Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Tensions of Obama-ism

E.J. Dionne's column today is a perfect explanation of how Obama's style and promises conflict with his agenda. The whole thing is a must-read, but this particular paragraph (which singles out the Senate's unconscionably slow deliberation on health care) strikes me as dead-on:

Brown's victory is also a rebuke to a United States Senate that acted as if it had unlimited time to pass health care legislation and ignored how foolish its listless ways appear to normal human beings. Like a bottle of milk kept out of the refrigerator too long, the health bill came to look curdled and sour to a public that felt it never heard an adequate explanation of what was in it.

In the short term, Democrats have to make a quick decision on health care. The obvious path is for the House to pass the Senate's bill and send it to Obama's desk, while reaching agreement on certain changes that, under existing practices, can get through the Senate with fewer than 60 votes. It would be the equivalent of a political crime for Democrats to have invested so much in health reform only to let it die because of one election in one state.

Read the whole thing here.

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