They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.
Someone should have mentioned that to President Obama. He gave us nothing new during his ultra-hyped speech on health care on Wednesday night. After forty-five minutes and a TelePrompter on the verge of overheating, he blew it. The president made history by convening both Houses of Congress just to trot out the same stale speech, complete with the lines about the proposed cuts in Medicare that he refers to as "waste" to tax hikes to fund his plan.
There was one bit of news: an indisputable leftward lurch on the public option that signified not only that he is bound to their demands, but also that he is no Bill Clinton.
Unlike Clinton, Obama tied the public health option to his ankle. And much like a concrete block, he will go down with it. Forty-four moderate Democrats will not vote for the current House bill that includes the public option, enough to deny Pelosi the ability to pass it without Republican support.
To be fair, Obama's opening and closing tone was one of his best yet. But fluffy imperatives that call for us to "act," absent hard facts will not result in a shift in approval numbers. If you had ears but no brain, you would have been moved by the speech (is that why Biden was crying?), but the public is much sharper, particularly when it comes to this issue.
Here's what was missing, besides new material:
- No answer on how he can not only expand coverage but also cut costs.
- No answer on how private insurance goes down by increasing the costs of insurance
- No answer on how to cut the current deficit.
- No answer as to why he will cut waste and abuse to help pay for for government run insurance option, but not to help cut the current ballooning deficit.
- No answer on how to make medicare solvent.
- No answer on why he won't cover illegals, but includes them in his 46 million uninsured count.
- No answer on what his plan is for illegals.
- No definitive, outcomes based answer on medical malpractice.
- No answer on why if this is such an urgent imperative, the plan won't kick in until after he runs for re-election.
I have to admit, the Republican response wasn't exactly a core shaker, either.
Public disapproval of President Obama's handling of health care has skyrocketed to 52 percent, according to the Associated Press-GfK poll. At a time when we're told to expect a $7 to 9 trillion dollar deficit over the next 10 years, the president is talking about adding another trillion to that number. That begs the question, why now?
Mr. President, you just don't get it. The health care debate ripped your ability to persuade through rhetoric right out of your hands. You needed to give us facts and you failed. You needed to compromise, and you bucked bipartisan solutions showcasing the inflexibility of a zealot, and the policies of a hard core liberal.
Though Obama claims "we are back from the brink" it is his presidency that is on the brink. The brink of collapse.
Andrea Tantaros is a FOXNews.com contributor and conservative commentator. Follow Andrea on Twitter: @andreatantaros.
Andrea Tantaros currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five (weekdays 5-6 PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros or on Facebook.com/andreatantaros. Click here for more information on Andrea Tantaros.