MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

I'm likely to ignore future e-mails from MoveOn.org Political Action after reading the last two appeals they've sent me. They are raising money off the health care reform battle while absolving President Obama from blame for the pitiful state of the Senate bill.

This arrived in my in-box earlier this week:

First, Joe Lieberman helped President Bush invade Iraq, and the Democrats in Washington forgave him. Then, he endorsed John McCain, and they forgave him again. Then, he personally attacked Barack Obama at the Republican National Convention, and still the Democrats forgave him.1

Now, Joe Lieberman is single-handedly gutting health care reform. The time for forgiveness is over. It's time to hold Senator Lieberman accountable.

First, we're going to launch a huge ad campaign to make sure every last Connecticut voter knows that Senator Lieberman is blocking strong reforms. Then, we'll push Senate leaders to strip him of his chairmanship and seniority. Finally, we'll work to defeat him in his next election.

Our goal is to raise $400,000 in the next 24 hours, to send a deafeningly loud message that we've had enough of Joe Lieberman. That'll take at least 3 donations from Urbandale--can you chip in $200?

From the follow-up e-mail:

It's outrageous: Joe Lieberman is single-handedly blocking our best chance at strong health care reform in years!

In less than 24 hours MoveOn members have donated an astounding $650,000 to send Lieberman home for good. That's awesome--thank you! Now we're aiming to raise $1 million together.

If we can hit that goal, we'll have the resources to make sure every voter in Connecticut knows that Senator Lieberman has been standing in the way of reform and to push Senate Democrats to take away his chairmanship.

That'll take at least 3 donations from Urbandale--can you chip in $200?

Sorry, MoveOn team. I detest Lieberman as much as the next decent human being, but you lost me when you tried to claim he is "single-handedly" gutting health care reform. President Obama has signaled all year that he's willing to ditch the public option. Appeasing the insurance lobby has been a higher priority than giving Americans an alternative to private insurance. The White House chief of staff instructed Harry Reid to accommodate all of Lieberman's demands. Not only that, Obama's administration worked to kill an amendment allowing re-importation of prescription drugs, which Obama supported as a senator and presidential candidate. That was one element of a deal White House staff cut with drug companies behind the scenes.

Senator Russ Feingold pointed out that

it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for [the public option's] apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.

"This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don't think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold. "I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect."

No kidding. The people at MoveOn.org Political Action know all this background. I assume they used the "blame it all on Lieberman" frame in order to collect money from progressives who still believe in the president as well as from Obamaskeptics like me.

I'll donate to Lieberman's Democratic opponent in 2012, but I'm not inspired to fund MoveOn.org as long as they are covering for Obama's broken promises on health care reform.

Tags: Barack Obama, Congress, Harry Reid, health care reform, Joe Lieberman, moveon.org, Russ Feingold, Senate (all tags)

Comments

58 Comments

Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

When did President Obama promise a public option? I guess I missed that one. The president has been careful not to promise much. You can disagree with that and think it is not leadership. But his "failure of leadership" has gotten him closer to universal coverage than any other president in history.

Sure the president could have drawn some lines in the sand and given Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh and all the others an even easier way to kill the bill. The reality is Lieberman never supported the Baucus bill and did not want any health care reform passed at all.

I think the big mistake was not getting a promise from Lieberman and the entire caucus to vote for all procedural motions. I will give Reid most of the blame for that. Although, Obama may deserve some of it. Lieberman is so shady though I could see him not keeping his word. He is obviously a shameless liar.

by Lolis 2009-12-17 06:03AM | 0 recs
universal coverage?
How is forcing millions of people to buy shitty private insurance they can't afford considered "universal coverage"?
The bill does nothing to contain costs or to force the private insurers to spend our premiums on our health care. The fact that they put a lifetime ceiling on benefits means that many of the most stricken will STILL be driven into bankruptcy after being cut off by their insurers.
This bill is a bait and switch and a gimme to the insurance companies and big pharma. Nothing less, nothing more.
by Texas Nate 2009-12-17 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: universal coverage?

I have read there is no lifetime cap on benefits. I read they inserted an annual one, which I think is an awful idea. I hope Bernie Sanders and other join together to fight for its removal.

From what I've heard, all the plans will have free preventative services coverage and will improve what is currently offered by insurance companies. What source are you getting your info from?

I also live in Texas and we have the highest rate of uninsured of any other state. This will help us.

More poor people will get Medicaid from this bill. Medicaid has zero copays for all services. Health care is totally free. I used to be on it, so I know. Medicaid is a great program. Expanding access for poor people will save them money and make for healthier children and families.

by Lolis 2009-12-17 06:59AM | 0 recs
Obama Could Have Gotten A Bill If He Wanted To!

All you have to do is imagine what Bush and the Republicans would be doing if this bill were theirs!

If Obama acted like a Republican:

1. He would go on TV back in March and announce his demands: preferably single payer, at minimum a robust public option that would reduce health care costs by introducing competition, plus outlawing pre-existing conditions.

2. Then he would have DEMANDED an up or down vote in the U.S. Senate on his health care bill. At the same time he would have mobilized his network of election supporters to an intense grass roots lobbying effort in all 50 states -- combined with a fund-raising effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for TV and radio advertising to fight off the inevitable insurance industry attacks.

He would have mobilized his supporters who could have turned out by the millions and crushed the astro-turf tea-baggers by overwhelming numbers.

3. Then Democrats would have gone on the offensive against Republicans every day for "blocking the people's will.""Elections have consequences!" they could say (just as Republicans did in 2001 and 2005). They would accuse conservative obstructionists of "wanting Americans to die!" Grab the initiative and don't let it go!

4. Obama would launch a full court press on conservative Democrats, exactly in the way that he's pressured progressives to fold all year. He would also have tried to mobilize Maine voters to put all out pressure on Olympia Snowe.

He could have made it totally unacceptable for any Democrat to filibuster the bill and had weekly national addresses on TV to shill for what he wanted.

And he could have insisted that the health care bill steer WELL CLEAR of Max Baucus's committee and be voted on by the August recess. He would have threatened to call Congress back into session to pass health care reform as Bush used to do for HIS priorities.

Obama did NONE of this. He stood aside and let Max Baucus waste 5 months pathetically trying to weaken the bill enough to get "bi-partisan support" from Republicans who were OBVIOUSLY going to block it in their own political interests. 80%+ of Republicans were opposed to this legislation. Why would any Republican Senator vote for it? This was clear in June and July! Why wait around for 3 more months while the insurance lobby mobilized against the bill and Conservadems took ever greater efforts to block and weaken it!

Obama's "leadership" on this bill was utterly pathetic and weak. He got exactly what he apparently wanted --- a completely useless bill that the insurance industry could live with when what we need DESPERATELY is a revolutionary overhaul of our health care system that has fundamentally broken.

by Cugel 2009-12-17 02:06PM | 0 recs
from OFA page

on "the Obama plan":

If you don't have insurance, the Obama plan: [...]

Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can't find affordable coverage with a real choice.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-17 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

I still don't see that as a promise. Obama has always said he prefers a public option. It does not say I will veto anything out of Congress that doesn't follow all of my specific guidelines. Congress does still legislate. The executive branch does not write bills.

Unlike Russ Feingold, I don't doubt that Obama would have passed a public option if he had total authority. I think Obama always new a public option was unlikely to pass out of the Senate which is why he never promised it.

People here seem to forget the House bill public option is very limited and weak and barely got enough votes to pass. This was always a long shot. I wish it made it. I do. But my brother has no insurance right now and will benefit from this reform. I have disabilities and am uninsurable and this bill will drastically improve my life.

This bill will help millions of young people right away who will be able to stay on their parents insurance plan until they are 26 or 27. A lot of young people are unemployed right now. This bill will do a lot of good. To only focus on the bad seems unfair to readers.

by Lolis 2009-12-17 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

Whatever you think Obama promised, I assure you that he did mislead people into thinking that he wouldn't intentionally try to water down the bill over and over by twisting progressive arms to hand Nelson and Lieberman whatever they ask for.

whether it is technically braking a promise or not kinda misses the point.

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

"I still don't see that as a promise."

That's a surprise: Deny. Deny. Deny. We have never seen that ploy before.

If anything is going to get done, we are going to have to  accept that there are people  like you who will distract through denial.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

It seems to me you are the one in denial. I've never seen you admit how this bill drastically improves the lives of the most vulnerable in our society: the young, the disabled, the poor, and the elderly. It also helps a lot of people in the middle.

by Lolis 2009-12-17 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

Your true character continues to be on display. Now, if any disagrees with you - you and other shills come here with the typical talking points. I have seen your post on multiple sites now.  You are right- I hate the young and children. I also hate their pets and Christmas, and any other thing you think will allow you to distract from the slight of hand that you are doing- passing a crappy bill that really does not help anyone except insurance companies who exclaimed of this bill "We Win !" a week ago.

You and the other denialists regularly post things that are simply along the lines of "I deny" followed by fantastical versions of reality that Hollywood would have trouble justifying as credible.  

I could go through all the trouble of looking up the various articles, the Daily Kos diary linking to the campaign literature endorsing the public option, and then, what would happen? The same thing that others here are experiencing- you would simply deny it. Or deny by spinning it. Or, in the case of the diarist who responded to claims that the campaign did support the option by republishing some of the literature online- attack the messenger. I just chuckle because your shtick still finds people trying to argue with you about the substance of what you are saying.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

WTF? I do not deny Obama campaigned on a public option. He campaigned on a lot of stuff. I don't think anyone realistically expects that a president will achieve all that he campaigns on. The president has limited power to make promises on stuff that happens to be written and passed in Congress. The president sets guidelines and can veto but that is it. Obama never promised a public option and never once hinted he would veto a bill without it. That is my only point.

Bush campaigned on privatizing Social Security and immigration reform. Neither of those things came to be. It doesn't mean Bush was lying when he said he wanted those things passed. The fact that they didn't pass doesn't reflect on Bush's beliefs at all.

My only argument which you have not addressed is that this bill will help millions of people, many of whom are the most vulnerable in society. I never called you a name or accused you of anything. I don't believe in doing that. I am simply pointing out who this bills helps. If you find that threatening or see it as a personal attack, that has nothing to do with me.

by Lolis 2009-12-17 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

I am not going to address your argument because you aren't make one.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 07:59AM | 0 recs
What Would Have Been So Terrible If Obama TRIED!

Damn it! What would have been lost if he came out on day 1 and announced his objective was single payer?

Then he mounts a grass-roots lobbying effort all over the country to mobilize millions of his supporters to get a single-payer bill.

Then the Senate announces that "single-payer is dead on arrival."

Then Obama says that they are blocking real reform, but he's willing to accept a strong public option combined with real insurance industry reform like getting rid of their anti-trust exemption. He demands an up or down vote on this and threatens to hold Congress in extended session until they pass the bill.

You see? The compromise becomes a strong public option. And when Joe Lieberman and other "centrist" Dems refuse to go along, Obama makes it as politically difficult for them as possible -- and publicly calls for passing the measures he wants through reconciliation, while loudly demanding an up or down vote.

Hunter S. Thompson said it 35 years ago and it's still true: any sitting United States president who's not a lame duck can round up 3 or 4 reluctant senators from his own party if he's willing to pay the price and he puts enough heat on them.

Why didn't he do this? Because he didn't want to be accused of "partisanship" by the media asshats who will spend the entire 2010 campaign season calling Obama's pathetic watered down legislation "excessively partisan."

Lieberman was given a free ticket to do exactly what he's doing: block anything remotely resembling real reform. When did you see Obama call out Lincoln, or Landrieu, or Baucus or Nelson for "blocking the most important bill of the last 50 years?"

by Cugel 2009-12-17 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

Serious question:  In your opionion, why do Jay Rockefeller and Sherrod Brown support the bill?

by fogiv 2009-12-17 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

Because they are battered wives use to being beaten.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 08:19AM | 0 recs
Because They Want A Bill!

That's been the progressives problem from day 1: they want a bill and conservatives don't.

The ONLY way to get anywhere was for Obama to come out front and center on day 1 and be willing to fight tooth and nail and organize this campaign exactly like it was a presidential election -- utilizing the millions of people he organized online and through mail campaigns.

He NEVER tried to launch a mass popular movement in favor of health care reform to force Congress to act!

by Cugel 2009-12-17 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

You are right, President Obama never explicitly promised a public option.  He did, however, explicitly promise cost controls, with the public option being one possible element of that.

What the plan delivers, unfortunately, is not cost controls, but rather a bending the curve in cost growth at some future point...

by Ravi Verma 2009-12-17 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: from OFA page

I agree there are not enough cost controls in the bills. I think that can be improved upon over time. My first priority is coverage and ending bad insurance company practices. If no bill passes, we have the status quo and no chance of improvement.

Our media has not helped in the debate, since it doesn't call out hypocritical senators who vote for unlimited war and not health care. This bill will still be paid for and will not add to the deficit. I don't see any disadvantage in passing it.

by Lolis 2009-12-17 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable
Don't bother with this Denny.
You're dealing with the Blog Birch Society here.
The so-called liberal answer to the Right Wing Noise Machine that has the back of Democratic elected officials (well, the ones named Feingold and Kucinich, especially the latter).
The people who gave their all for Obama after their first or second choice after Super Dennis didn't win the primary, in hopes of a pony on Nov. 5.
You're trying to reason with the little old lefties in tennis shoes.
Don't.
They. Won't. Listen.
by spirowasright 2009-12-17 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

In Obama's Address to Congress he clearly outlined real healthcare reform. Support for including the public was included.

by Trey Rentz 2009-12-17 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

When did Obama promise a public option, you ask.

From the Obama `08 campaign document, "Barack Obama's Plan for a Healthy America" (PDF):

The Obama plan both builds upon and improves our current insurance system, upon which most Americans continue to rely, and leaves Medicare intact for older and disabled Americans. The Obama plan also addresses the large gaps in coverage that leave 45 million Americans uninsured. >Specifically, the Obama plan will: (1) establish a new public insurance program available to Americans who neither qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP nor have access to insurance through their employers, as well as to small businesses that want to offer insurance to their employees; (2) make available the National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses that want to purchase private health insurance directly; (3) require all employers to contribute towards health coverage for their employees; (4) mandate all children have health care coverage; (5) expand Medicaid and SCHIP to cover more of the least well-off among us; and (6) allow state flexibility for state health reform plans. PDF 

by MOBlue 2009-12-17 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

How much money have you given to MoveOn.org over the years?

I'll double it.

by QTG 2009-12-17 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

$100,000

so please send them $200,000 today

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

ok, i really didn't. but did it work? did you send them a ton of money?

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

I have sent money and wore out my sneakers trying to get Edwards in as Veep. I have T-Shirts to prove it.

The point I was making, in case it was missed, is that people who never give dollar one are the ones most likely to threaten to withhold contributions unless ' my will be done'. Just threaten to hold your breath until you turn blue.

Accomplishes the same thing.

I'm pretty confident that I would be able to double the combined contributions of all here who have threatened to withhold contributions to fill-in-the-blank quite easily. Probably without spending a cent.

by QTG 2009-12-17 07:43AM | 0 recs
don't know the total dollar amount

but I've given them more than $100 on several occasions, which is why the solicitation asks me for a $200 gift. The last time was probably a couple of years ago.

If you donate $1,200, that's probably about double the amount I have given them over the past five or six years.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-17 06:03PM | 0 recs
to clarify

for those supporting this bill and wondering why many of us are against it despite having the same goals for it as you (expanded coverage, help for the poor, etc), let me try to break the problem down into simple terms:
_

many of us assume that if the bill has holes in it that lets the Insurance Companies continue to victimize people, then the Insurance Companies will most likely continue to victimize people.

This bill not only leave the doors wide open in terms of letting the Insurance Monopolies victimize people, it actually empowers them to do so in some ways, especially with legal mandates that people must buy their crappy insurance.

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: to clarify

I don't wonder why you are against it. It is not a particularly good bill as it is right now and it is possibly poised to get worse. What I wonder is why there is so much talk of who is to blame and so little talk of action to be taken. At the very least moveon.org is trying to do something to get rid of one of the biggest obstacles to any sort of progressive action in the Senate.

by JDF 2009-12-17 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: to clarify

personally, I think we DO have to figure out who is working against it.

Yes, it's obvious with liarman and nelson and the GOP.

But it's important to figure out that we have to work against the President on this instead of assuming he is helping.

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: to clarify

You are asking them to give up their faith. think of it as  like talking to christian and asking them to stop believing in Jesus.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: You are one step away

from demanding his birth certificate, bruh. One tiny step.

by QTG 2009-12-17 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: to clarify

How about figuring out IF we have to work against the President. I am willing to entertain the notion, despite what bruh thinks, but I am not willing to concede the point without seriously thinking about it.

by JDF 2009-12-17 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: to clarify

fair enough.

but that's why assigning blame is important - to try to figure out if we have to work against the president on this thing.

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: to clarify

You are right. When/if the insurance industry, the Republicraps and their lobbyists win they will feel empowered and that will be the end of Healthcare reform forever. An example remember the basically Democrat campaign in the 1960's thru 1990's to implement gun control -- based on the assassination of JFK and the attempt on Reagan. Democrats got hammered so badly and lost so many Congress seats that no Democrat will ever again go after the gun lobby. The Healthcare lobby is determined to make this happen again to their business so that no politican will ever introduce any HCR again......this is it and it now looks like Obama has screwed up the chances for good--his milktoast personality is so lacking Presidential authority that he won't get any major law passed -- the Republicraps know they can beat him down....he is really a weak leader...

by hddun2008 2009-12-17 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

How about we all stay focused on who REALLY is to blame for obstructing meaningful health care reform.  That would be the Republicans in Congress and the insurance companies and their lobbyists.  

When we start blaming people who are basically with us we are doing the work of those who STATED PUBLICLY that they wanted the health care reform effort to be Obama's Waterloo.

by Thaddeus 2009-12-17 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

straw man

nobody here is saying that the GOP or blue dogs shouldn't get the lion's share of the blame. in fact, most of us have been bashing them all for months and months.

but that doesn't mean we should ignore the betrayal of some of those we thought were on our side (the White House, for example)

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

But the assumption is that those we thought were on our side had all this leverage and political power that they failed to wield; I'm not sure I buy that.

What could have gotten Lieberman to change his position? The threat of losing his chairmanship? I don't think so; I think he knows he's in big danger of that already. The promise of support in a 2012 primary? He's already been elected after losing a primary. Money? He's got plenty from the insurance companies. Attention? How could he get more than he is getting now?

I'm no more thrilled with the state of the bill now than anyone else (though if Rockefeller's amendment to limit profits gets passed I'd be happy, though I'm not holding my breath). But I don't understand all these assumptions that it could have happened any differently.

Maybe someone can tell me specifically what Obama could have done differently to get a different outcome. And "provide leadership" and "use the bully pulpit" are not specific answers.

by fsm 2009-12-17 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

He could have refrained from stealing Texas and Florida, for starters.

by QTG 2009-12-17 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

it is not about thinking they had more power than they did.

What power they did have was used to pressure progressives to do the bidding of the Insurance Industry. That's what the problem is.

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

Nearly every ploy they are using against you and your arguments is used against every one who debates them.

by bruh3 2009-12-17 09:38AM | 0 recs
Everybody's out to get you, bruh

Everybody.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-17 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

nobody here is saying that the GOP or blue dogs shouldn't get the lion's share of the blame. in fact, most of us have been bashing them all for months and months.

but that doesn't mean we should ignore the betrayal of some of those we thought were on our side (the White House, for example)

Even a staunch Obama supporter such as myself isn't disagreeing with you on fact. Clearly, progressives received a suboptimal result.

It's not what you are saying, but how you are saying it that is drawing objection.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-17 10:40AM | 0 recs
It's too bad you can't edit comments

My concern is that in our anger we all are degenerating into teabaggers, arguing on rumors and half truths and spite.

As a follow up, I think it is really important to keep the pros and cons (and there are many of them) in the bill in perspective.

And if the bill should be passed, where do we go from here? What is the most practical path to victory for a public option?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-17 10:42AM | 0 recs
Betrayal? Of what?

If you use language like "betrayal," you are helping to create dissension on the left and encouraging people to quit on the Democrats, as many on this blog are threatening to do.  That is absolutely a dream come true for Republicans like Jim Demint who threatened Obama's "Waterloo" over healthcare.    

by Thaddeus 2009-12-17 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

I strongly disagree. The failure is on Obama's back. His lack of forceful Presidential authority is becoming a real embarrassment. The Republicans now sense that they can run over him--unlike every President that I can remember, he does not use the unwritten authority that is in the Constitution and in the laws written since 1932 i.e. War Powers Act and Economic Recovery Act(s).  He is well educated but he doesn't use his knowledge/Presidential authority to deal with Congress.....

by hddun2008 2009-12-17 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable
Obama is to blame for the HCR Act crashing down on all of us. He is an extremely effective campaigner  but he is an ineffective political leader. How long must one serve in the Senate to learn its rules and procedures?
Obama was there for 4 years and yet he acts as though the problems of the HCR Act, the Banking Regulation Act, etc are having are a surprise to him, Gibbs, Axelrod, and Rahm. I work in IT and engineering. I'm normally given a few days or at the outside a month to learn about projects and the technologies we will need to use to accomplish them.
Obama who was in the Senate for 4 years acts  as though he has never been on Capital Hill.
I keep reading that the procedural moves that the Republicans are using to stop his legislation are one big surprise after another. Just yesterday, Republican Quackjob Sen. Imhoff of the backwater state of Oklahoma, used a Senate procedure to derail an liberal effort to push ahead with the Public option. The Obama gang at the Whitehouse were just totally outmanuveured by this and many other good tactics by the Republicans.
No matter where Moveon.org wants to place the blame, this is Obama's defeatin 2012 in the making.
As a REAL DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT once said (Harry Truman)
"The Buck Stops Here".  Obama should read David MacCullough's biography about Truman--maybe then Obama will stop being a Republican Light and Mr. Steppinfetchit, and become an asskicking great President like Truman, LBJ, Clinton, and FDR.
Do you really think that LBJ could have gotten hundreds of laws passed including Medicare and Civil Rights without taking the Congress into the woodshed. LBJ knew how to manage Congress--they didn't manage him.....
by hddun2008 2009-12-17 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

Obama's failure of leadership is so bad, we are closer to near-universal coverage than we ever have been at any other time in U.S. history. Yeah, he really sucks.  :)

by Lolis 2009-12-17 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

 The theme of this gathering is "The sky is falling and Obama's to blame". Don't be a Buzz Kill!

by QTG 2009-12-17 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

I disagree.

It no hard thing to do in the Senate to pass a giant giveaway to the Insurance Industry.

So kudos to the WH for doing something pretty easy, the hard way.

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 10:46AM | 0 recs
Truman tried to pass health care reform...

And failed.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-17 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Truman tried to pass health care reform...

He had a Republican majority in Congress....

by hddun2008 2009-12-17 11:27AM | 0 recs
And FDR had 67 Democratic Senators

And social security was still weak and watered down when it passed, branding him a "sell-out".

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-17 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: And FDR had 67 Democratic Senators

Your comparison to SS has no merit.  First, SS was not placed in the hands of a private, for-profit industry.  Your argument would have merit if we were debating the fine points of a proposed single payer system.  Ah, would that that were the case.  

Secondly, you could choose any piece of legislation that has been revised over the years to make your argument.  And the response would be, yeah, so what.  Sometimes laws are changed for the better; but other times laws are changed for the worse (see banking laws and regulations).  The argument simply does not wash.

by orestes 2009-12-18 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: MoveOn.Org should hold Obama accountable

Neither will we...but then now we have nothing to give except energy and we don't yet know where to put that so it won't be wasted or abused after the election.  Any extra money, food or time will be spent with friends and neighbors with less than us, not politicians.

by Palli 2009-12-17 09:28AM | 0 recs
Fair enough.

It's in the Senate Rules, established by the constitution. The Senate rules need 67 votes to change.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-17 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.

51 votes at the start of a new Congress! (hint hint, folks in Washington)

by Steve M 2009-12-17 11:42AM | 0 recs
obama's own words

http://news.firedoglake.com/2009/12/17/v ideo-of-obama-making-the-case-against-ma ndates/

Video Of Obama Making The Case Against Mandates

   Here's the concern. If you haven't made it affordable, how are you going to enforce a mandate. I mean, if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house. The reason they don't buy a house is they don't have the money. And so, our focus has been on reducing costs, making it available. I am confident if people have a chance to buy high-quality health care that is affordable, they will do so. That's what our plan does and nobody disputes that.

The problem that people resisting the mandate seem to be having is that the health care offered through the Senate bill is not completely affordable, particularly to those in the middle class, and more important, it's not of high quality. As Ian Welsh notes today, the Senate bill does not have annual caps for insurance companies and has on the aggregate a 70% actuarial value, and even lower for certain key groups. Welsh notes, "100 billion in subsidies doesn't mean squat if they come tied to an expense people can't afford, making them buy insurance which is not particularly useful."

The individual mandate makes sense if it locks in health care coverage that is actually worthwhile. There are compelling arguments that the coverage that can be offered in this bill does not meet that test. This is a policy dispute, and those who prefer passing the bill want to marginalize it by demonizing it as purely emotionally based and childish. But it's not. People who have done serious work looking at the bill don't think that it mandates quality health coverage, and if that's the case, they think forcing people to buy it is misguided.

And they have support from then-candidate Barack Obama. If you follow his logic - that if people have a chance to buy high-quality health care that is affordable, they will do so - then it holds that if people see the coverage as neither high-quality or affordable, they wouldn't buy it. But under his plan, they are being forced to do it.

by jeopardy 2009-12-17 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: obama's own words

Why don't you think they don't get this? I mean- you have said it now multiple times, and they saying the same things- what does that tell you?

by bruh3 2009-12-17 11:28AM | 0 recs

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