Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The House of "No"

A couple weeks ago, I was skimming my news feed on Facebook when Daniel Solzman's latest status update caught my eye. Solzy had commented that the Democrats will lose the both houses of Congress come November. Reactions were mixed, though I commented that the Republicans don't really offer any solutions, implying that a GOP comeback was little more than a power grab. About three hours after I posted my opinion, a conservative pal of Daniel's posted a link to the GOP's health care strategy. While I concured that there were a handful of valid points, I asked this fellow where was this agenda during all the debating last summer. Sarah Palin dreams up all that "death panel" garbage and town hall meetings nearly turned into riots, and that went to the backburner? He never responded.

I was reminded of this cold shoulder when President Obama staged that 6 1/2 hour bipartisan health care summit last Thursday. Was it courageous for the president to address both sides of this heated debate in such a grandiose and public manner? Yes. Did he state his case to the GOP fully knowing that they'd never come around to his side? Also yes. The summit was as extraordinary was it was testy and highly partisan, and in the end nothing was accomplished. To some degree, this unprecedented powwow was a Hail Mary pass for Obama's core platform, one that was defanged somewhat in the past week (we'll miss you, public option!) in order to garner support from across the aisle. Maybe this more moderate approach will work; nine centrist Democrats stated on Monday that they wouldn't rule out changing their vote from "no" to "yes" if Obama plays his cards right. If control of both houses of Congress comes down to the public's stance on health care reform and that issue only, the best-case scenario for the Democrats is to regroup ASAP, vote, and hope for the best.

Other Notes:

+ Last Sunday, my troupe Keepin It Mediocre had their second show at Second City. Our 25-minute performance was the culmination of my Improv Level D class, and we start Level E next weekend. When the show is posted on YouTube, I'll let everyone know.

+ Time again for "HeyStu Recommends." For the twenty or thirty of you that weren't already aware, Conan O'Brien has joined Twitter. He tweets about once a day, and his account is still fairly new, so there's plenty of time to catch up to Coco's musings.

+ It was David Geffen? Seriously?

+ A representative in the South Carolina legislature has proposed a law that will replace paper currency with gold and silver in The Palmetto State. He also intends to shut down the state's banks and replace them with "Cash 4 Gold" centers. ;)

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