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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The White House Vs. Drudge

This morning, the Drudge Report lead with a You Tube video in which an older clip, from 2003, of then State Senator Barack Obama supporting single payer. Here's the clip.

Drudge is one of the most visited political sites on the web and so I can only assume that word got back to the White House. That's because one of his communications' folks, Linda Douglass, created her own You Tube video.

Douglass called the initial video "unfair", "out of context", and had a few clips of her own. She had clips of Obama saying clearly that people won't lose their health insurance and that he only wants the public option to create competition. Now, because one of the charges was that President Obama was taken "out of context", Drudge later posted the full video of the event that he posted earlier. Here is that video.

Now, with every passing day, it becomes more and more clear that the White House couldn't try and screw up the legislation, selling, and politics of health care reform and screw it up any worse than they are . This is the latest reincarnation of a White House that simply doesn't know what they are doing.

Once again the White House has picked a fight with an individual news site. They've picked fights with Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Jim Cramer, and Rick Santelli. Now, they're taking on Drudge. Even worse here, all Drudge did was link to a You Tube video. Drudge gets plenty of views on its own but there's no doubt that by drawing attention to this the White House only made even more people watch the video.

The White House defense is absurd. The full video shows that nothing is out of context. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Obama is really for single payer. That's what most true blue liberals are for. It's what Barney Frank says he wants and so to Jan Schakowski. Furthermore, that he has said something totally different to a different audience only means he's just like all politicians who tells everyone what they want to hear. The video the White House produced stinks of not only desperation but to quote Shakespeare, "thou dost protest a bit too much".

This is the latest misstep on health care in a series of missteps that characterize a White House that simply doesn't know what it's doing on health care. First, it set an artificial deadline of August to pass health care reform. That was simply absurd. If this passes, it will be the most complicated piece of legislation in generations. Yet, the president presumed to finish it entirely in seven months? Then, he allowed Congress to write the bill in its entirety. This naturally lead to a public battle between its liberal and moderate wing. The president did little to pipe down the intra party confrontation. As such, Democratic Reps and Senators were forced to go on television to voice their opposition to the legislation. The press conference was a disaster. His explanations on health care were inexplicable. Then, he stepped into by commenting on the arrest of Professor Gates. Now, he's taken on a website and turned a cult video into a video that is the subject of news stories and controversies.

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