic ascendancy may be short lived.