Obama: Pushing Health Care Reform or Patronizing?

BlogHer Original Post

President Barack Obama fired up his base today...or was he just patting us on the head?

The Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America held a conference (via email, phone, web video and in person) with volunteers and supporters of the Obama Administration and campaign to rally for health care reform.

Marlene H. Phillips writes at the Huffington Post,

"On Thursday afternoon, when President Barack Obama entered a room of 50 volunteers, with thousands watching via webcast, he was greeted with the campaign cry of 'Yes We Can.'

The President smiled, then removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. The symbolism was clear; that catchy phrase helped get us here, but now we need to work for it."

And it felt like a rally, which was a welcome change in the national battle over reform. But during the 90 or so minutes supporters hooted and hollered and discussed health care, one line from the President stood out to me more than any other:

"...We're going to get this done. One way, or another."

One way or another...which I can take to mean as "with our without the public option" OR "with or without those pesky Republicans."

Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller took the latter from it, "Before a crowd of loyal Democrats this afternoon, President Obama said his party would pass health care reform with or without Republicans."

But after all this time and all this compromise and effort to get the GOP on board, color me skeptical. When I heard the President speaking of getting it done "one way or another" I immediately thought "by giving up more to make the Blue Dog Dems and the Right happy..."

But perhaps, just perhaps, those lefty brethren of mine made enough noise this past week to make sure the White House and Dems stayed on track with their message and keeping the public option. Digby writes,

"The bottom line is that, until progressives rallied behind the public option this week, the air was out of the balloon. The base of supporters are energizing this debate, and they will reward any lawmaker that reflects their values and actually seeks to follow through on their promises. They now represent the last, best hope for real health care reform. And they won't cotton to being kicked around, dragged through the mud, or played as pawns any longer. 2012 lies in the balance."

If the air was out of the balloon is was certainly inflated again today, as twitter, facebook, and blogs buzzed with "YES WE CAN!" and chants of "FIRED UP! READY TO GO!"

I remarked on BlogHer Chatter and Twitter while watching the OFA event that this is exactly what some of us advised White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to do to get health care reform front and center again in the news: make it like the campaign, get the grassroots moving. Perhaps, just perhaps, she listened.

Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest also blogs at Queen of Spain blog
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