January 22, 2010
Obama, Dems, on the edge of a cliff
On December 15, 2009, Obama, in a speech on Health Care Reform, said the following:
From the discussions we had, it's clear we are on the precipice of achievement that's eluded Congresses, presidents for generations -- an achievement that will touch the lives of nearly every American.
Many writers and bloggers were quick to pounce on his use of the word "precipice", which according to Dictionary.com, means "a situation of great peril" or "the brink of a dangerous or disastrous situation."
Roger Kimball, in his PajamasMedia article entitled "Obama at the Precipice, or Have you Seen the Girl in the Freudian Slip? noted:
Innocent mistake or Freudian slip - a verbal slip that "is indicative of an unconscious belief, thought, or emotion"? I incline to the latter. Like Sebastian in The Tempest, Obama spoke "truer than [he] purposed." Why do I think so? Consider what comes immediately after his slip: the acknowledgment, indeed the boast, that health care "reform" is something that, if enacted, would "touch the lives of nearly every American." You betcha! It wouldn't affect members of the government, of course, because they would have their own gold-plated health care provisions. But the rest of us slobs would have an opportunity to get up close and personal with hospital gurneys, long waiting times, fewer doctors, especially fewer good ones, and generally poorer health care all around. How's that for "touching lives" (and precipitating deaths)?
It seems the misuse of the word goes further back than that Obama faux pas. David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, used the word in a presentation he gave at the University of Delaware on October 8, 2009, when he said: "I think we're on the precipice of doing something we've talked about for a century and finally having a health care system that's going to control costs and expand coverage and stop some of the insurance company practices that deny coverage."
Hmmm. Wonder who wrote Obama's "precipice" speech?
George Will, in his editorial today in The Washington Post, "Democrats on the Precipice of Failure", states:
If the Democrats' congressional leaders are determined to continue their kamikaze flight to incineration, they will ignore Massachusetts's redundant evidence of public disgust. They will leaven their strategy of briberies with procedural cynicism -- delaying certification of Massachusetts's Senate choice, or misusing "reconciliation" to evade Senate rules, or forcing the House to swallow its last shred of pride in order to rush the Senate bill to the president's desk. Surely any such trickery would be one brick over a load for some hitherto servile members of the Democratic House and Senate caucuses, giving them an excuse to halt their party's Gadarene rush toward the precipice.Today on Big Government, Kyle Olson has a piece entitled "Field Marshal Andy Stern: ‘Dammit, I said March Off that Cliff'". He noted:
Losing the seat formerly held by the champion of socialized medicine - in the bluest of states - apparently hasn't phased the radical left. SEIU president Andy Stern put the blame on the fact that Democrats in Washington, DC, who the union spent tens of millions of dollars electing, haven't done enough to pass the progressive agenda.And further, "News to Andy: the Democrats may follow your lead and plow ahead with an agenda that Americans clearly don't want, but instead of a Second Tea Party limited to Massachusetts, radicals will experience a full-blown national Tea Party come November. So the paradox facing the left is this: do they allow Field Marshal Andy Stern to order them off the cliff, or do they tell Andy that his investment in spending tens of millions electing Democrats to implement a Marxist agenda was little more than buying fool's gold. Either way, radical liberals face one ugly year ahead."
And it's the Democrats who are standing on the edge.