Monday, December 21, 2009

Responding to Carlos

Well, they did get their 60 votes last night, and yes, they did drag Byrd out at 1 am to do it, but they'll get through the other two votes, and we'll be off to conference by Christmas. The more I read about the bill, the more I'm sad for the bill that we're not getting, but I'm an optimist at heart, so I have to hope that the good parts of this bill (and there are a bunch) make a real difference. I think that the more we learn about Obama, the more it's revealed that he's no idealist, and that he's not actually driven by the fierce urgency of much of anything, but he is (at least in his own mind) a pragmatist, and only targets what he thinks *can* get done, not what *should* get done.

So let's say at the beginning of the process, he believed that he'd never get a couple of senators (say, Lieberman and Nelson) to vote for the bill that he had said publicly he wanted. Given the monolithic nature of the GOP, I suppose the options were (1) that Harry Reid would grow a spine and somehow do enough arm-twisting to get it done, which certainly would have involved giving them something, although I know not what, or (2) this, or (3) put forth a good bill and let the conservatives kill it. I might have gone for (3), except that since it would have been a bipartisan (there's the magic word) effort to kill the bill, and out media is a bunch of morons, it almost certainly would have been painted as the fault of Obama and liberalism (read: Kenyan socialism) and a victory for "real" Americans, who will try their damnedest to follow Sarah Palin off a cliff.

Question: Is there an electoral defeat so convincing that at least *some* Republicans would be willing to break ranks with the teapartiers of the world, and is there a Democratic mind out there who can engineer it?

1 comment:

Carlos said...

Well Doc, if the President starts off from the premise that he's not getting the 60 votes, then he won't. It's all about leadership: "Lead!" said our friend Peter.

The President had the bully pulpit and 60% of the nation behind a progressive bill with a robust public option, not to speak of Medicare for ALL. The DINOs were emboldened by Obama's passivity. Had he started off putting single payer, public option, and Medicare for all on the table, he'd be negotiating from a position of strength with the American people behind him. Okay, so he drops single payer, and the public option starts looking a lot more palatable to the DINOs. In the alternative, he could've pushed Medicare expansion. The American people understand the program very well, and they love it.

With the public pressure and netroots organizing it could've been done. We could have had a progressive bill. What was the President afraid of; that he'd be called a "socialist"? He was anyway, so what's the difference? Mary Landrieu and Max Baucus were talking public option back when this started, and Traitor Joe proposed the Medicare buy-in.

Why? Because the President was riding high in the polls and they were ready to give him the big stuff in excahnge for minor considerations. But he was MIA.