August was a particularly brutal month for President Barack Obama and most democrats, Republicans opened up an industrial sized can of political whip ass and spent the summer spraying the entire contents all over Barack Obama and healthcare reform.

The single individual who managed to land a counter punch during the entire summer debate was Barney Frank, who out of exasperation if nothing else, had the temerity to silence a wing nut doubtless unaware besides being gay. Chairman Frank is also a Jew, thirty years ago in America, debate teachers warned pupils of the futility of attempting to draw analogy between your opponents argument and Nazi’s, and while times have changed, not so much that its acceptable to call a Jew a Nazi sympathizer and not get called out for it.

With the exception of representative Franks brief display of testicular fortitude, the GOP is a play or two shy of being able to claim a very impressive political touchdown, one that has otherwise gloomy traditionalists like George Will wondering aloud if perhaps the 2010 season might just be the year, Republicans find the path that allows them to emerge from the political wilderness. As a loyal rank and file democrat, I prefer to cling to the belief Barack Obama like some Jedi master is actually thinking several steps ahead of the evil Sith lords and shall at the crucial moment, dazzle us with another awe inspiring display of political mastery. He has after all managed to steer the economy out of free fall, pick off several possible opponents in 2012 by drawing them into his camp and refocused American foreign policy, in less than a year on the job which is a good warn up, but Heath care is a game changer and he needs to hit a home run.  

If the President fails to deliver on health care, some democrats will begin to wonder if primary season naysayers were on the mark when they worried Barack Obama was simply another Chicago democrat endowed with a remarkable gift of oratory, an unseasoned political rookie with great potential, who was promoted ahead of better qualified candidates by the eastern liberal wing of the party, his flaws masked by an ability to read scripted speeches as if they were his own words.

Oratory that impressed even some traditional republicans hard pressed to hide the embarrassment of their own ticket.  A loss on healthcare will create the impression the President is lacking the fundamental ability to translate ideals and hope into tangible legislative accomplishment. It will confirm primary season claims despite his raw political talent he was not in reality all that prepared for the executive duties of being president, a flaw the GOP will focus on and exploit as he is forced to suck it up and undergo some of that on the job training Joe Biden assured us he wouldn’t need.

Happily he had the sense to surround himself with some political veterans and if the humility he often displays is genuine and not candidate packaging, he will call on that wealth of political experience and still manage to carve out a decent enough first term to win a second, but at the cost of healthcare and perhaps enabling republicans to cultivate serious gains in congress and the state houses.

Which means responsible conservatives like George Will, do in fact express a legitimate hope they can begin planning the very messy process of purging the GOP of wing nut captains and the amusing members of the tinfoil hat brigade who have been allowed on the bridge to pretend they are steering the ship while it sits in dry dock.

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