The panel is Howard Fineman of Newsweek, Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews. First of all, one notices in their discussion is an absolute absence of balance or objectivity. The fundamental premises, unspoken but clearly shared by all the participants, is that health care "reform" is necessary, that something must be done, that what the president has proposed is generally the kind of "reform" needed, and that therefore the only thing to be debated is, "How can the president get Congress to agree to his proposal?"
In other words, it is an entirely false debate. And, just before they went to a commercial break, Matthews said something extraordinarily stupid, even for him:
Something must be done about health care, he said, "or this society's not going to hold together."
Of course, we all remember the tragic HMO riots of 1999, the deadly terrorist attacks by the pharmaceutical lobby, the ongoing carnage in urban America caused by rival gangs of health-insurance lobbyists. The prospect of more such violent turmoil is surely what Matthews had in mind.
Keith Olbermann is an evil maniac, but at least he is not as consistently jaw-dropping stupid as Matthews.
UPDATE: Regarding the press conference, Jim Geraghty has a "Straw Man Bingo" card from the Senate Republicans, and notes some of the routine rhetorical tropes of Obama-ese:
"We inherited these problems"; "the alternative is to do nothing"; "Let me be clear"; "Can’t get distracted by . . ."; and finally, "As you know, I’ve consistently said," usually used when announcing a change in position.He left out "I get letters . . ." And for some reason, all of these letters are from people tragically and unjustly suffering because Obama can't get what Obama wants.
UPDATE II: I'm listening to Obama answering questions in this news conference and thinking, "Take away his Teleprompter, and you take away his magic." He just did an example of "the red pill and the blue pill," which are equally effective but of different prices, but which the current health-system does not "incentivize" the thrifty choice.
Right. We all know how federal control incentivizes thrift!