Thursday, December 17, 2009

When Good People Go Lieberman On You

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for December 17th, 2009


This is the cost of silence. The White House is still doing it, the Senate is still doing it, and the debate is now in the hands of Joe Lieberman and Howard Dean. I really think that David Axelrod was crying in his call in segment. Crying out of passion and frustration that he is not in control of the message concerning his priority legislation. But that is what he deserves when he is perpetually putting the administration in the position of reaction only. They are never out in front, even the soaring speeches that have defined Barack Obama are mainly reactions rather than proactions. Race speech? Health Care speech? Both to settle raging debates where the President or candidate had been absent at the inception of these key issues.

Joe Scarborough has defined this Obama trait as deferment. He is correct but only captured part of the issue he is trying to define. The whole definition has elements that appear as a gap in his leadership effectiveness. Joe had another take that he had called the President “not as left as everyone thinks” and I’m not sure that’s accurate but more of a symptom of the leadership vacuum. The research where even back at Harvard the President had defied progressives by choosing conservative elements in his work with the Harvard Law Review was the tea leaf that brought Joe Scarborough's analysis to this point. My point isn’t that its right or wrong, it’s that it is superceded by the more dominant trait that JS calls deferment and I’m calling a vacuum in Obama’s leadership skills.

The show actually hit its borders on this subject today and timed out. They didn’t get a roundtable to digest all this news. It’s a shame, because given the hot streak the show is on, I’m sure that roundtable would’ve started to tackle the next logical debate: which is the way forward? I know that there are two giant opposing forces right now with all their guns drawn and aimed. The left has reached it’s tipping point and their strategy is to test if the Insurers and their Senatorial agents have played their hand. It’s a lot like Ebay where if you want the thing and there is an auction you had better be the bidder closest to the end, because it’s all about sniping. If the insurers got the bill where they wanted it and played that card in what they consider the “safety zone” of the final week where even David Axelrod would have to defend their ideal legislation for fear of ultimate failure, it remains to be seen if the new world with a much more lucid news cycle has provided a window for the progressives to snipe the bill back towards health care reform.

That begs my final analysis: is the legislative process actually evolving on Morning Joe and are the machinations of the Senate now a secondary function? It seems closer to the center of the universe than even the closed door meeting with the President and the Democratic caucus. The caucus meeting by all accounts turned into an echo chamber. The Senators emerged roboting a message that defies their value system as defined by the election that put them in the majority. They are marching to that fear of failure and can’t break ranks. What might’ve been the final outcome has been severely hampered by Howard Dean and hampered further by the lack of an echo chamber on Morning Joe this morning.

That's all for today, see you tomorrow.

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