Clinton couldn't get it passed because he couldn't get universal healthcare to not seem hippie-communal indulgent. Obama is a different story. He can make it seem part of a plan to shape up America--to get America into shape. He can make it a macho endeavor, one linked to making America seem tautly muscled against outside threats, seem too narrowly thin, too alert, and too evasive--even--to be readily caught by predators. There might well be some delay, but once he is more seen as a war president, once the war in Afghanistan expands, I can see universal healthcare coming through in a way which makes the president especially potent, and the nation all together connected to, unified with, him.
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Wrote my last post, wouldn't you know, before I encountered this recent quote of Obama, elsewhere on Salon: "Muscles in this town to bring about big changes are a little atrophied but we are whipping people back into shape." Added to faith in my intuition, very much for sure don't you know. America wants him to be Mr. Muscle. They want him to help make social services not a bloated vampire that drains the nations, but nuts-and-bolts that constitute it "back" into perfect form.