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Kristol: Shut Up, Obama Explained

9:21 AM, Jul 21, 2009 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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"The time for talk is through." -- President Obama, talking to liberal bloggers on a conference call Monday night.

The Democratic bills in the House and Senate are a thousand pages long. They're still changing as committees try to mark them up, or as they mark up other versions of health insurance legislation. There's huge uncertainty about how lots of provisions in the bills and under consideration would work--OMB Director Orzsag and HHS Secretary Sibelius couldn't answer straightforward questions on Fox News Sunday and Meet the Press. Nothing goes into effect in any case until 2013--except the tax provisions, which would begin in 2011. Yet President Obama wants everyone to stop debating and deliberating, and act now--because he and he alone has decided "now is the time to go ahead and act."

Congress should assert itself, stand up for the deliberative and democratic process, and defy this presumptuous presidential diktat.

The time to debate is now. There's plenty of time to act later.