They told stories instead of herding cats

I seem to have turned into a conservative Republican, at least as far as my Health Care Summit analysis of yesterday goes. Ross Douthat, the conservative Times columnist who replaced the insufferable William Kristol, called the Summit Six Hours of Hot Air. Well I’m sorry, but I agree.

Not only that, but my good friend Terry takes exception to my caviling about story-telling.

I like stories – Terry’s are some of the best. But it gets back to what the purpose of the Summit was. People are moved by stories, she says. I agree. But what people were the Democrats addressing? The Republicans on the panel, some of whom even had their own sad stories? When someone doesn’t like your plan; when they blockade themselves with its pages to prove their point, you don’t win them over by anecdote. Or the American people, most of whom weren’t even watching? They know well enough what’s broken. They need substance, not stories from Democrats or lies from Republicans, on how to get it fixed.

Here’s the problem. The time for stories is long past. The Democrats didn’t tell the people early enough what was in their plan, and then they didn’t herd their own cats in time. Last Thursday, we got dogs and ponies instead. And now, with November 2010 seeming like tomorrow, we may end up with only more sad stories.

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