Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Appearing on Fox Business News with Neil Cavuto, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he's "struggling with this," but he is, as of now, inclined to vote against the healthcare bill as currently structured:

I'm struggling with this. As of this point, I'm not voting for the bill. ... I'm going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I've indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point. And here is the reason. When the public option was withdrawn, because of Lieberman's action, what I worry about is how do you control escalating health care costs?

More at Think Progress:

While Senator Sanders becomes the first member on the liberal-progressive side of the Democratic caucus to signal his intentions to vote no however qualified, he did not say whether or not he would vote for cloture. It is only folks like Senator Lieberman and Senator Nelson who seek to hold the nation hostage and not permit an up or down vote.

Personally, I see this as a welcomed development. I'd rather have the leadership placate Bernie than appease Joe.

Tags: healthcare reform, Senator Bernie Sanders (all tags)

Comments

105 Comments

Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I (and a bunch of my friends) have never been so disillusioned with politics as we are right now.

I am right in Obama's wheelhouse when it comes to his "base". I am a late-20's liberal newly-minted attorney who spent a significant amount of time in other states last year volunteering for Obama.

I believed a lot of what he was saying. I believed that "yes we can". I really did.

now all I hear is "no we can't."

"we can't get anything better than a giveaway to the Insurance Companies. We can't do anything significant about gay rights, or anything to help unions, or anything about having to give massive amounts of money to rich bankers who still are not lending.

We had to fill our administration with bankers and ex-clinton centrists. We have to placate right-wingers when it comes to health care, but we can put pressure on progressives. Oh, and we have to have more war."

Here's the thing - i won't deny that this is anywhere as bad as the last 8 years. Obama has done some wonderful things. One of my favorites is granting CA the EPA waiver so they can set mileage requirements.

And I know that the economic collapse made things 100X tougher.

But the problem isn't with what he's fought for and failed - the problem is that he hasn't wanted to fight. He's done the politically easy things (some good executive orders).

but in terms of the hard stuff, he refuses to take a stand for what's correct. his administration has been working to move the Health Care Bill to the right from basically the start. He's not sticking his neck out over civil rights or anything else. He's tried to preserve his "bipartisan" image to the detriment of policy and the American People.

I've talked to many of my peers who feel the same way.

I didn't vote and volunteer for

"no we can't get a good bill, so we won't really push too hard for one and instead we will just keep watering it down for Lieberman. "

I voted for "Yes we can!"

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

So you don't remember 1993-1994?

This is nothing new. We have seen this time and again from the right and to expect them to change is ludicrous. The GOP simply cannot be trusted. They will stop at nothing to delay for by delaying, they derail.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-16 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I don't recall it being this bad back then at all. I remember Clinton pulling in the votes over the bills and arm-twisting people who he knew would lose because of it, because it was the right thing to do, and the left was backing him on it. They lost HCR, but I don't think he lost the left in those first few years.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-16 06:02PM | 0 recs
Whaaaa?

They lost HCR, but I don't think he lost the left in those first few years.

Hello...NAFTA?!?!?!

by ND22 2009-12-16 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Whaaaa?

and DOMA.

by Lolis 2009-12-16 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Whaaaa?

DOMA was not until 1996.  Maybe you are thinking of DADT.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

You know his Budget only passed by a tie-break vote right (there were 57 dems in the senate in 92) ? Clinton couldn't get to 60 on anything liberal, because of the conserva-dems in Congress he barely managed 50.

He only gained back the left when Gingirch went on the war path, and promptly lost them again soon after (Kosovo, etc)

by vecky 2009-12-16 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I recall it as being a whole lot worse back in 1993.  Noone has accused President Obama of being a drug dealer, murderer, or a cheat yet.

And yes, Clinton did do a lot of arm twisting.  He lost HCR, and he lost the crime bill just before the 1994 landslide; but he did get his budget bill through (barely) even though it cost many democrats their seat.

by Ravi Verma 2009-12-16 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Eh, sure they have.  Not only is there a list circulating of all the Obama associates who have died under "mysterious" circumstances... but some of the names are just cut and pasted from the Clinton death list!  It is the EXACT SAME ROUTINE.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Really? I haven't seen that and I try to keep tabs on the right-wing fringe.

I'm not surprised frankly. They are lunatics.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-16 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Just google "Obama death list" and let the fun begin.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I'm not sure I want to but thanks. I always appreciate such tips. It's not easy keeping up with the certifiably insane. Thanks again.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-16 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I'm not suggesting that it is better or worse but rather that it is par for the course.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-16 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

yes, the GOP is downright evil. I would never vote for them.

But Obama will not be getting my time or money next time around, and perhaps not even my vote. And I'm not alone in this. A lot of people in my age group are feeling betrayed.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 06:09PM | 0 recs
I disagree

I think you're alone in this, sorry.

by ND22 2009-12-16 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

I have enough Obots (heh) as friends on Facebook to know that he's not.  All that campaign talk about how we're going to change the world, turn back the oceans, etc. - did you think it was aimed at NO ONE?

by Steve M 2009-12-16 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

I don't see how $900 billion dollars in subsidies, almost all of it from the insurance industry itself, is not something they can stand behind.

When did helping the poor take a back seat to punishing corporations?

by vecky 2009-12-16 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

Why does Howard Dean hate the poor?  Why does Bernie Sanders hate the poor?  Dude, I dunno, you're arguing with the wrong person.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 06:46PM | 0 recs
Because Dean and Sanders

are responding to left wing populism.

by ND22 2009-12-16 07:33PM | 0 recs
Really

cause I haven't seen a political point made on Facebook from any of my friends since like March.

turn back the oceans?

by ND22 2009-12-16 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Really

For some odd reason, you really remind me of a long-since-banned commenter on here who was always convinced that his 8 buddies from Long Island perfectly typified the thinking of the average Democrat.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Really

I'm sure it's the same person.  The same style, the same constant reference to personal anecdotal stories as verifiable truths of current social thought, the same hit and run comments without engaging in any substantive discussion.  Yep, it's him/her.

by orestes 2009-12-16 07:40PM | 0 recs
hmm

well I'm from New Jersey, which isn't far away from Long Island, but from my experience, Democrats from the NYC suburbs are generally not very progressive...mainly cause they're former Republicans.

Being from Jersey, I experienced the whole Obama supporters checking out of politics thing last month when none of my friends voted in the Governor's race only to be stunned and sadenned to see Corzine lose. Why didn't they vote I asked "Because I figured I didn't need to"

yeah.

by ND22 2009-12-16 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: hmm

Well all us bitter knitters were at the polls!  What can I say.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:44PM | 0 recs
This was my point

The President was supposed to have an army of his supporters from last year on the streets fighting for healthcare. That was the plan (this is what a community organizer does)

However, a huge chunk of that army went AWOL right after the inaguaration. THAT, IMO, is why we're having trouble.

by ND22 2009-12-16 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: This was my point

He certainly hasn't, as far as I can tell, tried to engage them much less  mobilize them.

I'm not sure that his use of the bully pulpit has been effective as it could or should be. I am not one who ascribes every setback to the President, but his hands off style doesn't seem to be that effective.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-16 09:11PM | 0 recs
Honestly

I think he has tried to engage them. OFA repeadidly sent out e-mails and posted on Facebook asking people to go out and let their Congressmen and Senators know where they stand on healthcare reform. In less than a day, in the past 24 hours AFTER, OFA got over 200,000 people to make calls to Congress supporting the bill. So there's definitely engagement going on...I just don't see a fierce urgency to respond and haven't since he took office. I don't see thralls of young people sitting around going "Gee, I wish President Obama would fight for the public option more," instead I see thralls of young people changing the channel when the topic comes on because they want to hear more about the Tiger Woods drama, or if they're interested in any type of serious news, the economy.

by ND22 2009-12-17 01:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I understand the feeling of betrayal. And I am sorry you feel that way. But I hope you and your friends realize that the alternative is far worse.

I'd also argue that the Obama Administration, or any Democratic administration for that matter, is about more than just healthcare reform. The urgency is that our healthcare system is unsustainable and unsustainable trends are by definition unsustainable. We are wasting 5-6% of GDP annually and getting less in return for it despite making such a grave expenditure. We have been in pursuit of universal healthcare since January 11, 1944. It is not easy given the entrenched power of a very narrow elite that seeks its own self-aggrandizement at the expense of the national interest.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-16 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I appreciate your comments on this blog, Charles.

I hope liberals continue to fight to improve the bill.

by Lolis 2009-12-16 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

the alternative is to not support a president who doesn't support us.

no president will ever work for progressive causes if there is no consequence for ignoring those causes.

the message needs to be that he needs to represent us instead of corporate CEOs if he wants to keep his job.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:04PM | 0 recs
and when the consequences

are Republicans getting elected, no President will ever work for progressive causes...period.

the message needs to be that he needs to represent us instead of corporate CEOs if he wants to keep his job.

yeah, you tried sending this message in 2000 and it failed.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: and when the consequences

depends on whether the lesson is that righties deserted the Dems because they were too liberal or if progressives deserted because they governed too far to the right.

The Democrats are going to lose seats in 2010. Lets make the lesson be the correct one. That's what you get if you keep punching progressives in the balls.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:15PM | 0 recs
Well

the Democrats are already losing the righties because they think they were too liberal.

Maybe if you actually stuck with them and prove you can give the Democrats a majority despite losing the righties, you'd have more influence, because i can assure you, the Democrats will lose seats for being too liberal, they won't lose any for being too conservative and they WILL chalk it up to right-leaning Indies and Democrats leaving.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

I am not sure why the Obama coalition should have to prove anything further after 2008.  It's like the base was just brushed aside without a second thought.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 08:44PM | 0 recs
What base?

you mean the one that decided it didn't feel like being involved in politics anymore after they cast their vote? or the one who types on blogs all day and supported about five other people before Obama?

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: What base?

I mean the one that proved on Election Day 2008 that it could provide Democrats with a nationwide majority.  They gave the money, they cast the votes, and I think they're entitled to see a return on their investment.

I think you go way overboard in terms of blaming the voters.  It's like Obama is this wind-up toy and progressives didn't yell and scream and protest loudly enough to wind him up, so oh well, he can't possibly do anything for them.  There wouldn't be a job called "community organizer" if communities just up and organized without any help.

I sure hope Obama has plenty of that fired up, ready to go magic for the 2010 campaign season, that's all I can say.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 08:56PM | 0 recs
Re: What base?

I mean the one that proved on Election Day 2008 that it could provide Democrats with a nationwide majority.  They gave the money, they cast the votes, and I think they're entitled to see a return on their investment.

This is the base I'm talking about, how many of them are even remotely interested in what's going on in Washington anymore?

Not many.

by ND22 2009-12-17 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: What base?

This is rich. You do know that it is not just us "haters" on blogs like this making these arguments? That people like Conyers and the Congressional Black Caucus are also complaining. They represent what is happening out there in the real world with people are suffering. Really suffering right now. They don't have time for this bullshit. I would say 1/5 of my friends are either out of jobs or worried they about to lose their job. The idea that these people-  many of them Obamabot in their own right- would have time to continually support this president is beyond me. Why?

by bruh3 2009-12-16 09:42PM | 0 recs
oh

and if you do cost the Democrats the majority, I don't know how you expect to gain more influence in the party. All 2000 did was make Nader and his supporters a running joke and a punching bag for the next eight years of Republican rule.

You don't get a better hand if you quit the game.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: oh

it doesn't get better by letting somebody abuse you over and over and never make a fuss about it

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: oh

The question is whether there are ways of making your displeasure known other than attempting to throw an election.  The latter strategy was tried in 2000 and not only were the results horrible, the Democratic Party most certainly didn't move to the left in an effort to recapture the disaffected voters.  So there's a decent body of evidence that says you need to find a better way.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: oh

The problem is not people like jeopardy. THe problem are the voters who will not show up and you will not get the chance to convince to show up. They are the base that the polls are showing will not show up. They were sporadic voters in the past, and the present politics does nothing to keep them involved in the process.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: oh

Well, I can only respond to the concerns of the people who post here.

There are people who make a conscious, strategic choice to sit out an election and then there are people who just plain sit out.  Each presents a different problem.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Keep the faith. These are dark days and perhaps they will darken still but ours is a cause that is right. Whether we prevail or whether those yet unborn take up the fight when we are departed from this Earth, the fight will go on.

The danger is that these free marketeers uber alles lead us to a systemic collapse. That danger is there. There is that urgency of now as Obama put it during the campaign. Somehow some of his fire seems to have been extinguished. I don't know. It's tough to read the President. I certainly have been wrong about him in the past and so I tend now to give a benefit of the doubt.

To give you an example. I am NOT happy with his amoral foreign policy particularly to places like the Sudan and Myanmar. But on Myanmar, I am seeing movement that is positive. So that does give me some hope that he can accomplish the unexpected.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-16 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Yea, I think you are seeing the long-term viewpoint in action with Obama. They see an electoral debacle in the making for '10, and are keeping Obama out of the action as much as possible, to emerge more in line with the projected image afterwards.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-16 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I think that is the case.

Sucks for the American People though.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

So after a loss of 50-60 House seats and nearly (maybe even) losing the Senate majority, how does Obama come back?  He'll have to be like Clinton and hope for some luck with the economy.  And expect a deal on the deficit.

Will the GOP try to shut the government down?  And what will that projected image be?  Does Obama prefer divided government?  No, the GOP nominee in 2012 will be Romney or Pawlenty.  Game over.

by esconded 2009-12-16 06:14PM | 0 recs
Interesting

cause none of my peers who volunteered and worked for Obama even give a flying fuck about healthcare, it's like way down on the list of things they're paying attention to.

Right now they're weening off Tiger Woods and onto Jersey Shore.

by ND22 2009-12-16 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting

i don't know.

maybe it's because I have a bunch of friends who graduated with me who can't find jobs and who therefore have lots of free time and no health insurance.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:07PM | 0 recs
yeah me too

so?

by ND22 2009-12-16 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: yeah me too

i agree that it is entirely possible that the disillusionment i'm seeing in my peer group doesn't represent a larger trend outside of these sorts of people - highly educated, liberal, fairly politically-active young professionals.

the possible problem for Obama is that we made up a significant portion of his campaign's troops and energy, and he's losing a lot of us.  

but there's not enough of us for him to worry about, apparently.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:52PM | 0 recs
He lost them on January 21st

When they decided to move on to the next fad. Where were all of you in July?

by ND22 2009-12-16 07:59PM | 0 recs
Re: He lost them on January 21st

waiting for the President to actually state what his plan was and what we would be fighting for.

he only proposed broad guidelines to what he would like to possibly see someday in the health care bill.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: He lost them on January 21st

There is your problem right there...

Your the agent of change not him. If you want something (and you seem to a pretty clear idea of what you want) go out and agitate for it.

by vecky 2009-12-16 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: He lost them on January 21st

yes, yes, i keep hearing this.

the problem is that I didn't think that I would have to fight AGAINST President Obama. I thought that he would at least be on our side.

And I am "agitating" for it. The problem is that there are too many people like you who keep smiling time after time after each good thing is removed from the bill.

It's hard to change things when 1/2 of democratic voters will keep getting poked in the eye and keep on feeling grateful that they keep only getting poked in one eye. That doesn't stop a person from poking you in the eye.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:20PM | 0 recs
Again, you're talking about now

where were you in July, before any of this happened? Why were you sitting around waiting to see what the President said.

Don't you think that you would've had more influence if the President looked out and saw droves of supporters of a progressive healthcare bill instead of people just standing by waiting to see what he says?

Maybe you wouldn't have had to fight against President Obama if you have shown him what you wanted before the game began. Ever think of that?

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Again, you're talking about now

yes, I responded to this below.

but i disagree that the president is just an innocent victim of the insurance industry and liberal apathy.

I never saw people out demanding a legal mandate to buy insurance, but that sure didn't keep it out of the bill.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:28PM | 0 recs
You didn't?

Seemed to me the major theme of all the healthcare marches I went to, whoever showed up at them, was "healthcare for everyone""cover everybody"

which is what the mandate does.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: You didn't?

you really think those people meant "legally force me to cut a check to the private insurance companies so their CEOs can buy more yachts"?

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:47PM | 0 recs
I think they meant

"get me insurance, somehow, someway, so I can see a doctor when I'm sick"

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:48PM | 0 recs
Why would he take the side

that isn't passionate about what they want? That just sits around and waits for him to say "go" before they make their wishes known?

I wouldn't take their side, I wouldn't trust them. It makes them look flakey.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Why would he take the side
Apparently, this is the type of conversation we're to believe takes place in the Oval Office: The President: I really want a public option and Medicare buy-in. What can we do to get it? Rahm Emanuel: Unfortunately, nothing. We can just sit by and hope, but you're not in Congress any more and you don't have a vote. They're a separate branch of government and we have to respect that. The President: So we have no role to play in what the Democratic Congress does? Emanuel: No. Members of Congress make up their own minds and there's just nothing we can do to influence or pressure them. The President: Gosh, that's too bad. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and see what happens then. In an ideal world, Congress would be -- and should be -- an autonomous branch of government, exercising judgment independent of the White House's influence, but that's not the world we live in. Does anyone actually believe that Rahm Emanuel (who built his career on industry support for the Party and jamming "centrist" bills through Congress with the support of Blue Dogs) and Barack Obama (who attached himself to Joe Lieberman when arriving in the Senate, repeatedly proved himself receptive to "centrist" compromises, had a campaign funded by corporate interests, and is now the leader of a vast funding and political infrastructure) were the helpless victims of those same forces? Engineering these sorts of "centrist," industry-serving compromises has been the modus operandi of both Obama and, especially, Emanuel. Indeed, we've seen before what the White House can do -- and does do -- when they actually care about pressuring members of Congress to support something they genuinely want passed. When FDL and other liberal blogs led an effort to defeat Obama's war funding bill back in June, the White House became desperate for votes, and here is what they apparently did (though they deny it): The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday. "We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen. That's what the White House can do when they actually care about pressuring someone to vote the way they want. Why didn't they do any of that to the "centrists" who were supposedly obstructing what they wanted on health care? Why didn't they tell Blanche Lincoln -- in a desperate fight for her political life -- that she would "never hear from them again," and would lose DNC and other Democratic institutional support, if she filibustered the public option? Why haven't they threatened to remove Joe Lieberman's cherished Homeland Security Chairmanship if he's been sabotaging the President's agenda? Why hasn't the President been rhetorically pressuring Senators to support the public option and Medicare buy-in, or taking any of the other steps outlined here by Adam Green? There's no guarantee that it would have worked -- Obama is not omnipotent and he can't always control Congressional outcomes -- but the lack of any such efforts is extremely telling about what the White House really wanted here. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_ greenwald/2009/12/16/white_house/index.h tml
by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Why would he take the side

Apparently, this is the type of conversation we're to believe takes place in the Oval Office:

The President:  I really want a public option and Medicare buy-in.  What can we do to get it?

Rahm Emanuel:  Unfortunately, nothing.  We can just sit by and hope, but you're not in Congress any more and you don't have a vote.  They're a separate branch of government and we have to respect that.

The President:  So we have no role to play in what the Democratic Congress does?

Emanuel:  No.  Members of Congress make up their own minds and there's just nothing we can do to influence or pressure them.

The President:  Gosh, that's too bad.  Let's just keep our fingers crossed and see what happens then.

In an ideal world, Congress would be -- and should be -- an autonomous branch of government, exercising judgment independent of the White House's influence, but that's not the world we live in.  

Does anyone actually believe that Rahm Emanuel (who built his career on industry support for the Party and jamming "centrist" bills through Congress with the support of Blue Dogs) and Barack Obama (who attached himself to Joe Lieberman when arriving in the Senate, repeatedly proved himself receptive to "centrist" compromises, had a campaign funded by corporate interests, and is now the leader of a vast funding and political infrastructure) were the helpless victims of those same forces?  

Engineering these sorts of "centrist," industry-serving compromises has been the modus operandi of both Obama and, especially, Emanuel.

Indeed, we've seen before what the White House can do -- and does do -- when they actually care about pressuring members of Congress to support something they genuinely want passed.  When FDL and other liberal blogs led an effort to defeat Obama's war funding bill back in June, the White House became desperate for votes, and here is what they apparently did (though they deny it):

The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.  "We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen.

That's what the White House can do when they actually care about pressuring someone to vote the way they want.  Why didn't they do any of that to the "centrists" who were supposedly obstructing what they wanted on health care?  

Why didn't they tell Blanche Lincoln -- in a desperate fight for her political life -- that she would "never hear from them again," and would lose DNC and other Democratic institutional support, if she filibustered the public option?  Why haven't they threatened to remove Joe Lieberman's cherished Homeland Security Chairmanship if he's been sabotaging the President's agenda?  Why hasn't the President been rhetorically pressuring Senators to support the public option and Medicare buy-in, or taking any of the other steps outlined here by Adam Green?  

There's no guarantee that it would have worked -- Obama is not omnipotent and he can't always control Congressional outcomes -- but the lack of any such efforts is extremely telling about what the White House really wanted here.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_ greenwald/2009/12/16/white_house/index.h tml

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Why would he take the side

sorry about the double post

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:38PM | 0 recs
See now you're spouting lies

Obama didn't "attach" himself to Lieberman...Freshmnen senators get assigned a "mentor" upon arriving in the Senate, Lieberman was assigned to be Obama's mentor.

and you're going back to arguing that the President should have threatening and cajoled conservative Dems when we've already discussed THAT HAS NEVER WORKED IN THIS PARTY.

You know what? Do whatever you want. Don't vote, let Republicans win, I can guarantee you, with this attitude, you will NEVER see a progressive government in your life...EVER.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: See now you're spouting lies

well it has worked in this party (see LBJ or FDR, for example)

In fact, it seems like lots of the biggest, most important pieces of legislation to come from our party has come about that way.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:45PM | 0 recs
Boy you're thick

LBJ did not change A SINGLE vote by arm twisting NOT ONE.

If you can name one he did, I'll certainly recant. Hell, if you can name one, I'll leave this blog forever.

FDR didn't change a single vote by arm-twisting either. Again, name one.

I've asked this question oftne, never to get an answer.

NAME ONE VOTE THESE PEOPLE CHANGED BY ARM-TWISTING, BY PRESSURING, JUST ONE.

Name on piece of legislation that got passed by arm-twisting and pressuring.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Boy you're thick

You promise to leave if he provides a response, but you'll only come back again as a new troll.

by orestes 2009-12-17 08:36AM | 0 recs
No

I promised to leave if he could provide PROOF, which he did't.

by ND22 2009-12-17 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: See now you're spouting lies

most important pieces of legislation to come from our party has come about that way.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed because LBJ had Everett Dirksen write up a compromise bill that watered down regulations on private business to get the vote of Republican Roman Hruska. The decision came after a seven week filibuster during which LBJ didn't change A SINGLE DEMOCRATIC VOTE on the bill. Only one Southern Dem voted for it, Ralph Yarborough of Texas, and he never filibustered.

Medicare and Medicaid failed the first time because conservative Democrat Wilbur Mills of Arkansas killed it, despite LBJ's strong-arming of him. The only reason it passed a year later was because Democrats had one a landslide election and Johnson had a Republican Congressman from Wisconsin draft part of the bill.

Social Security was watered down significantly to win the votes of Southern Democratic senators and the vote of William King of Utah, whom FDR tried to influence, threaten and cajole. King refused to vote for it until the very last minute when FDR watered down the bill to get a few Republican votes to cancel King out.

History lessons could be useful

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: See now you're spouting lies

i am not sprouting lies. I have no intent to mislead. i cannot be an expert in all things, and if I am incorrect, you can just say so without accusing me of lying.  

sorry, but my history books always said that LBJ and FDR were notorious for their arm twisting. If that is not correct, then I apologize.

DO you think that arm twisting ONLY helps for the thing you are twisting for that time? You don't think that setting the precedent that you will do that doesn't help for other pieces of legislation?

And having something like SS watered down does not mean that there was no arm twisting. You can have both tactics, you know.

But either way, you don't have to speak to me like you are. I am not intentionally giving you false information, and I don't appreciate you accusing me of it.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: See now you're spouting lies

and I am done talking to you know.

If you can't point out when you think I am wrong wrong without personally attacking my integrity, then I am not going to waste my time with you.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: See now you're spouting lies

should be "now". jeeze, i'm going to bed. it's too late

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:15PM | 0 recs
Re: See now you're spouting lies

I am not intentionally giving you false information

No, you're talking someone else's spin, that Obama is some sort of Lieberman clone, and presenting it as fact.

DO you think that arm twisting ONLY helps for the thing you are twisting for that time? You don't think that setting the precedent that you will do that doesn't help for other pieces of legislation?

I don't think it doesn't anything except make you enemies. LBJ found that out when he was looking for allies with Vietnam. His arm twisting from Civil Rights and Medicare left him with no one willing to take his side.

sorry, but my history books always said that LBJ and FDR were notorious for their arm twisting.

the great thing about winning a political battle is that you get to write the history of it. Of course no one is going to write that LBJ got thing passed by ceding to the Republicans, they're going to write he did it by being "tough" and "decisive" and whatever positive reinforncement that can find.

by ND22 2009-12-17 12:42AM | 0 recs
Re: He lost them on January 21st

That's another of your problems right there. You think your against Obama, for whatever reason. Obama has spoken in favor of the PO, numerous times.

Your fight is against Lieberman, Lincoln and Nelson. You need to start realizing who is poking you in the eye.

by vecky 2009-12-16 10:41PM | 0 recs
Re: He lost them on January 21st

Actions speak louder than words, and at every turn the WH has encouraged Democratic leadership to appease the opponents of the PO.  In fact, when Harry Reid first put a PO in the Senate bill, the WH was reportedly peeved because they didn't feel it was even worth trying.

Maybe they were even right about that (heh!), but that's not exactly a record of fighting for the PO.  Sure, if no one opposed the PO then we'd have it, but people can still blame Obama for not really trying.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 11:04PM | 0 recs
Months

we had all been trying for months when Reid put the public option in the bill...we tried in the Finance Committee, we tried influencing the stand out Senators during the House debate, you can't say no one tried. The attempt to push Senators did not start the day Reid put the PO in the bill.

The White House told Reid "I hope you know what you're doing." It had become obvious at that point Landrieu, Lincoln and Nelson were opposed and had been for months. (BTW Baucus and Conrad were opposed to and then, miraculously changed their minds). Everyone knew Lieberman was a problem.

They didn't look to abandon the public option because they didn't see it as worth the try, they were looking to adandon it because it was going nowhere with these people.

by ND22 2009-12-17 12:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Months

 Your just being a history nerd and a goddam realist. You're always throwing facts around. Crap like that is not important. What's important is not getting a Health Care bill that can be characterized as a turd, even if it smells more like the camel's nose under the tent.

by QTG 2009-12-17 04:54AM | 0 recs
Why do you need to wait for him?

WTF? You don't have princpals of your own? You need to sit around and wait for him to give you orders?

That's a cop out. I'm hearing a lot of those around the blogsphere lately.

I find it laughable you think all these young voters who turned off the TV after the inaguaration to focus on the new season of American Idol did so because Obama didn't give them specific healthcare bill to fight for.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Why do you need to wait for him?

no, but the president can be a very good rallying point...a...what's the word..."leader"?

seriously though - which of the 4 baby bills in committee was I supposed to be out in the streets marching for?

there was never a unifying focal point - and that is something that could have been easily supplied by the President

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:25PM | 0 recs
You still don;t get it

I'm talking about BEFORE! BEFORE the bills were in committees, BEFORE

You're looking to follow somebody, not lead, YOU ARE THE LEADER, THE ACTIVSTS ARE THE LEADER.

You really didn't understand Obama's campaign theme at all...he repeadidly reminded his supporters, who obviously were too oblivious to hear him, that it was about US not him.

He turned around and saw his supporters had gone on to other things or were waiting for orders from him.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: You still don;t get it

this is what you wanted:

friend: woah, look at what they are doing with the stimulus bill

me: forget about that, we are marching in the street, shutting down traffic to demand some complicated set of health care reforms that nobody's proposed yet that i don't know anything about yet! I really hope it's not too different from whatever the President will propose, since I don't want to undermine that when it comes out!

friend: groovy! I'm there. I'll make a sign outlining a 500-page health care reform proposal from 1994 that I found online! t's probably pretty good!

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: You still don;t get it

Me: but wait, should we be marching for cap and trade now? They haven't even started on health care

Friend: umm, maybe we should be looking for jobs. the student loans have run out.

Me: yeah, I guess that's why we vote in people to represent us in our system of government, people who do this as their full-time job so we don't have to

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:43PM | 0 recs
No

It should go something like this

Friend: Congress is going to take up healthcare soon

You: Then let's take to the streets, head to our representative's office, let's get everyone out there and let's show them how many of us want (public option/single payer/whatever), so when they introduce the bill, they know this proposal has numbers behind them

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: No

silly me. i thought that if I helped to get Obama elected, I could expect him to not work actively against the interests of the American people, whether I spend my days marching in the streets or not.

You know, like we had a representative republic or something.

You are really reaching on this.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: No

I can only suspect you direct your ire against Obama because he is an easy target, while Lincoln, Lieberman and Nelson are not.

by vecky 2009-12-16 10:43PM | 0 recs
Re: No

i thought that if I helped to get Obama elected, I could expect him to not work actively against the interests of the American people

Well, from his point of view, the interest of the American people are no healthcare reform, less spending and torturing people, since that's all one hears from the public nowadays.

by ND22 2009-12-17 12:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Jeopardy, I understand how you feel, but there is always a silver lining.  You are still young and you are clearly passionate.  You can use that to bring about the real change that you want and were hoping for.  You have come of age at a time of great disillusionment in government.  We are at a point where something must be done to put us back on course.  We just have to find the right means.  I personally think a third party is the only way to go.  Of course, dramatic change would not happen overnight, but it can be done.

by orestes 2009-12-16 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

i appreciate your post.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

" Of course, dramatic change would not happen overnight, but it can be done. "

Wow... a bit of realism. Maybe there is Hope yet.

by vecky 2009-12-16 10:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Sanders is a socialist .... It would be a cold day in hell before Obama placates him ... He is listening to the moderates and conservatives which is appropriate in my view....

by lori 2009-12-16 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Sanders is a socialist and I dont take him seriously. However, what I have seen out of Obama thus far is a weak kneed indecisive President. He leads on nothing......I voted for him with some concern that he wasnt prepared to lead......I think my concerns are unfortunately being validated. This is what you call elevating someone to their level of incompetence. Hillary at least has a backbone. I also think that perhaps the democratic congress and senate are having trouble seeing Obama as a real leader, as most of them have more experience than he. At this point he has one term written all over him.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-12-16 06:20PM | 0 recs
I see you still avoid my question

about why you opposed the bill with a public option that controls costs when you claimed to be for it now.

by ND22 2009-12-16 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: I see you still avoid my question

Becuase I have yet to see a bill that did what you said it did. Once they offer such a bill I will support it.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-12-17 03:44AM | 0 recs
The House bill did

the CBO confirmed him and you dismissed them and started talking about tort reform and eating fruit

by ND22 2009-12-17 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Delicious

FRUIT TORT     

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 c. flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
2 eggs
Lemon juice
Cinnamon
Fruit, any of the following: sliced peaches, sliced apples, 24 halves pitted Italian plums, blueberries (in winter can use drained canned peaches)

Cream sugar and butter. Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs. Place in 9" springform pan. Add to top and cover entire surface with one kind of fruit or a combination of fruits. Sprinkle top with lemon juice, cinnamon, a dash of sugar and, if fruit is very juicy, some flour. Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour.

Delicious served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Best served slightly warm. Refresh in oven, if desired.

by QTG 2009-12-17 05:14AM | 0 recs
ok this was really funny lol

by ND22 2009-12-17 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Delicious

You can't just butt into a discussion with this sort of thing.  In law we call it "tortious interference."

by Steve M 2009-12-17 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The House bill did

The house biil was still full of smoke and mirrors, didnt do enough to reduce costs....There is no definition of affordability. CBO assumes if you're offered insurance, you're insured. CBO admits that premium subsidies won't keep pace with health care inflation. Ergo, millions of people are going to need affordability waivers.

CBO also found, in contrast to Obama's giddy proclamation, that the bill will likely add to the deficit long-term.

And--in what will come as a shock to the majority of Americans who think they're getting a public option--CBO reports that premiums will be "somewhat higher" than the already sky-high rates offered by private insurers on the exchange. ....

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-12-17 08:16AM | 0 recs
Wrong

CBO also found, in contrast to Obama's giddy proclamation, that the bill will likely add to the deficit long-term.

The CBO found it would DECREASE the deficit, that was pretty clear, I have no idea where you got this from.

But since you don't think it did enough, surely you think we should start looking at a single payer system then?

by ND22 2009-12-17 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The House bill did

The house bill was still full of smoke and mirrors, didnt do enough to reduce costs....There is no definition of affordability. CBO assumes if you're offered insurance, you're insured. CBO admits that premium subsidies won't keep pace with health care inflation. Ergo, millions of people are going to need affordability waivers.

CBO also found, in contrast to Obama's giddy proclamation, that the bill will likely add to the deficit long-term.

And--in what will come as a shock to the majority of Americans who think they're getting a public option--CBO reports that premiums will be "somewhat higher" than the already sky-high rates offered by private insurers on the exchange. ....

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-12-17 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

Democrats are unable to unite, Republicans always unite.

2010 looks like it will be brutal.  We couldn't get any of the Senate Republicans to move our way on this, which is ashame.

by agpc 2009-12-16 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

I suggested something similar, even if a bit more forceful, in my last diary. If people like Sanders start making demands, then the whole point of placating one or two people to get to 60 becomes a losing cause and the White House will be forced to adopt a different route. Also, they will run out of excuses to placate a Lieberman as in indirect way of doing what they might want have done all along. Who knows.

All I know is this. Forget worrying about a third party vote in 2012. Obama needs to worry about non votes of people staying home disgusted by his cowardice and the sellout some of his team members are. I have warned people of a 2000 repeat. The problem wasn't NAder votes but Bush getting his base to turn out. You fuck up the base vote, you lose.

by Pravin 2009-12-16 11:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders Opts Out (For Now)

No one is forcing any of these clowns to vote for the bill; all they have to do is vote for closure.

by Bob H 2009-12-17 02:04AM | 0 recs
Where is Burris on this?

I read today's papers looking for reports of which Democratic Senators were still opposed to the legislation.  Burris had been on record as opposing anything without a public option.  Is this still the case or has he caved to pressure?

by pascal1947 2009-12-17 08:29AM | 0 recs

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