Michael Ryan was named editorial page editor of The Augusta Chronicle in July 2002. He previously spent 19 years at The Topeka Capital-Journal in Topeka, Kansas, the last decade of which he spent as editorial page editor. He won first place in editorial writing in the state of Kansas seven times. Since he arrived, The Chronicle’s editorials have won first place in Georgia four times – and in 2005, the Chronicle not only won first place, but second and third as well, sweeping the editorial writing category for the state’s largest newspapers. While in Topeka, he had extensive experience covering the courts, and wrote a column on legal affairs, winning the Liberty Bell award from the Topeka Bar Association. He also covered county government and law enforcement. Just prior to leaving Topeka, readers of The Capital-Journal named him Best Newspaper Writer, despite the fact that his editorials carried no byline. He grew up in Kansas City and went on to attend Washburn University of Topeka. He has a wife of 26 years, Susan, a daughter Amanda, 20, and a son Kevin, 16. Michael has just published a novel called The Last Freedom, on the real life of Holocaust survivor Dr. Viktor Frankl. In his research for the book, Michael was granted rare access to Dr. Frankl’s lovely family in Vienna, Austria. Viktor Frankl was author of Man’s Search for Meaning, one of the Top 10 most important books of all time, according to the Library of Congress.
Posted February 24, 2010 10:37 am - Updated February 24, 2010 11:09 am

Bitter medicine

You'll take it and you'll like it!

That seems to be the attitude among the White House and Democratic congressional leaders as they try to revive a flatlining overhaul of the U.S. health-care system.

As Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson notes, the Obama administration -- and Senate and House leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi -- are looking delusional at this point. Some 58 percent of Americans oppose the Democrats' health care plans, and 61 percent said "start over" in a Rasmussen Reports poll.

Yet, here we go -- with a televised "summit" on Thursday between Obama and congressional leaders of both parties, an event designed to simultaneously create the appearance of bipartisan outreach by Democrats and to quell criticism that Obama long ago broke his campaign promise to put health-care negotiations on C-SPAN.

It's theater, and it's absurd.

"After a year of debate," writes Gerson, "Democratic leaders -- given every communications advantage and decisive control of every elected branch of government -- have not only lost legislative momentum, they have lost a national argument. Americans have taken every opportunity -- the town hall revolt, increasingly lopsided polling, a series of upset elections culminating in Massachusetts -- to shout their second thoughts. At this point, for Democratic leaders to insist on their current approach is to insist that Americans are not only misinformed but also dimwitted."

The thing is, they do! We all remember what Obama said about rural and small-town Americans during the campaign. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently said unemployed men are essentially abusive Neanderthals. And liberal commentator Bill Maher made no bones about your I.Q. in a recent Larry King interview, when he urged Democrats to ram through health-care reform regardless of public opinion, because, "What the Democrats never understand is that Americans don't really care what position you take, just stick with one. Just be strong. They're not bright enough to really understand the issues. But like an animal, they can sort of sense strength or weakness. They can smell it on you."

He wasn't joking. Nor is it funny.

 (By the way, we all know Larry King is the media's top softball pitcher, but do you think for a minute he would have sat with chin in hand if a conservative had said Americans aren't "bright enough to really understand the issues"?)