Obama's Health Speech a Victory for the Center: Brooks
Highly effective talk knocks down House plan, public option
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 11, 2009 8:08 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress on healthcare at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jason Reed, pool)

(Newser) – President Obama’s health care speech was “the finest speech of his presidency,” writes David Brooks: While rhetorically appeasing liberals, it “subtly staked out ground in the center” to win over moderates, making passage “much more likely,” he opines in the New York Times. Obama was firm in creating the “Dime Standard”: No plan can add “one dime to our deficits.” Bye, House plan.

Meanwhile, the president showed he was open, in principle, to tort reform and to “capping the tax exemption on employer-provided health benefits.” After these words, he won’t easily be able to reject amendments confronting either issue. Obama also killed the public option and dumped the “soak-the-rich” tax approach to cover reform, Brooks writes. But all this doesn’t mean “this is effective health reform,” he notes. Obama “has decided to expand the current system, not fix it.”

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 7 comments
Sep 12, 2009 7:04 AM CDT
The moderates include the middle class. The middle class is vital to the economic health of the country. Having said that, the Dems. in the House will keep Obama to his word of providing health care for every American.
Sep 11, 2009 11:55 AM CDT
I actually agree with Brooks. Obama is definitely not as lefty as the Republitards would like to make him out to be. He is a centrist like most of the democrats out there. Centrists get a lot of flack but they may just accomplish something. His speech spent an awful lot of time talking about how he really does not support liberal ideas like universal coverage, single payer system, etc. He pushed the bill to the center. For all the complaining that people do about the center, I think people would prefer the center to partisan gridlock. At the moment we have Democrats in the center, a couple of lone wolves on the left like Kucinich and Republicans from the center right like Snowe to the lunatic freak conservatives that hog the media time by being outrageously stupid. Obama is definitely a centrist trying really hard to resist the liberal label. This of course infuriates liberals but I think it helps Obama overall. He will lose approval points for being too centrist but when he gets a few bills under his belt (and they work) he will start to earn his label. Clinton was another centrist who is very popular in hindsight but a little less so in practice. Obama is very Clintonesque. Kudos to Brooks for being a conservative who looks at what is really going on instead of just regurgitating the talking points.
Sep 11, 2009 5:18 AM CDT
Everyone agrees so we should save our words for disagreeing and shouting at each other? It has apparently become customary now to find UNcommon ground in any debate instead of the other way around.