Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Overcoming Mistakes

President Obama can still secure major health-care legislation this year if he learns from his mistakes in recent months and spends more time reminding Americans why they were once eager for fundemental change."

E.J.Dionne Jr., "Taking the Kennedy Way," The Washington Post, August 31, 2009.

I never remember receiving a public education from Ted Kennedy on a complex issue, but that's besides the point. Dionne is right. It's not just about a president's bill,permission for community organizers to organize, or a more adroit insider's game. It's about the public understanding of the need and necessary approach for health-care reform.

Bob Kuttner's recent book on the Obama presidency, Obama's Challenge, makes a key point about the nature of transformative administrations. FDR and Lincoln used their time well to engage the public and to enhance our collective understanding. Health care reform is undeniably complex -- but complexity shouldn't obstruct simple, compelling and repeated arguments for how change should and can occur.

Talk more!

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