Scattered Speech Points

Some thoughts:

— Personally, I sort of liked Rep Joe Wilson’s idea of introducing British-style heckling to the halls of congress; totally disrespectful and out of step with American tradition, true, but their tradition is better. Unfortunately, Wilson was also lying about the point at issue and will thereby set back the cause of heckling by decades.

— Obama’s pledge to refuse to sign a bill that increases the deficit by so much as “one dime” may be politically savvy, but it’s substantively insane. For one thing, there’s a margin of error around these medium-term budget projections. For another thing, it’s ten cents! That’s nothing worth vetoing anything over! Common sense!

— Speaking of common sense, Rep Boustany’s repeated invocation of the phrase seems like a transparent effort to cover up the fact that he has no real ideas. Totally gutting all regulation of the insurance industry is “common sense”? really?

— POTUS did a great job of breaking down what’s actually in the bill, and both making the case for the public option and also putting it in perspective.

— Straw-mannish attack on single-payer supporters was annoying, but I think politically necessary; if you’re going to put forward a very moderate plan you’ve got to remind people that there really are all these liberals out there who want a real liberal plan.

Top Chef watching now.