Politico: Does Obama have the Guts? (to do what's right)

Excellent article from an otherwise right leaning rag, politico.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/080 9/26197.html

Could Hillary Clinton have been right about Barack Obama?

Could she have been right when she said that he was the candidate of lofty promises --"the skies will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect" -- and not the candidate of real leadership?

In her former life as a presidential candidate, Clinton warned voters that Obama would let them down. She warned them that when the going got tough, he would fold up.

In general, the health care industry wants health care reform and for a very simple reason: It would mean 47 million new customers, many of them young and healthy.

But the industry does not want a public option as a part of that reform, because a public option would be large enough to negotiate with private insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors for lower costs.

"A public option would cut deeply into their current profits," writes Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton. "That's why they've been willing to spend a fortune on lobbyists, threaten and intimidate legislators and ordinary Americans, and even rattle Obama's cage to the point where the administration is about to give up on it."

I think it was a major mistake not to frame the public option as "medicare basic" or a "medicare option" etc...
Make the GOP attack medicare... Frame the public option as  an enhancement to medicare...  The over 50 crowd is the crowd that is opposing reform.

anyhow Representative Anthony Weiner is really on to something..

Tags: obama (all tags)



Re: Politico: Does Obama have the Guts?


I don't know why people are shocked?!  This was his position from the outset of the Primary race, and only after not gaining traction did he change.  But even then only slowly and when he changed to a public-option/"universal" health-care option, there were no details.  No way to pay for it, no way to fund it, no way to make it work.  No frame-work.  He didn't want mandates.  He didn't want expanded medicare or single-payer for all.

He wanted insurance-reform.

This is what this will end up being.  And that's all that it will be...IF he can even get that now.

by TxDem08 2009-08-18 09:39AM | 0 recs
This from someone shilling for

Wyden's bill? That IS Insurace Reform.

She didn't want medicare expansion or single payer either.

by DTOzone 2009-08-18 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: This from someone shilling for

How would you know?  You still think blue dogs want 400% of the poverty line!  You haven't read the Act or any of the details, you're just screaming at the top of your lungs at your screen.

And, um...yes she did.  I guess that must be another person your supposedly followed that you didn't read the details or any of the plans at all.  No wonder cable television loves people like you.

Read her plans...learn what she said...understand.  You'll make less of a fool of yourself.

by TxDem08 2009-08-18 10:46AM | 0 recs
I read her plans clearly

kindly point out where she came out for single payer. Thanks

by DTOzone 2009-08-18 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: This from someone shilling for

Oh, and since I know you won't read it, by others might...don't fret.  I did your research already for you.


For individuals and families who are not covered by employers or whose employer-based coverage is inadequate, Clinton would offer expanded versions of two existing government programs: Medicare, and the health insurance plan currently offered to federal employees. Consumers could choose between either government-run program, but aides stress that no new federal bureaucracy would be created under the Clinton plan.

Aides said Clinton believes that an individual mandate is the only way to achieve health care for all. A key component of her plan would be a federal tax subsidy to help individuals pay for coverage.

And yes...it's from '07.


by TxDem08 2009-08-18 10:56AM | 0 recs
That's not single payer

or medicare for all, that's a public option, that's the same plan Obama is pushing for.

by DTOzone 2009-08-18 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: That's not single payer

Um, wow.  No it's not.  It's not even in the same freakin' universe as what Obama is proposing.

My god, you'll try to spin everything to 'that's what Obama is proposing' won't you?

You're almost as bad as Tony Snow, et al.

And just for kicks...Obama isn't proposing anything.  And that's the problem, as I've said before.

And medicare for all...IS A SINGLE PAYER.

by TxDem08 2009-08-18 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: That's not single payer

Don't mean to cut into your personal arguments but if you read what is indicated in your link,  that is clearly not single payer.  The first line should give it away "For individuals and families who are not covered by employers or whose employer-based coverage is inadequate...".

There is no statement of "Medicare for all", this was just an option, so I don't know why you are pushing that line.

I don't even see why this gets into a HRC v Obama debate, their positions were thoroughly analyzed during the primaries and the consensus then was the two plans weren't much different in susbtance, except maybe the mandate.

I agree there should be a public option and we should strongly appeal for it, but weeping over  who woudda done what is senseless, pointless and a waste of time.  Not too mention, pure speculation.  

Don't let these douchey opinion article of what-ifs distract you from the real opponents

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not single payer

Thanks for your input.

However, I guess you missed this:

"If you like the plan you have, you keep it. If you're one of tens of millions of Americans without coverage or don't like the coverage you have, you will have a choice of plans to pick from and you'll get tax credits to help pay for it."

Clinton would offer expanded versions of two existing government programs: Medicare, and the health insurance plan currently offered to federal employees. Consumers could choose between either government-run program...

Therefore, it would cover people who even though they have current coverage could 'opt-out' and enroll into a Medicare option.  Medicare is a SINGLE PAYER program.

ergo...single payer.

Again, thanks for your input.

by TxDem08 2009-08-18 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not single payer

Ok, I thought you suggested that Hillary was for a single payer system for all, or universal coverage, and this isn't it, people could stick with their private plans with no government payment.  Consumers could choose between the two government run programs, or go private.  

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 07:33PM | 0 recs
Good attempt by Politico

to stoke primary flames.

by DTOzone 2009-08-18 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

I have been totally baffled by the administration for the past couple months. For an issue as huge and politically charged as health-care reform, they have been completely half-assin' it from the git.

I do remember that healthcare reform came to the forefront of his campaign only after Clinton's concession. But still, the political capital this initiative would expend was not unknown so why wuss out like this?

To be optimistic though, we are still in August recess. Maybe things will turn around once Congress gets back to work.

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-18 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

It will be worse when Congress comes back.  Less initiative to be bi-partisan, and more of a process to block and obfuscate any attempt to go forward.  That right there will be more than enough of a further rallying point for the GOP.

by TxDem08 2009-08-18 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

It seems to me that the adminstration didn't have a plan for August. They pushed really hard for passing this prior to anyone taking notice and when the brakes were pressed the adminstration was left flat-footed. The opposition exploited this moment in time. Judging by the batshit crazy stuff out there, the opposition literally threw everything they could think up out into the void. And lacking a strategy, the White House has been in survival mode just trying to get this issue through the recess with a heartbeat, faint as it may be.  

My hope is that the White House is working now with Congressional leaders to regroup and hit the ground running once the gavel drops again. A bold, partisan strategy that flips the negatives of the last month into positives is what I am hoping for. "America, I tried to work with the GOP, but these people over here just don't want you to get affordable, quality healthcare. We do."

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-18 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Agree.  I hope you're right, but I'm seriously doubting they have any plan at all.

As I've been researching, this was Obama's position in the beginning of the Primaries, so I'm kinda worried that all we're gonna get is a mild Insurance Reform, but get stuck with mandated coverage requirements.

As you can find out easily, that's what Obama originally wanted.  Coverage for children, and insurance reform.  No public option, or universal care.  I just worry we're gonna get the short end as usual in a give-away for some mild, watered down insurance reform.

by TxDem08 2009-08-18 11:46AM | 0 recs
Their plan

was to let Baucus woo Grassley.  It blew up in their faces. So it's not exactly fair to say they had no plan.  However, it's not exactly fair to say they had an intelligent plan either. Especially when Baucus was running the Industry Playbook and Grassley said "no" and became increasingly aggressive.

The key problem was how to get it out of finance.  Any health care bill not passing finance would have been viewed institutionally as illegitimate.  So the question becomes "Could the administration have negotiated with Baucus directly instead of negotiating with Baucus to negotiate with Grassley?"

All along, everyone knew the President couldn't dangle Baucus' job in front of him because animosity with the administration would just be currency in Montana.  Baucus was always the non- starter in this equation.

by AZphilosopher 2009-08-18 12:27PM | 0 recs

Baucus is unleverageble (Sp? Word?)...

He just got relected...his state is anti-obama so being resistant to the Kenyan Interloper is a plus for his relection...

And, he is the cheapest buy for the Industrial Health Care complex in the entire Senate...3-4 million is a weeks buy for ads for Chuck Schumer, it's the ENTIRE Baucus campaign funding..

And, I would be shocked if Baucus even makes it through the next 6 years.

My take is, he is the next Billy Tauzin, for his part in keeping the golden goose alive for another 5 years for the IHCC, he is heading for some nice golden parachute job.

Months ago, when all the screaming started about Obama not delivering, I started saying, it's all about Baucus, and he will never go for a Public Option.

by WashStateBlue 2009-08-18 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly

what you argue is the case for why Reid should just go around Baucus with a little pressue from Pres Obama. There is nothing to be gained by further delay.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Their plan

Exactly. But the story I think is deeper than that. Doesn't Baucus have one of his senior aids now working in the WH? This would fit with Rahm who I now feel is doing Pres Obama a detriment. THis is where if Pres Obama had more experience with DC it would help him to know whether the players rae helping or hurting hm. At this point, he seems pretty clueless about what they are doing.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Their plan

The problem still becomes the fact that any regular solution preserving institutional integrity (and that would be viewed as legitimate) would require passage by Sen. Finance and all roads lead to Baucus.

I think "I don't give a damn about institutional integrity" is too trite an answer to this.  Ultimately, I may agree that reconciliation is the way to go, but I want it appreciated what that's going to entail.

Going the Reconciliation route with, let's say, the HELP bill means first off, huge portions are going to be stricken as non-germane.  Each individual ruling of non-germaneness by the parliamentarian is going to be appealed meaning that Red State/vulnerable Dems (not just Conservadems) are going to have to go on record A LOT regarding healthcare.  If that happens you lose 6 seats for sure (Bayh, Reid, Bennet, Specter/Sestak, Dodd and Lincoln).  I think MO, FL and OH go off of the table as possible pickups.  

Further since these Dems would presumably be arm-twisted on the parliamentarian overrules, but released to vote against the final bill.  They are still going to have a lot of right wing votes they are going to need to take to even remotely have the slightest prayer of getting into the clear.  If Stevens dies (heaven forbid) say goodbye to a SCOTUS nominee because 54 is not close to 60.  A budget with 54 Dem votes to start with then add Nelsons, Lieberman, Tester, Webb, McCaskill to the mix is a budget where spending becomes a major issue and all of a sudden your next fiscal year budget is in trouble.

So you are nuking your ability to do business in the Senate in a very profound way if you go the reconciliation route and your majority will decrease to 54-46 next session.  I'm not making a "powder dry" argument here, I still think SCOTUS vacancies and CRs are going to be worth it.

by AZphilosopher 2009-08-18 10:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

The WH were effectively derailed when they allowed Baucus to delay mark up, and that signaled to the conservatives that they could play the narrative we are now seeing played out. Unfortunately if DTzone is any indicator, they still do not recognize they have made any strategic mistakes.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

So let me see if I understand this. Meaningful healthcare reform that would provide quality, affordable care for nearly every citizen in the United States of America is being held hostage by one rich fella out of Montana? And the smartest of the smart and the slickest of the slick in DC are flummoxed as to how to get him to "play nice"?

Something ain't adding up. There ain't no politician without his price. If the WH can't deal with an obstacle like this, we're in for a bumpy ride.  

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-18 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

To understand the logic, you have to realize that President Obama prizes bipartisanship at all cost. He's Charlie Brown to their Lucy because they know this about him. The other Democrats , for other reasons, want bipartisanship bc they wrongly believe that this will give them political cover if things go wrong rather than realizing that the truth is the public will see this as a Democratic sucess or failure.

President Obama telegraphed his dependency on bipartisanship (despite his numerical advantage in Congress) early in his administration by saying something to the effect he would rather get less of what he wants with 80 votes than more of what he wants with 51.

Implicit in that statement is 'I can be rolled' if someone uses this behavior against me.

Add to this he's also surrounded by former clintonites like Rahm (remember Rahm took credit for bringing in all the new Blue Dogs during the wave of 2006 . The same blue Dogs now bragging that they slowed down the bill and that it maybe even better to stop it). They say Rahm is brilliant and tough, but so far his lips are pressed on the blue dogs' butt. He and the clintonites only know one move - to move right and triangulate. Which, fits well in practice with President Obama's obession with processy-y post partisan stuff like a bipartisan bill.

So, in that context, yes, one guy can screw over the rest of us by saying he has the magic that Obama wants to c laim- bipartisanship. If you want to understand how focused he is on being bipartisan to the point of cognitive dissonance,  think about last week or two where he was busy calling Grassely "bipartisan" while Grassely was busy calling Obma's plan a license to create death panels.

It is not a matter of smart. It is a matter of blindness.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Bruh, I appreciate your position against comrpomising in this issue, but I don't understand why you think you know the inner thoughts and motivations of Obama.  You state the dems are using b-ship as cover, why do you think Obama has some sort of emotional dependence to be friends as opposed to him using b-ship as cover as well?  

Obama hasn't appeared to be a politically unintelligent man, he was savvy enough to know the ins-and-outs of politics to run for president at a time most beneficial to him, especially considering his other potential disadvantages.  As an Obama supporter I would concede that he couldn't win (or as easily) in too may other circumstances.  If our country was in good shape, we probably would've preferred a more tenured politician to tow the line, dem or repub.  

I don't even know why I am responding to your post, to be honest, I guess I am fascinated with your confidence in your ability to read the president's mind, and in a condescending manner.  I think it takes away credibility from your other arguments because Obama has been agressively dismissing the right's trumped up scare tactics and misinformation, which contradicts your comment.  He doesn't sound like he's kissing the ass of pubs, it sounds like he is treading a thin line to get reform passed, albeit a bit waveringly.  He is not working this perfectly, but what would you expect from any politician facing an huge industry flush with cash and fiercely determined to hold on to their profit making ability via opposition and underhanded fear mongering?
Hopefully, he gets us what we need, a public option that has teeth to reduce costs, among other necessities.  And FYI, currently I am concerned and not overly confident.

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

I am not describing his inner thoughts.I am describing what he has said and done. Either you get that or you don't.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

PS   Agree or disagree with me, but at least I am talking abot what the man has actually said , what is being reported and what the WH is saying of itself or done rather than saying I know what's in his heart. The irony of your post- the chief irony of most of you who choose to comment to favor what's happened thus far- is that is exactly what you want us to do- to judge him by some super secret plan that only he and your faith in him could know. Why , for example, do you think his intelligence is relevant? Do you think intelligent people can not make mistakes? Is it your contention that because he is smart there must be something deeper behind what's happening other than what he is saying or being reported or his surrogates  are saying or what the Senate is saying? I mean- if it is- how od you know this? You can't, but you are sitting here judging my post by what you think you know but can not possibly prove.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

What I am saying is that you think Obama has a psychological condition as opposed to a strategy.  Cover for himself is not some super secret strategy, you assign it to the dems in general, because it's obvious, and then go on and on about Obama is different because some emotional deficiency that you apparantly know he has.  

Always a pleasure

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Again,  I am not assigning anything based on some insiders knowledge of what is inside Obama's mind. I am makings tatemnts bsed on what he has said and done. This is what he said in his own words when says , to paraphrase, I prefer a bill with 80 votes that's more watered down because it has 80 votes to a bill with 51 that's more of what i want. I don't understand how you can reasonably read that statement other than saying what I describe. Now, this may all be moot. He seems finally ready to possibly move on from this if the report from CNN pans out. I hope he is. but idea that his prior behavior (which tells us what he prefers) requires that i know his real inner thoughts to understand what he has said and done is false. Look, here's the probloem with your argument- we assign understanding what people priortitize all the time by what they say and do. You in fact are doing that here with me.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

One final factual observation: How do you conform this statemetn by you:
"Obama has been agressively dismissing the right's trumped up scare tactics and misinformation, which contradicts your comment.  "

With calling Grasseley  bipartisan while Grassely attacks Obama's plan as trying to kill old grannsies through death panels.  With Gibbs today saying that they are still working on a Bipartisan bill while the  2 of the 3 GOP senators have said that they will not even vote yes on their own "bipartisan plan?"

Saying this is not easy is not the point. The issue is that he is making it harder for himself by the behaviors we can observe.

Will you admit  here tha thte issue is that you simply have faith? And at the core  although I speak in generalities what i am discussing is actual observed behavior? I can go through them in more detail, but the trust of my arguments would be the same.

For example, when Is ay that he prizes bipartisanship at all cost- it comes out of the behavior that can bee observed such as what I am describing above. This is not the only example of observed behavior. To understand what I am seeing does not require I know anything about what's inside his head.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

And to illustrate that I can be wrong, there is this bit of positive development that I hope sticks:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/8/18/ 767460/-BREAKING:-CNN-reporting-Dems-goi ng-it-ALONE-on-health-care!

by bruh3 2009-08-18 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Sweet! THIS is exactly what I was hoping for. Like the DKos diarist said, "I want to see lines in the sand and a damn PLAN."

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-18 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Yeap, definitely a hopeful sign. Primarily because of the report is correct, the WH is a part of this move (which certainly would be a great signal) and that they are sticking with Sep 15 as a hard deadline rather than pushing back any further.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Don't be so quick to jump bruh's shit on this. I think a lot of what he's saying rings true. This bi-partisan trip is getting old, especially when the effort blows up in Obama's face (and everyone has to admit it has so far) and there does not seem to be a robust Plan B other than frittering away everything meaningful in the proposed legislation. Forgive me if I'm the only one here that is a little pissy by the lack of planning and finessing everyone and their dead dog knew would be needed to pull this off. If he didn't have the votes or saw only one tenuous path to passage then shame on him for launching this campaign too early.

And don't flame me. I'm no PUMA. I want this reform like an old man wants his youth. I'm getting a bit disappointed by the handling of this. So again, I can only hope that they are cutting their loses for August and are in deep planning for when congress comes back and the narratives shift gears, the arms get twisted and rubber meets the road.  

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-18 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

And the funny thing is that what  I wrote can be disputed as factually right or wrong as to what has went down thus far, but they choose to dispute my claim by saying that I am trying to get into the inner workings of Pres Obama's mind by telling me about how smart he is.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

OF course, because you consider that you didn't read his mind a fact, meanwhile you wrote a dissertation on Obama's psychological desires and needs to be bipartisan.

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

I give up. Either you are going to read wha ti wrote or not. But when you complain it is a dissertation to give you factual references about to prior behaviors to illustrate my assertion, there is really no point. Again, that's base on your action shere and not by 'readin gyour mind."

by bruh3 2009-08-18 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

I give up too, I must've seen something that wasn't there, my apologies.  

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Why on earth would I flame you, or Bruh?  I agree with you, like I said, I am not very confident with the developments.   And I don't want Obama to capitulate on public option for the sake of bipartisanship, I am sick of too, because it's not even happening, we're making all the compromises and the other side isn't doing shit.

What could be a positive thing is, that although Obama's approval is  in the 40s in handling healthcare, the repubs are in the 20s, according the the new wsj/nbc poll.  Is doesn't look like their strategy is working and hopefully Obama capitalizes on this and gets us something good.

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-18 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Thanks for the excellent reminder that even through all this the pubs can still muster approval from only the brainstemmiest of the mouthbreathers trembling in the back of their caves.

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-18 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Actually the postive sign is coming from CNN.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

Even more posiive news

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said the heated opposition was evidence that Republicans had made a political calculation to draw a line against any health care changes, the latest in a string of major administration proposals that Republicans have opposed.

"The Republican leadership," Mr. Emanuel said, "has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama's health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day."

Let's hope this stick adn that I am wrong. I would be very happy to be wrong here.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico

That is good news, about time.  It looks like the left base is getting energized too, by coming out to the townhalls in bigger numbers, establishing thier demand for public option and better coverage

by KLRinLA 2009-08-18 08:34PM | 0 recs
Less of a reason to be bipartisan?

I don't think the GOP could be any less bipartisan if they brought their nutjobs with sidearms and assault rifles into the chambers and threatened to sic them on anyone who won't let them have their way.

You're right, of course, that the GOP will use everything that has transpired this month as leverage against the majority. This is why the Progressive Caucus has to push back, and push back very hard. If the Caucus denies Obama any chance of passing a bill without a public option, it will force him to strong-arm one side or the other. If he chooses to go after the progressives he will lose the base and it will cost him dearly in the mid-terms. My hope is he won't be that stupid. We'll see.

by Spiffarino 2009-08-18 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico: Does Obama have the Guts? (to do wh

I have to say, I've been feeling somewhat discouraged lately, but seeing the PUMAs and Politico join.... hands for a circle jerk of self-righteousness is giving me a renewed sense of confidence.

by BlueinColorado 2009-08-18 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Politico:

Sigh, it's just another one of Roger Simon's political columns.  

by January 20 2009-08-18 02:28PM | 0 recs
more columns here

Actually it's just not Roger Simon, today 4 other columnists and Obama supporters have expressed their outrage:

Bob Herbert

Eugene Robinson

Robert Kuttner

Robert Reich

So I would suggest all the trolls here shouting PUMA, to read these columns. Health care reform is going down in flames and these people have their heads stuck up their asses.

by tarheel74 2009-08-18 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

Well if they didn't call you names, what else would they have left to defend their position?

by bruh3 2009-08-18 03:11PM | 0 recs
Facts, logic, perspective

sanity, reason...shall I go on?

by JJE 2009-08-18 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

Not much but insane circular logic. In the face of lack of leadership and mixed and often conflicting messaging, revolt from the progressive caucus, we are supposed to sit back and clap harder.

by tarheel74 2009-08-18 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

No, you're supposed to get off your ass.  For you, that seems to manifest as bitching and moaning on MyDD, calling Obama a pussy, and advocating people remove themselves from WH mailing lists (oooohhhh, good one).

by fogiv 2009-08-18 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

You know this person offline?

by bruh3 2009-08-18 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

About as much as that person knows me offline.  

If they know me (and others like me) well enough to suggest that because we're not nuclear batshit outraged, that we're all just sitting back to "clap", well, then I can fairly assume the opposite of them.

by fogiv 2009-08-18 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

So that would be no.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

Very perceptive.  Would you like a graham craker for your effort?

by fogiv 2009-08-18 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

Well for the Obamaphiles there is this:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/8/18/ 124717/575

which makes enemies of all unspecified non-true believers. They have seen the enemy. And it is not blue dogs or blue cross. It is the vague us.

But then there is Chris Bowers very funny response to the manipulations and shenigans here:

http://www.openleft.com/diary/14681/i-am -vaguely-calling-you-out

Which sums up nice the problem. This is not a debate. It's a desire for loyalty oaths - "In Obama I Trust." And you as the vague enemy need to STFU!

But then there is this

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_car e_overhaul_analysis

And this is the part that provides me hope. Not because of what the article says (that's good too) but that this is starting to become narrative. That liberals are roaring again. They are not just jumping as high as DC wants anymore.

As a moderate, this is what I wanted- a real left and a non-crazy right. If more of this happens, I will be happy.

And then I realize that no only is the left returning, but 2009 is not 1994:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/8/18/ 768858/-Unions-Launch-Air-Raid-On-Grassl ey-and-Blue-Cross-Democrats-(UPDATED)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/8/18/ 769015/-MOMENTUM-SHIFT:-Supporters-Outnu mber-Critics-At-Town-Halls

I look forward to complaining about the kooky left the way I complain about the crazy right that held this country under its control for 40 years.

Right now, I am just happy to see the left is slowly but surely realizing it can actually demand good policy.

So my point? Don't worry about some of these folks. They won't get it. They never will get it. But maybe the circumstances are such that it does not matter if they don't get it.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: name calling

 is the only way you've ever dealt with me and others who have smacked down your incessant and  yet extremely flexible (read: self-contradictory) monotone of Obama trashing. You then invariably, predictably, and monotonously follow up with accusations of name calling, as you have done here.

by QTG 2009-08-18 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: name calling

Sorry I don't speak in the crazy. Can you translate?

by bruh3 2009-08-18 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: name calling


by QTG 2009-08-18 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: name calling

I blame myself. It is like looking at the crazy guy on the train. I should have just looked away.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: name calling

You call me 'crazy', which is name calling, while trying to prove I'm crazy for saying you are a name caller. That's more than a little weird. You called me a troll earlier in the day. You need help.

by QTG 2009-08-18 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: more columns here

Outrage?  From Herbert maybe.  More like encouragement, particularly from Robinson, who rightly lays much of the blame on the steps of the Capitol:

The let-Congress-do-it approach meant that multiple bills would be written in committees on both sides of the Capitol, which gave the lobbyists for health insurance and drug companies a target-rich environment.

Kutter suggests that it's progressive foot soldiers who have dropped the ball as much as anyone else.

Too many other liberal interest groups have become Beltway operations, packaged and polite affairs disconnected from the real grass roots.


Presidential leadership and progressive organizing energy to connect the mounting outrage to the real economic abuses are overdue.

Reich's criticisms echo this sentiment (i.e. the activists aren't active enough, ostensibly because Obama didn't make them).

So yeah, let's all just sit back, demand our pony from Obama, and armchair this fucker a little more, eh?

by fogiv 2009-08-18 03:11PM | 0 recs
Hero-worship good, fawning and ass-kissing bad


But what is the "essential element"? Where, if anywhere, does Obama draw a line in the sand? For reform to be meaningful, there must be some components that a final package absolutely should include. What on Earth might they be?

Obama was wise to avoid the central mistake of Bill Clinton's failed attempt at health reform, which was to hand Congress a fully elaborated package and say "take it or leave it." Instead, Obama set broad -- and awfully fuzzy -- policy outlines and let Congress fill in the details. He has followed this strategy to a fault, allowing the effort to be hijacked by special-interest lobbies determined to thwart genuine reform.


It's also true, politically, that failure to get any health reform measure passed and signed would be a severe blow to Obama -- and a bad omen for the rest of his ambitious agenda to revolutionize U.S. policy on energy and education. It would be understandable if the White House decided that the important thing, at this point, was to get a "win" at all costs. Is this what the apparent retreat on the public option signals?

If so, that would be not only wrong but also -- even at this point -- unnecessary, or at least premature. What the president hasn't done is the obvious: Tell Congress and the American public, clearly and forcefully, what has to be done and why. Take control of the debate. Consult less and insist more. Remind the Blue Dogs who's president and who's not.

Giving up on the public option might be expedient. But we didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one.


One is Obama himself. This president recoils from confrontation, even with those who are out to destroy him. He has had ample opportunities to put himself on the side of popular economic grievances and to connect America's economic troubles to the forces that Roosevelt called "economic royalists." But Obama, whose propensity for consensus is hard-wired, keeps passing up those opportunities.

Even now, he won't make clear that the private insurance industry is the problem. Recent administration statements on the "public" insurance option have been classics of mixed messaging. Obama's economic team is far too cozy with Wall Street, fanning populist suspicions.

Despite the president's history as a community organizer, his style as president is to tamp down popular protest, not rev it up. I know of several cases in which the White House requested allied progressive groups to cool it. When government-subsidized AIG disgracefully paid culpable executives "retention bonuses," Obama dispatched Larry Summers to the Sunday talk shows to helpfully explain that "We are a country of law. There are contracts." Tell that to laid-off and outsourced factory workers. It's hardly surprising that regular people resent the corporate-connected Washington of Barack Obama.


It's also because Obama hasn't yet taken full responsibility for detailed policies, such as the public option, or, on environmental legislation, whether cap-and-trade pollution permits should go to polluting industries free of charge. Keeping distance from the specifics has been a wise tactic -- both Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter got too far into specifics and paid a high price on health care when Congress wrested back ownership. And it helps Obama to separate his own approval ratings from public worries about legislation. But it has also made his policies more vulnerable to scare tactics and caused the Sallies in the Democratic base to worry about Obama's willingness to fight. Obama may be temperamentally incapable of being more combative and identifying enemies. But surely he can state less equivocally what he does and does not want -- and, with regard to key matters such as the public option, what he'll sign and what he won't.

The widening gap between admiration for Obama and cynicism about his policies also reinforces passivity in Obama's base, which makes it even harder to advance a specific agenda. His presidential campaign strengthened the nation's political grass roots and spawned hope for a new era of public engagement, but Obama's reluctance to fight for any specifics is causing the base to lose interest. Neither the Freds who trust him nor the Sallies who have become cynical are motivated to do much of anything.

by tarheel74 2009-08-18 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Hero-worship good, fawning and ass-kissing bad

What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

Nothing you've quoted expresses "outrage".  Though with you, I understand there are no rungs in between criticism (both valid and conjectural) and whack-out, take-it-to-11, piss yourself outrage.

I guess that's the difference between you and I.

by fogiv 2009-08-18 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Hero-worship good, fawning and ass-kissing bad

To add to your post

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_car e_overhaul_analysis

by bruh3 2009-08-18 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Hero-worship good, fawning and ass-kissing bad

These people still don't realize why the base is not energized. I was speaking to people in my community in support of a public option although I did not know if the president was supporting it. Now I have no leg to stand on, because I don't know what I am fighting for. Right now we progressives are showing solidarity and fighting on two fronts, fighting the right-wing falsehoods about a program whose existence now is highly questionable and the administration's pussyfooting and lack of leadership regarding the same program. So sorry if I am not clapping harder. I was raising awareness about this impending capitulation for the last 3 months.

by tarheel74 2009-08-18 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Hero-worship good, fawning and ass-kissing bad

I don't have a way to help you deal with magical thinking.  Nearly everything you and I say  can be found in the wider press and in the opinions of voters. They can google it. Do they? No. The polling out today says that the numbers are down on healthcare reform.  Do they attribute any of this to Obama? No. Obama's actual statements and views that I paraphrase can be verified. Do they? No.

There is this poster above for example in which I point out behaviors, statements and actions that are easily veriable that i generally describe as having happened in the last few months. He could dispute my claims by refuting my discussion of the facts. Does he or she do that? No. They attack me and say "I don't know why I am responding to you" but what do they respond to me with? Telling me how intelligent Obama is. Why is this relevant to describing actual events we are witnessing as well as actual statements made by Pres Obama?

For example, do you remember President Obama (or President -elect) Obama saying he would rather get a lesser bill for more votes than a better bill with enough votes? This is verifiable. Even if I am wrong about the statement, attack me on the level I am factually wrong.

Do they? No, they choose to argue I am trying to talk about the inner workings of Obama mind. How does a statement by Pres Obama require me to know the inner workings of his mind?

How do you respond to this kind of behavior?

The truth is you can't .  Not really. You can just explain your position but I was recently told- don't waste your time continuing to convince people who aren't interested in reality.

by bruh3 2009-08-18 06:55PM | 0 recs
Obama doesnt know how to sell issues

He explains and explains but doesnt put any heart into things when he talks about him.  That is his problem.  

by Kent 2009-08-18 06:09PM | 0 recs
by canadian gal 2009-08-18 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

OK, this whole line of logic, if I read it correctly, goes something like this:

The Democratic Plan, which the President insisted would start in the Legislature (as it should), was doomed by several blunders, mis-steps, tactical errors, strategic errors, personal weaknesses of Obama, and most especially Obama's silly postpartisan vision (which is alternatively cast as a lie then as a capitulation then as naivete). Tons of electrons have been spent schooling and spanking him and his supporters during this process, which I'll remind everyone has only had one committee vote and that one is for a Bill which is STRONG.
 Now we're into silly season, which the nay-sayers all over the place have a nice Summer of Hate - and although we should be immune, evidence is we ain't.

Now this NEWS!

Now it looks as though those who figured that the Democrats could actually get this done may have been right all along!!!!

What I suspect will happen now is that Bruh3 and company will take credit for getting this 'turned around', AND that if the plan has elements which that group deemed MUST be in the plan, that the version of those elements which survive will be inadequate to the point of FAILURE.

Also, despite some potential level of success beyond the dire predictions, Obama's Presidency will be ruined by the events that occurred during the process, and by the process itself.

Bring it on.

by QTG 2009-08-19 01:58AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

Not credit, but excitment that the actions I was hoping would take place are now seemingly about to transpire. My opinion is this post-partisan meme was/is a crock of dung. I hope to be proven wrong one day, but that day has not come. Rather than watch yet another Dem fold into Downward Dog in front of the Republican loudmouths, it is now refreshing to see an announcement of some bold leadership on this issue. They still need to execute. If this was all a master plan, well, sorry, it was a weird, meandering and high risk plan that was bound to bind some panties. Again, I don't think anyone here has the testicular prowess to claim credit, but airing our frustration is never a bad thing.

To your other assertion, if the bill that emerges has a mechanism to control costs, insure the overwhelming majority of citizens and makes a few GOoPer heads explode then it will be an overwhelming success.


by JerryColorado23 2009-08-19 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

 If all the running around like headless chickens had been actual physical exercise and not just anguished blogging, then perhaps all the drama of the last several weeks could be justified. As it is, all that has been 'accomplished' by the nay-sayers is ruining what could and should have been the enjoyment of having Democrats in the Majority - so far, too many Debbie Downers have spoiled the fun. I have no doubt their energy levels are just fine, and the next round of joy killing will begin in 3 - 2 - 1 seconds.

by QTG 2009-08-19 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

You are wasting your time with QTG. Just to let you know.

by bruh3 2009-08-19 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

Obama brilliant. Obama flawless. Obama cute. No question Obama!

by JerryColorado23 2009-08-19 08:35AM | 0 recs
Well, at least he has a hell of a jump shot!

Anyone that is disappointed in a politician is kind of crazy, they are going to dissapoint almost everybody, because the ones that will actually PLEASE their followers, like the Palin-ites, will not get elected.

Most people are not ideologically textbook, hell, we have people bashing Obama here because it's not single payer, and the next post bashes Obama and wants they Wyden bill....

I have always believed, with this congress, with these small red state democrats, older, at the end of the careers who are looking to exit into private industry to set up their retirement ala Billy Tauzin, we were screwed, blued and tattooed already.

So far, nothing has changed my mind, because in the end, Conrad, Baucus, Bayh etc will vote Republican and we won't even have the 50 votes we need.

Until those guys are out of there, Health Care reform will be a tweak of insurance reform at best.

Of course, I admit, I am wrong plenty, unlike most here.

Obama and Rahm might still surprise us.

by WashStateBlue 2009-08-19 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, at least he has a hell of a jump shot!

I don't count you among the Debbie Downers, but for those who proudly wear that label I would like to ask, "Is politics really so serious that there MUST never be any enjoyment in it?"

I'm not a masochist, so I guess I don't get it.

by QTG 2009-08-19 10:21AM | 0 recs
It's definitely a sport where you have to know

you will be bitterly dissapointed more then you will be overjoyed.

Hell, I am a fan of the Mariners, I think Masochist is my middle name!

I think this site allows folks who really want to dominate the conversation and have opinions that are really in the minority in the liberal community (the true Obama bashers) to do diary after diary, basically a couple of links and a rant;, where as at Kos, they either get run out of town, as Kent/UpstateDem did, or they just get pummeled if they keep putting the same diary up over and over as they do here....

But, I think you have a great new name for this site.


by WashStateBlue 2009-08-19 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: It's definitely a sport where you have to know

...you will be bitterly dissapointed more then you will be overjoyed.

Golf, as I understand it.

by fogiv 2009-08-19 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

Have you considered that this "hold-out and wrangling" could have actually worked in Obama's favor?

Allowing the republicans to basically spend themselves out with outraged has quite possibly allowed the media and the American public to began to grasp who actually are the sh*t-starters.

I'll admit that I was getting frustrated that this plan was being stalled, but I actually could not have considered a better case for serendipity.

(1) Knocking down the republican meme by allowing the American people and the Media to began attacking for you is approximately $200 million dollars.

(2) Doing the above and creating new political capital while simultaneously increasing you 2010 mid-term elections prosperities....PRICELESS.

Obama had me scared for a moment, but it's almost like he's accidentally proned to luck...and I'll take that anyday.

by Check077 2009-08-20 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: "Lucky"?

You think Obama's LUCKY?

I got news for you:
 You are lucky. I am lucky. We are lucky. Our luck changed last January.

by QTG 2009-08-21 02:36PM | 0 recs


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