March 16, 2010

Channeling his inner LBJ

The anticipation over the upcoming health care reform showdown in Congress has come to resemble the week before the Super Bowl, with both sides gearing up for The Big Game with lots of predictions and chest-thumping, as reporters and pundits break down areas of strength and weaknesses for the Blue Devils (Dems) and the Red Storm (GOP). 

 "If you like watching Congress at all," said NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook, "this is the week to do it.  It's fascinating." 

All we need is animated graphics of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell butting heads and exploding into a fireball, and Hank Williams shouting, "Are you ready for some LEGIS'LATIN'?!?" 

But I digress. 

What's been most fascinating for me has been watching the the inside game, as President Obama, Reid, Pelosi and others use arm twisting and influence peddling to make sure health care reform passes. TPM's package of stories lay it out particularly well.  

One particular target: Representative Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, dyed-in-the-wool progressive and determined holdout whose vote could be crucial.  

The White House has pulled out all the stops, with an impressive slap-and-tickle approach that harkens back to President Lyndon Johnson and thelegendary muscle he applied to bend Congress to his will.  

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