I have with me Todd Gitlin, Professor of Journalism and Sociology and Chair of the Ph. D. Program in Communications at Columbia University. After President Obama's health care speech last Wednesday before the joint Houses of Congress, Gitlin wrote Insurance Companies: By the Numbers about the "major reason why a sensible health system has been throttled for decades."
Welcome to OpEdNews, Todd. So, what do you have to say about President Obama's speech and his new leadership role on the health care legislative front?
OK, for a start: Obama, as is his wont, spoke like an adult. That's a very fine start, don't you think? Here is what I wrote right after the speech. I'd add only that he's boxed the Republicans in, thrown them on the defensive, and turned up the heat on the Blue Dogs. Whether he had to throw in the $900 billion figure to accomplish the latter--some smart people think he conceded too much--I'm not sure. But Republican incoherence, plain nastiness, and negativity are now amply on display, and the momentum is back with reform.
I agree about Republicans looking bad, although their spin machines are always ready to reframe any issue. Obama, when he chooses to, knows how to put together a moving speech. But his leadership and a clear message have been missing from the debate, for the most part, up until now. What were you hoping for, in terms of health care legislation?