He took me for a chump.

1. Too often the king of the "straw man" and the "false choice," the President misuses his gift for rhetoric to insinuate that the alternatives in re health care reform are "his way" or "no way." If you do NOT accept his plan, you shamelessly advocate maintaining the unsustainable status quo--and for nefarious reasons.

What should he have done? He should have worked as a "uniter" and reached across the aisle to come up with a pragmatic health reform that actually solved a few of our problems--instead of wasting his immense talent on selling a moldy partisan-ideological Utopian non-solution that creates many more problems that it alleviates.

2. In that vein, he does not have the stomach to face up to the real problems: how can you ever get to sustainability without rationing? How can we add coverage for forty-seven million people and pay less money into the system? And aren't all the so-called cost cutting schemes that whack insurance companies only a drop in the bucket? Where is the money coming from?

3. He tried to blitz us into a half-baked bill. Of course, it is easy to see now why the President and his brain trust did not want to be in the unenviable (maybe even untenable) position of trying to explain and defend this monstrosity in the public square. We needed some straight talk--but, instead, we got the White House bulldozer. Slow down and build a consensus to do the right thing.

4. The President will not own up to his own past. We know that he and his partisans are fundamentally committed to a universal one-payer system. He has said this. Many of the leaders of the Democratic Party have admitted this. I have never known a thoughtful liberal who did not sincerely believe that socialized medicine was the smartest and most humane option. Nevertheless, President Obama pretends that none of this well-documented history exists. In fact, he belittles any critics who bring up this inconvenient fact. He needs to acknowledge what we all know to be true--and be forthright about his predispositions. He should have begun this conversation in a more honest place.