In the last few weeks, Howard Dean has been all over the place. He was a major presence at Netroots Nation, he subbed for Keith Olbermann for two nights, he was on The Early Show today, and his message is the same everywhere: There will be a public option and the President will sign a bill in December.
Either Dr. Dean knows more about the sausage-making going on in Washington on health care than he's letting on, or else what he has been saying is not an opinion or a reassurance, but a threat.
In the last few weeks, we've seen the part of Barack Obama about which we've all been nervous really show itself -- his stubborn insistence that he can do business with people who not only want him to fail, but who have strongly intimated through their surrogates in the right-wing media and the lobbyists who are riling up low-information voters into a frenzy, that they also would not be unhappy to see him killed.
You simply cannot do business with these people. Howard Dean knows this.
Say what you will about Howard Dean, he is one tough little motherfucker. Maybe he's got that short guy thing of wanting to show the biggest balls in the room. But while Dean may not have understood what he was up against in the media in 2004, you can rest assured that he does now -- and he's learning more every day, as he makes his way through the media as pundit and as guest host. He's making friends in the media and he's learning how the broadcast media work. And he is a quick study.
There is no love lost between the Obama Administration and Howard Dean. It is Howard Dean whose 50-state strategy -- the very strategy that Rahm Emanuel opposed -- that gave the Democrats a majority in the Senate. While Rahm Emanuel's methodology is to put all the money into fighting only seats that are sure wins (a guaranteed recipe for permanent minority status) It's well known that Rahmmy hates Howard Dean and couldn't WAIT to get him out of the DNC. We also know that Howard Dean would have been very happy to serve in the Administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services, but the Obama Administration treated him as if he was a carrier of swine flu.
Barack Obama is throwing his entire base under the bus in a vain attempt to try to get Republicans to like him, to work with him, to help him succeed. He does not understand that it is the role of today's Republican Party to pummel Democrats into submission. In throwing the public option overboard, Obama has shown himself to the Republicans as a wuss -- and they are going to treat him like one.
Howard Dean is no wuss. I could be wrong, but I think that on Countdown
tonight, we saw the threat of a 2012 primary challenge from the good Doctor:
And the one thing I will tell the Obama Administration is that there are a lot of us out here who worked hard to put them in office. And if they fuck with us we will not hesitate to work to get them out of there and put in someone who understands that when the American people hand you a vote of confidence like the one Barack Obama and the Democrats were given, you do not respond by asking Republicans to please kick you again.
UPDATE: More from the good doctor from yesterday:
Labels: Barack Obama, Democrats with balls, Howard Dean, spinelessness