Obama Can't Ignore This Public Anger

If he gets aggressive on health care reform, it's at his own peril
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2010 9:00 AM CST
Pro-health care reform demonstrators protest in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(Newser) – Post-Massachusetts, the Democrats should be more worried about "health-reform fundamentalists" than the GOP, writes Michael Gerson. The legislation has been gathering "criticism and opposition like dirty slush on a snowball" and any Democrat with a smidgen of political smarts should now be backing away from it instead of suggesting shady tricks to pass it, Gerson writes in the Washington Post.

Massachusetts showed voters are angry, Gerson argues, and President Obama now has to decide if he will ignore that anger by jamming through the health bill, blunt it by ditching Nancy Pelosi and moving toward the center, or embrace it by trying to be a populist. For Obama to take the last option and suddenly turn into a rabble-rousing, anti-Wall Street warrior may be a tall order, Gerson writes, since the "cold and cerebral" president is "the least convincing populist I have ever seen."

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