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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Friday, August 21, 2009

All these dire predictions

...about Obama being one-term and blah, blah, blah are horseshit inspired by a never-ending news cycle. Fact is, in December, we'll be like "Remember all that hoopla about health care reform?"

People have a memory of about twenty minutes.

For example, remember this?

Not really? Not until just now? Right.

The fact is Democrats have been trying to complete some form of health care reform for a very long time. Everyone takes a crack at it, and it always fails. Obama, even if the bill is nowhere near as comprehensive as we'd like it to be, will probably actually wind up passing comprehensive reforms of some sort. And if he does that, it will be a major accomplishment. Period.

But besides that, I'm a bit weary of the news about this. Frankly, it reminds of the Democratic primary. If you were to watch this from afar, and describe what actually is going to happen, it pretty much always does. False drama drives ratings and spikes hit counts. But you could draw a map of how this will all play out from now until November, and have an 80% of nailing it.

Health Care Reform was always going to be 1) done early 2) resisted by Republicans 3) complicated to negotiate 4) attacked by various lobbyists 5) a legislative slog 6) tough on Obama's ratings. That's why he did it now. First thing. So he had some room to fall. Also, it's clear that with the majorities the Democrats have, something will pass. And once it passes, that'll be that. Everyone will be taking CREDIT for it. Republicans will say they are proud of the bill because they kept costs under control and still got good reform. Democrats will say they fulfilled their campaign promises. We'll continue to have an imperfect system, but it'll have some practical improvements. That, as they say, is that.

The rest is window dressing.

Remember the Clinton - Obama primary that lasted forever? Obama had won the nomination something like 5 months before Clinton conceded. There were no actual surprises. He won where he was expected to win. She won where she was expected to win. He got the nomination. Everything that happened was evidence that maybe he couldn't win the Presidency. Now, he's President. Christ, when I saw him speak in 2004 at Kerry's convention I said aloud "That guy is going to be President." Everyone did. And so it came to pass.

I'm not saying there isn't such a thing as surprises. But there is a reason that's what they're called: they are rare. They are a surprise. Generally, if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it acts like a duck, it's a duck.

Unless you're CNN, Fox or MSNBC. Then, it's a Rasmussen Poll showing 51% of Americans didn't understand the question.

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