Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

John Aravosis on Obama’s disengagement from healthcare reform

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Great post at Americablog by John Aravosis:

Robert Pear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg just wrote a piece in the New York Times that could have been (and probably was) written by Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina. Pear and Stolberg reveal that Obama’s secret strategy of not getting involved in the health care debate, and then actively undercutting those of us who were trying to fulfill Obama’s campaign promises without him, is what actually saved health care reform.


Conveniently, they didn’t quote anyone who disagreed with Obama’s masterful non-stroke, other than a weak quote from John Podesta about how he was worried earlier.

Let’s revisit the history of health care reform.

1. Obama does nothing for months.

2. This summer, Obama finally says public option must be in legislation.

3. Obama throws his weight behind Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley, neither of whom likes the public option.

4. Teabaggers organize protests across the US in August, making Dems from the White House to the Congress wet their pants.

5. Obama caves on public option, says it’s the best way to save money and create competition, but other than that Mrs. Lincoln, it’s really not an important part of the bill and isn’t worth fighting for.

6. Around September or so Obama suddenly realizes that Grassley is a Republican and has no desire to pass health care reform.

7. Democrats around the country go nuts over fact that Obama has dropped his number one campaign promise on health care reform.

8. Polls on the public option, that have always been good, get even better.

9. Obama, seeing the better poll numbers and Democratic anger about his broken promise, ignores Democrats and tries to write a bill that Republican Olympia Snowe would like.

10. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi decide to go it alone – attempt to craft bill that includes public option.

11. White House, still wedded to Olympia Snowe, undercuts Reid and Pelosi, while not lifting a finger to help them.

12. Reid and Pelosi manage to include a weaker/weak version of the public option in their bills, in spite of Obama’s efforts to undermine them.

Got news for you, Mr. Pear and Ms. Stolberg, that is not a story of how Obama’s cool, no-drama approach saved the day. We, the Democratic base, saved the day by beating the crap out of this White House when they refused, as usual, to fight for anything they believe in.

The same thing happened during the campaign. Obama was losing until the grassroots beat the crap out of him and forced him to start fighting back against McCain, and, conveniently, the economy imploded and McCain made a really dumb statement about the fundamentals being strong. I suppose that was all part of Obama’s brilliant sit back and do nothing strategy as well. (Damn he’s good.)

I especially got a charge out of this paragraph at the end of the story:

Yet White House officials have shown little interest in Republicans, with the exception of Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, whom they have wooed assiduously, and one or two others. Mr. Obama did meet with some Republicans early on, when his aides still believed it was possible to get the support of Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee.

If by "little interest in Republicans," you mean letting Chuck Grassley and Max Baucus (a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry) run the show until they let the Teabaggers run the show until they let Olympia Snowe run the show. Other than that, the White House showed little interest in Republicans.

Seriously. Why do reporters – good reporters like these two – permit themselves to be rolled by the White House? Yes, this was all part of Obama’s plan all along: To do nothing, then to undercut the public option, all because he knew he’d so piss us off that we’d force Congress to do their job, ignore the president, and override Obama in order to get a weaker public option than we could have had, had the president actually weighed in and done something.

Hell of a strategy.

Written by Leisureguy

2 November 2009 at 11:10 am

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