I just love Jennifer Rubin in the morning. Let me just cherry-pick some paragraphs from her morning writing.
James Capretta notices two developments in the health-care debate. First, the president is telling us to shut up again. (”President Obama said today that the debate on health care has gone on long enough, and now is the time to pass something.”) Here’s the deal: setting the war strategy in Afghanistan is much more important than the made-up health-care “crisis,” and he’s had years on the campaign trail and nine months to think about it, so maybe he should get to that first. (And let’s recall that it was Obama who dumped this all in the lap of Congress, so therefore complaining about the pace of sausage-making at this late date seems to be poor form.) [You’ll want to read Capretta’s second point, too, the one about taxes.]
On the supremely narcissistic speeches Michelle and Barry gave the IOC:
Obama’s entire presidential campaign was constructed on nonsensical rhetoric and an inflated sense of his own fabulousness. From “We are the change we have been waiting for” to the embarrassing Berlin rally to the knee-jerk “I am not George W. Bush” approach to nearly every issue of national security — it’s all been about him. And he has a remarkable lack of ideas and facts to impart. He lectures us on racial profiling because he knows best (but not the facts). He blankets the airwaves but with nothing much to say. He champions health care but lacks a plan with his name on it. And then he goes to the Olympics to tell us how swell it was when everyone came out to celebrate his election. He is the quintessential celebrity — famous for being famous but for not much else, and lacking enough material for anything beyond late-night talk-show interviews.
What was a vaguely creepy cult-of-personality approach to campaigning has become the stuff of parody. And what’s worse, we now get the narcissism in stereo — from both Obamas. [And you’ll want to read the George Will column that triggered Rubin’s ranting.]
On health care change only a moron would believe in:
The monstrously complicated Democratic health-care bills costing upward of a trillion dollars are churning through Congress. They are too complicated for the average voter to fully comprehend and too voluminous for the average lawmaker to read. They spend money we don’t have and create enormous new bureaucracies to regulate, limit, control, and, yes, ration care. The actual cost of health care (as opposed to what the government will pay for it) isn’t addressed in any meaningful way. Medicare Advantage, a popular program, will be slashed. And millions will have huge new tax liabilities. There is something for everyone to hate, and a lot of people do.
McChrystal’s forthrightness and the defensive reaction of the White House tell us several things. First, the White House doesn’t have a good response on the merits. “Shut up” is not a policy analysis. Second, whatever processes exist within the White House for decision-making have stalled and malfunctioned, causing the debate to go public. Had a decision been promptly made, none of this would have occurred. And third, now the entire country knows the unified position of the military and understands that the opposition comes from the likes of Joe Biden. The public-relations problem for the White House has gotten much worse.