13 September 2009
Yesterday Alex and I went to support President Obama’s call for healthcare reform at the Target Center in Minneapolis. We got a couple day’s warning of this event, and the Target Center is a huge venue, so I didn’t worry much about getting in. Sure enough, though it was great to be there, this rally didn’t have nearly the fire and sense of community that attended the campaign rally last June. I’ve put a set of pictures up, if you want a look.
When I got home, though, I learned that 9/12 was the date of a huge rally in DC by opponents of the administration. I realized that part of the purpose of Obama’s quick visit to Minneapolis was to make sure that the administration caught a part of the news cycle. Sure enough, today’s online New York Times featured these juxtaposed headlines…
Well done, White House.
But not nearly enough to satisfy me. The President made a point of stating his support for a “public option” at yesterday’s rally. This statement got one of the largest rounds of applause of the event. Obama twice tried to move on, but had to wait for the cheering to die down. But today’s Star Tribune featured schizophrenic coverage stating on the front page that Obama reiterated support for the public option while inside running an NYT article noting that the Obama administration was letting the public option go.
I don’t know what to believe. But I do know that this playing of both sides of the fence leaves me with very little hope for how this will all play out. If we lose the public option but keep individual mandates, then I think the plan may be enough of a disaster to work for its defeat. I noted that Obama didn’t even mention individual mandates yesterday, so lets hope we don’t end up with that doomed scenario.
I’m looking for leadership on this one, I don’t think I’m seeing it.