This story should be on the front page. Oh, wait, it is. The Washington Post reports on a phenomenon well recognized by President Obama’s critics…the filibuster answer. While this tactic worked to a limited extent during the famous Health Care Summit it must be remembered that the adversary there was a Republican caucus. But subjecting voters (particularly townhall types that are usually vetted) to this sort of torture by filibuster?
CHARLOTTE – Even by President Obama’s loquacious standards, an answer he gave here on health care Friday was a doozy.
Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a “wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care” package.
“We are over-taxed as it is,” Doris said bluntly.
Obama started out feisty. “Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I’m going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have,” the president said.
He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze.
His discursive answer – more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”).
Don’t you love Doris’ point that we are over taxed (how did she get in the room)? Sensing a “Joe The Plumber moment” the President’s brain must have immediately flashed warnings, wherein the synapse fired back the automatic response:
“Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation……
Seventeen minutes later nothing was settled, nothing made clearer and everyone was searching for Gilligan or the Capitan to tell The Professor to shut up. This is what it has come to.
Note: epador asks if this is on tape. Here is the youtube link but it is an hour long (surprised?). Maybe someone with more geekfu can create a link to the Doris segment.