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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Big Blue Smurf Blogging: What They Said
Posted by Jill | 9:12 PM
I can recall applauding and cheering William Greider's columns in Rolling Stone back when Matt Taibbi was still in diapers. And he hasn't lost a step, so that is why he is today's Big Blue Smurf honoree, for this article in The Nation about how Barack Obama squandered the opportunity for real health care reform.

Money quote (hard to pick just one):
He hands the insurance industry a huge victory. He rewards the right-wing frothers who have been calling him Adolph Hitler or Dr. Death. He caves to the conservative bias of the major media who insist only bipartisan consensus is acceptable for big reform (a standard they never invoked during the Bush years). Obama is deluded if he thinks this will win him any peace or respect or Republican votes. Weakness does not lead to consensus in Washington. It leads to more weakness. The Party of No intends to bring him down and will pile on. Obama has inadvertently demonstrated their strategy of vicious invective seems to be working.

Barack Obama mainly did this to himself. To avoid the accusation of socialized medicine, he intentionally shrouded his objectives in bureaucratic euphemisms like "public option." What the hell does that mean? It doesn't mean anything. The vagueness allowed anyone to fill in the blanks and anxious people did so in apocalyptic ways. The original idea, after all, was making something similar to Medicare available to anyone between childhood and old age who was either shut out by high prices or abused by insurance companies policing the system. This approach--call it Medicare Basic--would in theory give government the greater leverage needed to control the price inflation and reshape the system in positive ways. If you told people "public option" was a Medicare equivalent, the polls would demonstrate the popularity. Instead, that objective is now at risk. The right still calls Obama a covert socialist.

There is a more cynical interpretation of Obama's flexibility. He is coming out right about where he wanted to be. Forget the good talk, it is said, this president never really intended to do deep reform that truly alters the industrial power structure dominating our dysfunctional healthcare system. He just wanted minimalist reforms he could sell as "victory." Not until years later would people figure out that nothing fundamental had been changed.

It's time for Barack Obama to get himself some good therapy and learn to accept that there are people who are going to regard him as no different from the guy who parks their car at the fancy restaurant. Then he can perhaps start doing what we elected him to do instead of being obsequious to Republicans to show how harmless he is.

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Blogger Distributorcap said...
obama wins no points by catering to the right or republicans, maybe a few less people hating him - but even if he cured cancer, there is no turning around a huge chunk of this racist and narrow minded country

he should learn that - and that 53% of the voters elected him to do something, not be the most popular kid in the school

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Does anyone know a congress person willing to introduce a bill in congress for impeachment for 7 months of war crimes by Obama?

Shove his feet in the fire and he may start remembering who elected him and what THEY want.

Worst comes to worst there are plenty of votes in congress for impeachment.

Joe Biden isn't my idea of a president but he can't fuck me over worse than Obama is doing.

Single payer.

No more war crimes.

Bring the troops home and treat them right.

100,000 vets (7,000 women vets) are living on the street and nicey nice Obama has not done anything but smile and campaign. His total disgrace would not bother me one damn bit.