The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

For Obama, Progress on the Hill and Slippage in the Polls

By Ben Pershing
In the remaining days before Congress leaves town, what would constitute victory for President Obama on health care? Obama's original goal -- passage in both chambers by Aug. 7 -- slipped by the wayside long ago. But his signature initiative moved measurably toward reality Wednesday, and there is now a real prospect that by the time recess begins, five different congressional committees will have passed reform bills ready for floor action in the fall.

The Senate Finance Committee announced Wednesday that a draft of its health measure would cost less than $900 billion, while the House Energy and Commerce Committee unveiled a deal designed to bring the Blue Dogs on board. Several of the headlines this morning focus on liberal discomfort with the House bill. But many of those stories highlight complaints from liberal lawmakers who aren't actually on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and at this moment, that panel is all that matters in the chamber. As long as leaders can get a bill passed through committee, they'll have more than a month to figure out how to mollify liberals before the measure hits the floor.

The good news for Obama on the Hill comes as a new round of polls paints a more sobering picture of his standing outside the Beltway.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:24 AM ET on Jul 30, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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• Bottom line: Good policing would have avoided arrest and controversy

Already the word is out: Sgt. Crowley will NOT apologize in any way, shape or manner, and that the parties have "agreed to disagree."

If what began as an unnecessary and avoidable confrontation ends in stalemate, there will be no "lessons learned" other than the conclusion that a POTUS should never inject himself into a routine local policing issue.

But -- what if this were no "routine" incident, but part of a contrived set-up intended to cast aspersions on the character and reputation of Professor Gates? What if the professor had been "targeted" by so-called "community stalkers" for a campaign of continuous harassment?

What Gates' front door had been purposely sealed shut, leading him to force his way into his home, setting in motion the events that led to his eventual -- perhaps, preordained -- arrest?

President Obama was wrong to use the word "stupidly" in the same sentence as the word "police." But he was NOT wrong in noting that the outcome of the incident did not constitute good policing. A skilled, trained officer should be able to "handle" a 58-year-old college professor who walks with a cane. That did not happen.

This was not just a "failure to communicate." There was no moral equivalency between the actions of Professor Gates, distressed at the police intrusion and the matter in which he was treated, and Sgt. Crowley, a supposedly trained officer who should have been able to do his job without resorting to the arrest and shackling of an understandably distressed older man.

If President Obama does not underscore the unacceptability of the outcome, he will have demonstrated a disturbing tendency to equivocate when under pressure.

On the contrary, if President Obama reiterates the main point -- that good policing would have defused a stand-off that never should have occurred in the first place -- he will ensure that this "teachable moment" enhances his reputation as healer-in-chief.



OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 30, 2009 11:42 AM

Support should go up as the public sees a more moderate reform package and the president gets out to the country and combats Republican smears.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 30, 2009 9:36 AM

At this juncture, those bent on fighting for change cannot afford the 'luxury' of focusing soley on polls. One has to keep their eyes on results sought.

Not to mention one is either a part of the problem or a part of the 'solution.' Interested in talking solutions..join others who support Health Care Reform Today, July 30, at Noon.

Where: Upper Senate Park, 200 New Jersey Avenue, NW in Washington DC. Get the answers you need 'unfiltered'.

Posted by: Victoria5 | July 30, 2009 8:53 AM

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