I thought President Obama's speech last night was excellent, almost masterful. But it was just a speech, I want to see action now.
Thankfully, the first minor actions have actually already happened - the administration is practicing message discipline and they have used their organizing savvy to put pressure on Congress.
For message discipline, they first needed a message, which they have finally created:
We need to bring stability and security to Americans who already have health insurance, guarantee affordable coverage for those who don't, and rein in the cost of health care.Second, they needed to hammer it home. I heard both David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett repeat the "stability and security" line. I expect it to be repeated often from now on. However, the true test of success will be how many congressional Democrats start repeating it. I'm crossing my fingers!
Another minor action is using Organizing for America effectively. I'm on the emailing list, but I haven't seen anything impressive from OFA up til now. They have set up a write your congressional representatives page that is engaging, offers specific details and is easy to use. Glad to see them start to roll up their sleeves.
LINK: The White House has released the full text of Ted Kennedy's letter.
UPDATE: In comments, I said I'd wait until the floor votes and especially the conference committee to pass final judgment on Obama's efforts. Well, I don't know if I can still do that. Okay, I can't. Robert Reich destroys any unjustified hope I had. Shame on me. However, that's not to say it's time to give up. Reich ends on a realistically hopeful note:
But, again, the race has just begun. Your input is still important -- in fact, more important now than before.Bad News
The more you can make your voices heard, the more likely it is that the race will be won by the public rather than the private interests.
The statue of Thomas Starr King, one of two in the U.S. Capitol representing California, will be replaced by a statue of President Ronald Reagan. Starr King was a Unitarian minister who was instrumental in keeping California from seceding during the Civil War.