Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No Public Option?

On the one hand, I'm for single payer, on the other hand Rahm's still counting votes.

If I were a sharper comedian, I would caricature the President's indecisiveness. He can never seem to make up his mind on anything, except for his opinion that America needs to apologize. We want to look forward, but Holder will prosecute the CIA. My first act as President will be to close Guantanamo, except if I can't figure out what to do with those terrorists. I will break with the failed policies of the past on (Afghanistan, rendition, ....) except when I won't. Today, a Drudge headline trumpets:

Disappointingly, when I actually read the story, it appears to be another trial balloon, yet again, as I suspected. Maybe that 99 Red Balloons video was some kind of premonition. Meanwhile, Politico's Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei go on to say this:

On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.
Over at DailyKos, they are taking the same view, that this is a trial balloon but it will anger the base. But they say that Obama needs his base. At this juncture, I don't see how passing a skunk, even without the public option will gain the President street cred with middle-of-the-roaders. I also just don't think there are the votes to pass the public option in the Senate. I think Rahm Emmanuel knows this, hence the repeated trial balloons on the issue. If the White House actually comes out strongly against the public option, look for a backlash from lefty House members. I hope that such a clash will kill any bill. Why? Am I just an obstructionist who has nothing positive to say? No, I am just saying the Dems have larded up this monstrosity with every socialist-experiment-gone-wrong-in-the-whole-world and not a single free market reform. This only guarantees that ANY version of the Democrat bill will make everyone's health care worse.


  1. I think the Democrats really painted themselves into a corner.

    If they pass a healthcare bill with a public option, they are doomed in 2010 on the strength of the swing/moderate vote.

    If they pass a watered-down healthcare bill without the public option, many in the left will jump ship and the bill will still suck enough to turn off enough moderates.

    I think they are hosed either way.

  2. Anger his base?! So what, now they're going to vote for the Green Party? Where else is the left base going to go. He'll stick his finger in their eye until he gets closer to re-election.

  3. 'Dawg,
    Agreed, they have no where else to go. But the goodness for our side is that it de-energizes the base. Part of the problem in the run up to 2008 on the Republican side was the base was demoralized, hence low voter turn out on our side. I think McCain's pick of Palin energized our side and reduced a land slide to a mere loss.

  4. 'Dawg, with respect to the 2010 midterms they can exercise their frustrations on Congressional Democrats alone without having to take it out on The One.