Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Sloganeer President

Hope You Can Believe In ...

Change You Can Believe In ...

Considering how the Healthcare Reform initiative has been going, we're, pretty much, down to hoping (and I mean serious, "Please-God-I'll-Never-Do-That-Again" hope) that things will change

Rather then dig in their heels, fight for a comprehensive Healthcare Reform Bill, that includes a real Public Option, and/or a universal Medicare component, the Democrats rallied last night, to go out an "sell it", being, selling their complete collapse in caving in to Senator Losersman, and the other PartyofNoican Wannabees (Nelson, Byah, et all).

Senator Tom Harkin was on the Rachel Maddow show, talking real estate, offering, we're not getting a mansion, but rather a nice, modest house that we can build additions on.

Perhaps, but extremely difficult, considering the landlord (e.g. The Health Insurance Industry Complex) is going to be bleeding us dry, aided by the provision in the Senate Bill that will be forcing us to buy Health Insurance Industry Complex premiums

Howard Dean, who knows a thing-or-two about Healthcare, is calling for the Senate Bill to be killed.

Others, say, no, the bill is still a good bill (Nate Silver and Ezra Klein)

Greg Sargent has a good post on how this argument is shaping up, the battle lines being drawn for whatever is left to fight over.

There is a growing voice emerging, that our Hero President is not much more that all hat, and no cattle.

And, a nice big Corporate Hat he be wearing, at that.

Look over the past few months, the absolutely ridiculousness, in the Healthcare Debate.

Death Panels and Socialism dominated the conversation, the headlines, the cable news talking heads.

Where were the Democrats, the leadership, the White House?

Holding the White House, a majority in Congress, and, with polls show a majority of Americans wanting real, solid Healthcare Reform, how is it we are at the point of where we are it?

John Aravosis, at AmericaBlog, has a great perspective on where the answer may lie;

The GOP had at most 55 Senators during Bush's presidency

And look at what George Bush was able to accomplish in the Congress with fewer Senators than the Democrats have today:

- John Ashcroft nomination
- Iraq war resolution
- Repeated Iraq funding resolutions
- 2001 & 2003 tax cuts
- Patriot Act
- Alito
- John Roberts
- Medicare Part D


It's not about the votes, people. It's about leadership. The current occupant of the White House doesn't like to fight, and the leadership in Congress has never been as good at their jobs, at marshaling their own party, as the Republicans were when they were in the majority. The President is supposed to rally the country, effectively putting pressure on opposition members of Congress to sit down and shut up. And the congressional leadership is supposed to rally its members to hold the line, and get the 51 votes necessary for passing legislation in a climate where the minority is too afraid to use the filibuster. When you have a President who is constitutionally, or intellectually, unable to stand for anything, and a congressional leadership that, rather than disciplining its own members and forging ahead with its own agenda, cedes legislative authority to a president who refuses to lead, you have a recipe for exactly what happened last night. Weakness, chaos, and failure.

And, this, from Taylor Marsh;
Pres. Obama doesn't care. It's a win or bust for him, with the health care train now careening towards an end of the year crash.

First Obama let the August recess come and go without a bill. Getting bested by Sarah Palin's "death panels" squeal came next. The finale of getting beat by Joe Lieberman having operatic overtones, given Joe's recent history with progressives in Connecticut. Mr. Obama doesn't care about the deatails as long as he can say he beat seven presidents who failed that came before him. He's betting history won't remember the minutia; it will simply be written that it was Barack Obama who got it done.

And, with the "selling" of what a great deal it is, comes the fabrications;

President Obama Tells Bald-Faced Lie About Health Care Reform Cost Control
This statement is 100% false–and Obama knows that. This bill does not contain anywhere near most ideas for controlling health care costs. This bill does not even contain most of the cost-reducing ideas that were part of Obama’s health care plan during last year’s presidential campaign.

What makes his lie so unbelievable is that Obama’s administration is right now fighting against one of the biggest cost control ideas that the president previously claimed to support. His administration is working to kill Dorgan’s drug re-importation amendment.

I guess, that's not an addition to the house that we want to put on just yet.

That is, if we intended to build the house in the first place.

Along with the Aravosis post, another Must-Read, is Glenn Greenwald today.

He hits on the "leadership" thing, well, actually, he clubs it, with a Ruthian swing;

White House as helpless victim on health care
As was painfully predictable all along, the final bill will not have any form of public option, nor will it include the wildly popular expansion of Medicare coverage. Obama supporters are eager to depict the White House as nothing more than a helpless victim in all of this -- the President so deeply wanted a more progressive bill but was sadly thwarted in his noble efforts by those inhumane, corrupt Congressional "centrists." Right. The evidence was overwhelming from the start that the White House was not only indifferent, but opposed, to the provisions most important to progressives. The administration is getting the bill which they, more or less, wanted from the start -- the one that is a huge boon to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry. And kudos to Russ Feingold for saying so:

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), among the most vocal supporters of the public option, said it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for its apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.
"This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold. "I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect."
Let's repeat that: "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place." Indeed it does. There are rational, practical reasons why that might be so. If you're interested in preserving and expanding political power, then, all other things being equal, it's better to have the pharmaceutical and health insurance industry on your side than opposed to you. Or perhaps they calculated from the start that this was the best bill they could get. The wisdom of that rationale can be debated, but depicting Obama as the impotent progressive victim here of recalcitrant, corrupt centrists is really too much to bear.

You want a "dream house"?

You'll have to settle for renting the DVD of 'Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House'.

Don't worry though, President Hope-and-Change can put some fire in his butt, when he wants to;
Guest Post: $38 Billion Tax Break Granted to Citigroup to Help Improve the TARP Results
The Citigroup folks should be able to afford those mandated Healtcare premiums, without much difficulty.

Just win baby, just win ...

Bonus Riffs

Will Bunch - Attytood: The lethal cynicism of Joe Lieberman

Jane Hamsher: Sign Letter to Susan B. Komen Foundation: Donations Shouldn’t Go To Hadassah Lieberman

Steve Benen: LIFE AND DEATH...

John Cole: So What Exactly Does the HCR Bill Do?

Greg Sargent: Congressional Dems Start Pinning Blame For Health Care Fiasco On Obama

Rachel Slajda: The White House v. Howard Dean

Jed Lewison: Sanders not voting for bill unless it improves

David Dayen: With Public Option Removed, Public, Labor Groups Sour On Bill

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