Just hours after Scott Brown was sworn in as US Senator from Massachusetts, President Obama made some comments signaling a major softening on his health reform push. "And it may be that ... if Congress decides we're not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not," he said. "And that's how democracy works. There will be elections coming up, and they'll be able to make a determination and register their concerns."
This relative about face (remember his earlier quotes about pushing on no matter what...) might frustrate congressional leaders from his own party who have gone out on a limb to support their leader.
"The next step is what I announced at the State of the Union, which is to call on our Republican friends to present their ideas. What I'd like to do is have a meeting whereby I'm sitting with the Republicans, sitting with the Democrats, sitting with health care experts, and let's just go through these bills. ... And then I think that we've got to go ahead and move forward on a vote," the President said on Thursday.
Worn thin by the constant opposition charges against Democratic proposals, it will now be the Republican's turn to develop real alternatives. The major question remains as to whether they will take the opportunity to offer substantive proposals or will they be content to have defeated the President's initiative and then shift focus elsewhere. I'm guessing elsewhere. Can you say growing Federal deficit?