Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Critique of ObamaCare

In other words, Obama would encourage unlimited health care consumption by patients while eliminating the last vestige of price consciousness.

That's from Shika Dalmia of Forbes. She offers a nice analysis of the perverse incentives and effects that would be created by enactment of Obama's healthcare proposals.

Meanwhile, Rich Lowry offers thirteen steps to constructing a speech just as brilliant as Obama's. He starts with:

1) Create a false center. In his speech Wednesday night, Obama positioned himself between the left calling for a single-payer system and the right agitating to end employer-based health insurance. Presto -- he's the very definition of a centrist. Anyone advocating almost any position can benefit from the same insta-centrism.
Meanwhile, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, who's had a crush on Obama that barely replaces her former crush on Bill Clinton, swoons that having orated like Lincoln, Obama must now legislate like LBJ.

Ms. Clift is doing better than usual. She's half right.

Lincoln's rhetoric managed to avoid self-righteous swipes at his political opponents, if we use the stellar addresses of Gettysburg and the second inaugural as the exemplary standards. Obama's rhetoric is better characterized by Lowry as a collection of tricks, long played by the left but played with virtuosic skill by Mr. Obama.

But she's right on the LBJ thing. Johnson passed the Great Society legislation, now the gold standard for a Democrat President, because he was skilled in retail politics. Always a man of the Congress, Johnson had been famous for his ability to schmooze and cajole and twist arms and trade promises to get his legislation passed. He came to the Executive Branch after serving over twenty years in the House and Senate, much as Senate Majority Leader during the Eisenhower administration.

Johnson had a legislative resume as long as Imelda Marcos's shoe inventory.

Which brings us to a point made during the campaign but now largely forgotten: Barack Obama is responsible for no significant legislation and had a mere two years' experience on Capitol Hill.

With a divided party already looking to midterm elections and a stirred up conservative/libertarian demographic (see below), something akin to Johnson's skill is surely what Obama needs most and has least.

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