Two forces will finally win health care for all Americans by defeating the vested interests, their lobbyists and the politicians captured by their campaign contributions: The People and the president.
Americans who have been following the issue took for granted the logical imperative of changing a foundering system. We heard what the president has been saying since he first hit the campaign trail: "If you like the insurance you've got, keep it." However the opposition has been ingeniously devious in repeating the untrue mantra, "government takeover of health care," to misinform the underinformed.
The Republicans, though banished to a minority, nevertheless still better understand how to communicate and motivate average Americans. That's why so far they're doing a better job spinning lies than health-care reformers have done with the truth.
How to regain the momentum in the debate? Presidential Ju-Jitsu and the same kind of grass-roots excitement that got him elected in the first place.
The president is one of the world's great masters of political Ju-Jitsu, the "art of softness" or the "way of yielding." Just look at how he turned the negative of comments around the Gates arrest into the positives of a coupla guys having a beer.
I suggest that he come out of August with a new, laser-sharp health-care plan framed something like this: "I gave Congress a chance to come up with their own plan to fix health care, slow spending and save jobs and they came up with many courageous, innovative ideas. They were also, however, hampered by disinformation from political opportunists and powerful interests determined to keep profiting obscenely off the backs of hard-working Americans. Read my lips: Not on my watch. 'Business as usual' is bankrupting America. I gave Congress a chance. Now it's my turn..."
And then I think he should lay out three or four pithy bullet points that would get us all excited again about meaningful change. We need to hear him say: "This is where I stand. This is what I will sign."
Then it's our turn. If we really are the change that we've been looking for it will then be up to us to get off our butts and start shouting. We will have to call, write, cajole, maybe even march if we have to, to support the man we elected in the most-important political battle of his administration.
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