The speech last night in my opinion did more harm than good. The president attempted to make his points by slamming the Bush administration. That will play well with Bush haters, but not those whom Mr. Obama is attempting to woo.
Obama said the changes he wants would cost about $900 billion over decade, "less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans" passed during the Bush administration. That's code for "taxes are going up if we can pull this off."
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted out "You lie" when the president said illegal immigrants would not benefit from his proposals. While the outburst might not have been respectful, it does show the deep divide that exsists in the two camps.
Obama said there is widespread agreement on about 80 percent of what must be included in legislation. Any yet, criticizing Republicans without saying so, he added: "Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics" and ideological warfare that offers no hope for compromise.
The so-called government option that Obama mentioned has emerged as one of the most contentious issues in the debate, with liberal Democrats supporting it and many moderates inside the party opposed. If the president is right in saying there is 80% agreement, it seems like the destination may be in sight. The question is can we get there from here? This whole plan might need some end of life counseling