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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 9, 2010

OBAMA: OPRAH WITH A PRESIDENTIAL SEAL

Lee Siegal, Daily Beast - The coming health-care summit is just the latest example of how the president prefers public discussion of problems to rolling up his sleeves and fixing them. . .

If ever there was any doubt that Barack Obama loves civics but hates politics, it was dispelled during the "fascinating" and "groundbreaking" exchange Obama had with the Republicans last Tuesday. This is a president who blames the media for trivializing politics at the same time he is abandoning politics for media-savvy talk-a-thons which accomplish nothing.

Obama is Oprah with a presidential seal. Does he really think that posturing in front of the cameras is the antidote to haggling in the proverbial smoke-filled room?. . .

On February 25, under the pretext of transcending messy politics, Obama will plunge into the stink with intensified vigor. Rather than truly delivering on his (impractical) promise to finally make the legislative process of health-care reform transparent, Obama will be daring the Republicans to start playing politics on his turf. What will be at stake is not health care-you cannot reconcile John Boehner's weaseling demand for "step-by-step improvements" with genuine overhaul-but the fate of Democrats in the midterm elections. They will be angling to portray the Republicans as stonewalling villains; the Republicans will be angling to portray the Democrats as tyrannical monomaniacs. At the televised summit, the portraying will eclipse the talking.


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