And if Obama, like the Greek heroes, wishes to find success in his endeavors, he’ll heed the advice of the owl-eyed goddess blogress pundit.
Peggy Noonan contends (and I agree) that if the President pulls make from making this a priority and admits he “made a mistake,” it will increase his standing with the American people:
I suspect the American people would appreciate seeing Barack Obama learn from this, and keep going. He’s their president. He will be for the next few difficult years, which will no doubt contain moments he will have to lead us through. They also probably wouldn’t mind seeing a wry, modest, very human and self-critical stance from a new president who doesn’t strut and doesn’t swagger but does have a level of 1950s cool, Old Vegas cool, of supreme and confident smoothness that one wouldn’t mind seeing ruffled a bit by that old ruffler, reality.
Basically, Peggy thinks the president has failed to rally the American people around his notion of reform because he hasn’t clearly explained it:
Every big idea that works is marked by simplicity, by clarity. You can understand it when you hear it, and you can explain it to people. . . . . The president’s health-care plan is not clear, and I mean that not only in the sense of “he hasn’t told us his plan.” I mean it in terms of the voodoo phrases, this gobbledygook, this secret language of government that no one understands—”single payer,” “public option,” “insurance marketplace exchange.” No one understands what this stuff means, nobody normal.
And when normal people don’t know what the words mean, they don’t say to themselves, “I may not understand, but my trusty government surely does, and will treat me and mine with respect.” They think, “I can’t get what these people are talking about. They must be trying to get one past me. So I’ll vote no.”
In that last paragraph above, Peggy gets at the essence of the problem. Unlike President Obama, the American people have a natural distrust of government. We may give new leaders the benefit of the doubt, but we still want them to explain what they are doing. In terms we can understand. Especially when there is a near-trillion dollar price tag attached.
It’s Peggy, just read the whole thing.