George Will has been keeping tabs on the President’s heavy speaking schedule:
“On the 233rd day of his presidency, Barack Obama grabbed the country’s lapels for the 263rd time—that was, as of last Wednesday, the count of his speeches, press conferences, town halls, interviews, and other public remarks. His speech to Congress was the 122nd time he had publicly discussed health care. Just 14 hours would pass before the 123rd, on Thursday morning. His incessant talking cannot combat what it has caused: An increasing number of Americans do not believe that he believes what he says.”
Will says that the public is ceasing to believe the silver-tongued-orator-in chief because what he says it—ah—implausible. Just one example:
He says America’s health-care system is going to wrack and ruin and requires root-and-branch reform—but that if you like your health care (as a large majority of Americans do), nothing will change for you. His slippery new formulation is that nothing in his plan will “require” anyone to change coverage. He used to say, “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period.” He had to stop saying that because various disinterested analysts agree that his plan will give many employers incentives to stop providing coverage for employees.
But the president’s implausible remarks aren’t helped one bit by the firebrand speaker of the house. Writes Will:
She is liberalism’s Dolores Ibárruri, a.k.a. La Pasionaria—the Passion Flower. An anti-Franco orator during the Spanish Civil War, Ibárruri gave the Loyalists their battle cry, “¡Nopasarán!”—”They shall not pass!” Franco’s forces did pass, but Pelosi has vowed that a reform plan lacking a public option shall not pass the House. But Montana Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, says a public option cannot pass the Senate.
You’ve got to read the column—it’s hilarious on the unsmiling Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who suddenly has a hint of a smile on his face. But as Saturday’s march indicated, this isn’t about political parties. It’s about politicians who don’t listen to us and keep repeating the same stale, improbable rostrums.
We’re listening to them–but we don’t necessarily believe what they are saying.