I am hoping for two things in President Obama’s speech to the AMA Monday.
First, that he begin with an honest review of the past 72 hours in Iran that includes a demand upon the mullahs and their thugs that human rights be respected as protests grow. Forceful, blunt talk directed at Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and their allies will encourage the opposition and also cue the MSM to continue the coverage as best it can of the crack-down underway in Tehran and other cities.
Second, the president should also speak honestly with regards to the “government option” (or “public option” as his supporters have begun to call it) being pushed by him, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid under the banner of “health care reform.” The president repeatedly says when he discusses health insurance that if “you like what you have got, you can keep it,” or some variation of that theme. This is profoundly misleading disinformation as most health insurance comes from employers, and many if not most employers will quickly move to dump their workers into a cheaper government option if and when it appears. My new WashingtonExaminer.com column addresses this. President Obama can try and argue that workers will be better off under the government plan, but he shouldn’t casually deceive his listeners about their personal stake in this debate. If Democrats push through a “government option” tens of millions of Americans will not get to keep what they like for even a single year, and tens of millions who do not get immediately forced into the government plan will watch the private insurance market steadily erode away and end up there eventually.
His audience at home and abroad needs candor on the big subjects from the president, not rhetoric.
Michael Totten has joined Andrew Sullivan and The Corner in providing comprehensive links throughout the weekend. Time has an excellent collection of photos from Iran: