Patience

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by Jeff Fecke | July 21, 2009 • Ezra is right — Obama has never been worried about tomorrow’s polls or tonight’s news cycle. He plays the long game, which is both infuriating and absolutely right. Infuriating, because there are real problems — and not just health care — that need to be addressed.

Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, is now available.

But sometimes, the best way to get to your goal is to show patience and calm while all around you are screaming, to act when the time is right, rather than simply to act. Obama has shown that skill before, whether taking a few days before addressing the Jeremiah Wright kerfuffle, or holding his fire as Democrats panicked that McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin really was a game-changer.

In the end, it’s easy to say that untangling the Gordian Knot of health care reform requires but a quick slice. Much harder is knowing where to cut, and how hard to swing the blade. Yes, we outside government must do what we outside of government must do — hector, cajole, and demand action. But we should not confuse a two-week delay with failure. We’ve been fighting this fight, in one form or another, since the 1930s. We can keep fighting through December.

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