Is Obama losing his political magic?
Byron York, writing in the New York Post , believes that if Obama’s health care bill fails to pass, he will be seen as just another politician and will have lost his “MoJo:”
If the public turns on Obama, it won’t be out of animus to him personally. People will always think him smart and charismatic — for the simple reason that he is. Nor are they ever likely to conclude that’s he’s a radical or cynic. His affect is too reasonable for the first and too earnest for the second.
No, the danger is that the public will conclude that he’s “a nice young man” — talented and well-meaning, but ineffectual and a little naive.
The fight over health care will be telling. Once again, people are being asked to believe that a trillion dollars in new spending is fiscally prudent. Once again, they’re being asked to believe that the government can manage an enormous, complex enterprise — even more so than the auto companies. Once again, they’re being asked by their audaciously ambitious, supremely self-confident president to suspend their disbelief.
If the public doesn’t go along this time, the Obama phenomenon will have experienced the end of its heroic period.
Obama will have failed to achieve a goal he defined as of paramount importance. His accomplishments will look small compared to the vast accumulation of new debt — especially if a rising unemployment rate continues to discredit the stimulus.
York is probably correct except there’s little chance some kind of health care bill won’t become a reality. The only chance it will be defeated is if liberals join with Republicans to defeat it – not impossible but very unlikely. This means there will also be some kind of “public option” since this is what the liberals are demanding at a minimum.
Obama too, wants a public option and will use the considerable power of his office to make sure it’s in the final bill. Even weak presidents know how to use the handles and levers of power against Congress if they step out of line. And given the outright thuggery the Obama administration has used elsewhere, it stands to reason they will not hesitate to threaten recalcitrant congressmen if they don’t toe the line on the public option.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky
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