According to Drudge, the top story is that Obama is indicating that the public option could be set aside. This seems to be the main evidence that Obama is trying to drop the issue:
“All I’m saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety ofhealth care reform,” Obama said at a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo. “This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.”
All and all, this appears to be a positive sign. I don’t think any rational person would be surprised at all. But, on the other hand, Isn’t this just the normal course of events for a sitting President? I politically came of age with George Bush in the White House, so perhaps that’s not the best way of judging how a president is normally treated; however, nearly every president suffers a drop in popularity once they start advocating something. This drop in popularity does not seem beyond the pale to me.
As I see it, the main question is how should a right-learning individual view the protesters, especially if they are are possibly going to relieve us of the “public” option. As Freddie observes, in a characteristically insight post
“But as the volume of these protesters grow louder– the more loudly these protesters insist that this is a defining moment of us vs. them– it becomes harder for culturally sophisticated conservatives to resist the pull of circling the wagons”
I think the heart of what Freddie is saying is true…When your own “team” is attempting to score, you defiantly don’t want to undermine their efforts. However, as Freddie knows, by accepting the protesters as part of the “team” of Conservatives, that therefore undermines the arguments behind the so called – “reformists”. Freddie makes his most salient point here:
“And, God bless them, conservative pundits of all stripes just do not fall out of love with the idea that the country is at its heart and in its majority white, straight, Christian, rural and Republican. I don’t know how many elections we have to have where the shifting demographics of this country are clear before they will catch on. Will it really take until this country becomes a majority Hispanic nation before there penetrates the larger conservative mind the reality that this country is not made up solely of people just like the protesters? Why do they still think they can refer to “America” when they are really referring to one shrinking slice of our electorate? I didn’t get it in November; I don’t get it now.“
This is the kind of thinking that reformist Conservatives need to clearly refrain from and understand, so they can effectively whoo the protesters away from the likes of Palin. I don’t see any way for a future Republican/Conservative coalition without them; however, how do you convince them to embrace a party to include a more diverse members, while answering fears (sometimes understandable, most of the time not) about Globalization and the like?
For a start, right now we need a smart, charismatic, and organized Conservative to setup and put forward something other than “USSR SOCIALISM FLAG FREEEEDOM PORK” arguments that Freddie is laughing at.