Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

RE: Grading the Big Speech

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 11, 2009

I already wanted to write something about Obama’s speech to Congress, and after I saw this article from Human Events, I just knew I had to respond.

President Obama has had a month to listen to the American people.

For a month, angry Americans have gone to town hall meetings in large numbers to oppose more spending, more government, and more Washington centered bureaucracy.

For a month, the polls have gotten worse and worse for big spending, big deficit, high taxes, and big government.

But on Labor Day, President Obama gave us a sign he hasn’t been listening. He gave a campaign-style speech in which he accused his critics of spreading “lies” and failing to offer their own solutions for health care reform.

It is not the president’s job to give people what they want. If it was, I would most likely be learning creationism right now. No, the president’s job is to do what’s best for his country. Actually his job is to enforce the law, and it’s really up to Congress to put laws in place. But still. If two thirds of America want him to do something stupid, that’s not a great incentive to do it. Not to say that opposing more spending and more government is stupid. (Not that it’s necessarily smart, either. It depends on circumstances.)

onight President Obama has another opportunity to show us if he’s willing to listen to us, or to his party’s leftwing.

Below is a ten-point checklist you can use to judge for yourself.

Oh goody, I love ten-point checklists!

He has to choose between listening to what the American people are telling him, and what the Left is telling him.

Um… sorry to break it to you, but half of the country is “Left”. You don’t have to be Conservative to be American, you know.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that only 13% of the American people want permanently expanded government.

It turns out that this is actually true, and they’re not just making stuff up. But it’s still an appeal to popularity. I personally would like to see a smaller government, but on issues other than health care. Like military. Or education.

In sharp contrast, the liberal base of the President’s party views government run health care as nonnegotiable.

It’s not exactly government run. There will still be private healthcare.

Forget the details

Forget the rhetoric.

So, is “Forget the details” a complete sentence or what? If you put it as one paragraph, it doesn’t make grammatical sense:

Forget the details Forget the rhetoric.

Is this a speech designed to bring together Americans to pass bipartisan health reform?

Or is this a speech designed to appease the Left?

It’s designed to achieve the President’s goals. Since he is the President of the United States and not just the President of the Left, his goals probably include the entire country.

In his proposals for reform, does the President include litigation reform, which 84% of Americans believe will help reduce costs and which is the number one goal of doctors in any health reform?

Yes, I believe he does include it. But really, stop using those appeals to popularity. They’re getting on my nerves.

Does he include a section onsaving [sic] money by stopping payments to crooks who are bilking the taxpayers for $70-120 billion each year in Medicare and Medicaid fraud? For 88 percent of Americans, this is the first place they would look to find savings in our health care system. Is President Obama willing to look there?

In his plan, yes. In his speech, I’m not sure. I mean, it’s pretty long.

Does his speech reject higher taxes, which the vast majority of Americans believe will make the current economy even worse and increase unemployment even more?

Yep. Pretty blatantly.

Dang. The rest of the questions are silly. I was hoping it would actually go somewhere. But what did I expect from Newt Gingrich anyway?

The speech itself was very well done. It was certainly a lot better than Obama’s speech to students. He promised a lot. The question is, can he deliver?

His ideas about healthcare seem helpful. Not all of them, but most of them. He said that he’s not going to raise taxes, which makes one wonder where all of the money is going to come from.

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