Fonzie Scheme?
In a post yesterday, I discussed why the Obama Administration’s policy agenda could continue to be disrupted by a loud and visible conservative opposition for the foreseeable future. I should mention, however, that some high-profile analysts now believe that these aggressive critics have essentially jumped the shark with their reaction to President Obama’s back-to-school speech.
While it is possible that conservatives have overreached this time, eventually triggering a backlash in public sentiment, it remains to be seen whether the combination of Obama’s campaign-style Labor Day speech in Cincinnati, coupled with his address tonight to a joint session of Congress, will indeed mark a turning point in the president’s political fortunes.
In the meantime, there is no denying that the White House has been caught flat-footed in recent months by the ferocity of grassroots opposition to its agenda from the right, which in turn has driven down support for both the president and health care reform.  I continue to believe that President Obama will get some sort of health care reform through Congress, but it will be a while before we can assess whether the policy outcome justifies the political costs involved.


Posted On: 09-10-2009 09:56:59 by Jim Splaine
President Obama and those around him want to DO things. I don't think they were "...caught flat-footed in recent months..." but rather expected the ferocity of opposition -- not from the "grassroots" to which you attribute it, but from the still-hating Obama opposition. They're fighting back. Effectively so, I think. It has often amazed me through the years why a man or a woman tries so hard to have a career in politics, then finally attains a Governorship or a Presidency, or another leadership position, and then just plays duck-the-issues and becomes a nuts-and-bolts politician. Change doesn't evolve that way. Barack Obama may have four years to make change; he may have eight. But regardless of his length in office, he will have made change. He's challenging the status quo to be better than we have been. That justifies any "political costs" involved. It would be great for New Hampshire and America if we would have others who looked at their elected positions as more than just a personal accomplishment. Their job is to serve, and to serve one often has to take risks. In President Obama's efforts for health insurance reform, lives are at stake. Yours. Mine. Many.

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