Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is it naive to hope?

Confession time: Weeks ago, when today's televised Health Care Summit was announced, my heart lifted. I had visions of being able to watch our Congress working effectively with our president to make some progress on surmounting our arguably biggest challenge: affordable health care.

Listening to NPR and reading; reading today's NY Times, and The Washington Post, I'm, well, a bit more cautious in my expectations -- at least about today's event all by itself. The Post's Chris Cillizza's led into his front page story about the summit with this prognostication:
Today's event is more like a pro wrestling match than a heavyweight boxing match.
Oh dear. Pro wrestling. So scripted, so full of posturing, so not the behavior we need from our elected representatives in these troubled times.

And yet I do remain stubbornly hopeful about today's summit. Why? Because we will be watching.

Today's well-publicized, fully-accessible health care debate (C-SPAN, of course, but you can also preregister for a live feed to your computer or follow the aforementioned Mr.Cillizza on Twitter) forces our elected representatives to speak directly to us about what they think should be done about health care.  I remain hopeful because you and I know baloney when we hear it; we don't like it; we vote, and our elected representatives may actually be forced to think about that fact when they're talking today. Special interests may quietly throw a lot of money at politicians, but special interests still can't vote. At least not yet.

So watch if you can, tweet if you do that, sneak regular on-line peeks if you don't have time to engage fully in today's Health Care Summit. And then loose your opinions about our politicians' behavior on-line (on the WMRA Facebook page, for example), in letters to the editor, on the phone to elected officials' Washington offices!

Power to us people!

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