We're starting to see a troubling trend coming from the Obama administration. It's a trend of floating trial balloons that they must know are going to infuriate the Democratic base -- you know, those people who provided those millions of dollars in individual contributions and the shoe leather to get Barack Obama elected -- followed by a denial that the trial balloon is true.
We saw that Wednesday, when Politico reported
that President Obama was backing off from insistence on a public health insurance option in an attempt to gain Republican support that anyone with half a brain who is paying any attention is simply not gainable.
As John Amato said yesterday in a post you simply must read
, "I didn't vote for Rahm Emanuel, did you?" But Rahm Emanuel is what we've got. It almost seems as if Rahm is Obama's Karl Rove. He might not be Obama's brain, but he's Obama's spine, and unfortunately that spine is in thrall to corporate interests, not to the actual citizens who voted this Administration into office. Just as Rove used George Bush's insecurities about his manhood to manipulate policy, so does Rahm use Obama's issues about playing nicey-nice with everyone to serve his own corporate masters.
Now it seems that someone in the Administration read enough blogs yesterday to know that Barack Obama will lose one hell of a lot of foot soldiers in 2012 if he caves on the public option, for the New York Times
today indicates that it's not dead (yet)
Administration officials said Wednesday that Mr. Obama would be more specific than he has been to date about what he wants included in the plan. Doing so amounts to an acknowledgment that the president’s prior tactic of laying out broad principles and leaving Congress to fill in the details was no longer working and that Mr. Obama needed to become more personally involved in shaping the outcome.
But the officials said Mr. Obama was unlikely to unveil a detailed legislative plan of his own. And they insisted that Mr. Obama had not given up on the provision that has attracted the most fire from the right, a proposal for a government-run competitor to private insurers, although many Democrats say the proposal may eventually be jettisoned.
Anyone paying any attention at all knows that the proposal WILL be jettisoned, because Democrats want their cash bribes from health insurers in their re-election coffers just as much as Republicans do. But once again, we're seeing the Democrats showing their weak hand and their willingness to be rolled by a party which was resoundingly repudiated in the last election.
It's hard to imagine how anyone could think, after all the subliminal dog-whistling Republicans are doing
to their constituents by using the words "kill" and "Obama" in the same sentence, that any Republicans, even Olympia Snowe, are going to negotiate on good faith. Barack Obama and Senate Democrats have shown themselves to be wusses who can be rolled simply by threats. They are reminding me of that Family Guy
episode in which Chris becomes part of the Cool Kids Club at school because the prettiest girl in school is pity-dating him. They think they're going to be accepted, but they never will be. The question, as it is in any high school, is just who anointed the Cool Kids and what on earth have they done, short of intimidating and bullying everyone else, to earn such bowing and scraping.
On Wednesday, Dan Savage came about as close as we've seen to pointing out how Republicans don't just want health care dead, they want Obama dead, and the Democrats have to (quoting Michelle Bachmann) man up and find their spines:
Indeed. If Obama thinks he can do business with people like this
, then he's delusional.
Labels: Barack Obama, Democratic sellouts, health care, Rahm Emanuel, spinelessness