Accidentally Interesting

With all the firefighting discussions yesterday, we missed the dust-up over Tom Daschle’s new book.   In an interview at TAP, Daschle admitted that a deal with the hospital and insurance lobbies kept the public option out of the healthcare reform bill.  Though he walked it back almost immediately, it’s apparently part of the book:

In his book, Daschle reveals that after the Senate Finance Committee and the White House convinced hospitals to to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years on July 8, the hospitals and Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

I’m willing to accept that a whole bunch of ugly deals were made in back rooms in order to get HCR done.  What I don’t get is why Democrats thought it was a good idea to pretend that the public option was a possibility long after the deal to kill it was in the bag.  Millions of pixels were spilled, thousands of calls were made, and all kinds of energy was wasted in a manufactured drama over whether “we” would get a public option long after “they” had decided it was impossible.  I know that some progressive wishful thinking went into the mix, but a lot of it was driven by occasional hints that the public option could be added back into the bill.






169 replies
  1. 1
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    I think Digby had it right the other day:

    As TP points out, the White House continued to insist all the way to the end that the public option was not off the table and that they backed it to the hilt. But of course, as was obvious at the time, this was merely a negotiating chip to hand to Lieberman and his ilk when he demanded something to gratuitously hit the loathed hippies over the head with to prove his “independence.” And he did.

    A major reason (I wouldn’t say the reason) was to punch the DFHs. They thought they could gain some public support by saying, “Look, we stopped those hippies from making it a leftist bill. HCR is really conservative!” To hell with actually making the bill better, we have to show that we’re moderates and not controlled by those radicals on the left.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    Anyone who continues to say there were never 50 votes for the PO when it was dealt away by “leadership” in early July, well, that person is being more than a little dishonest at this point.

  3. 3
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: This isn’t to say I don’t support the ACA. I do support it, but I absolutely fucking hate the bill, especially mandates w/o a public option. I don’t want to rehash the old argument, but I’m in the camp that thinks the final bill was the best we could do. Absolutely depressing and a sad statement on America, but it’s a start. My only fear is that Republicans will manage to gut all the positives and leave a huge giveaway to insurance companies by requiring everyone to purchase expensive but worthless coverage. They’ll start with a shit sandwich and take out the bread.

    (edited for a bit more clarity)

  4. 4
    p.a. says:

    What I don’t get is why Democrats thought it was a good idea to pretend that the public option was a possibility long after the deal to kill it was in the bag.

    I believe the key to any magicians’ trick is misdirection.

  5. 5
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Knowing that Tom Daschle is a paragon of virtue and pillar of absolute truth…

    Sorry, I started laughing hysterically and couldn’t finish the line.

  6. 6
    Xboxershorts says:

    The entire premise that “health care” is best served in a “for profit” market is at the crux of their caving.

    My Mom and Dad raised 7 kids and we got regular health care under NON-Profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western NY. You could not do that today under the plans available through Profit oriented insurance. Not without a significant endowment or 6+ figure income.

    The Profit motive as king concept is killing the middle class.

  7. 7
    Napoleon says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Matt Taibbi: “In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle.”

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m amazed at this logic. If it was dealt away in early July, then there were never the votes for it in the fall or for reconciliation. And if it was that popular for so many Democrats, that could reintroduce it and it would coast to victory.

    I have no reason to disbelieve Daschle’s Kinsley Gaffe, and the WH dealing it away early in the game would make sense considering all the Senators (Feingold) who claim Obama never pushed them on the public option. But if it was “dealt away,” by definition, the votes were not there and all the whip counts were accurate. Maybe at some point in time prior to this, 50+ Senators would have supported it. I still have my doubts, but after the WH gave up the game, the votes just weren’t there.

    But I’m with Mistermix- why the fuck did they keep toying with people about it?

  9. 9
    Guster says:

    Because there weren’t the votes in the Senate, the bully pulpit is a myth, and Jane Hamsher, that’s why.

  10. 10
    BH says:

    You need to admit that we take as much pride in bashing firebaggers as the village takes in bashing DFHs, but in this case the firebaggers have it right. Negotiating the public option away to AHIP was a massive betrayal of Obama’s supporters, and what did we get in return for no public option and a massive influx of new customers? Millions of dollars from health insurers for attack ads against Democrats.

    It’s Lucy and the football all over again. The Democrats in Washington are some of the worst negotiators and biggest chumps that you’ll find anywhere. They really do suck.

  11. 11
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Napoleon:

    Exactly. But once someone like him utters something that is useful to whoever is trying to prove a point then he is an instant ‘quotable person’.

    He’s probably trying to sell a book or something…

  12. 12
    mistermix says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: That’s why I titled the post “Accidentally Interesting”. Tom must have thought that whoring out HCR was boring common knowledge, so when he stated it as such and there was some outrage, he couldn’t walk it back fast enough. I wonder if his publisher will shred all of his books.

  13. 13
    jcgrim says:

    xboxershorts: “The Profit motive as king concept is killing the middle class.” Health care isn’t the only victim of the Washington oligarchy.

    Arne Duncan is sticking it to teachers and giving public money to whores like the Milken family. We’re not paying for improved instruction or curriculum. We’re paying a Wall Street ex-felon to restructure teacher pay scales.
    http://www.tapsystem.org/

  14. 14
    Jim says:

    Anyone who continues to say there were never 50 votes for the PO when it was dealt away by “leadership” in early July, well, that person is being more than a little dishonest at this point.

    I don’t necessarily see why. The entire whip count that various people conducted was based on a fantasy. 51 senators could say they were for the public option because they knew it sounded good AND they knew it would never come to a real vote. I mean, if there were really the votes for it and Obama was the only one stopping it, don’t you think there’d be a bill waiting to be signed on Obama’s desk right now?

    Yes, Obama was the one who actually put the kibosh on the public option. But is it “his fault”? I guess that just depends how you see it. The way I’ve always seen it is that he assessed the lay of the land and determined that there was no way to get the votes for a public option with the relevant corporations going all-out against it. (The bill barely passed as it went down, with a very muted response from insurers, hospitals, and pharma.) He’s not a big risk-taker and he really wanted a bill to pass. And sure, that’s something that you’re free to criticize.

    The public option is and was a great idea, and the reason for that is because it is indeed a stalking horse for single payer. Everyone on both sides of the debate knows this, which is exactly why it did not pass. Obama nominally killed it (and then lied about it for months, which was a bad move), but it was dead from the get go and was always a mirage. I don’t think it says much about Obama (Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have gotten it passed either, and beyond that we’re getting into no-true-scotsman territory); it’s really a statement about our politics and corporate money.

  15. 15
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    Democrats thought it was a good idea to pretend that the public option was a possibility long after the deal to kill it was in the bag

    It was an attempt to keep the leftmost third of the Democratic coalition in harness.

    And in the light of recent dust-ups, it’s abundantly clear that that leftmost third of the coalition is, and was, looking for a reason to throw over the traces almost from the closing words of Obama’s oath.

    So there was a need to keep the leftmost third of the Democratic coalition pulling in harness, and this seemed like a way to do it.

    Indirection plays like this work for the GOP all the time. With effective control of the gov’t for years at a time in the 80’s and ’00’s is abortion illegal yet? School prayer legal yet? Iran invaded yet? It works for them because the rightmost third of their coalition — teabaggers, in other words — generally won’t take their ball and stay home.

  16. 16
    kay says:

    I don’t see how this changes anything. The crux of the thing was always Senate Finance. It had to get through them because they have exclusive jurisdiction over two key areas. The WH was working with Senate Finance because nothing was happening without them. They were the end game anyway. How was it supposed to move without Senate Finance?

    It was always the H.E.L.P Senate group versus Finance, and H.E.L.P had a public option. They just weren’t going to get it through Finance, which means, they didn’t have the votes when and where they needed them.

  17. 17
    JWL says:

    “What I don’t get is why Democrats thought it was a good idea to pretend that the public option was a possibility long after the deal to kill it was in the bag”.

    What year were you born?

    The democratic party– and I choose the following word carefully– collaborated in unleashing the Big Lie war upon Iraq.

    And it has denied being stampeded into that evil deed ever since.

    The “lesser of two evils” mentality aside, what more does anyone need to know about that political organization?

    That’s what you “don’t get”. Leastwise, it’s a good place to begin your education.

  18. 18
    Napoleon says:

    @BH:

    Millions of dollars from health insurers for attack ads against Democrats.

    And if Reps take back Congress the inevitable attempt to gut all parts of the law but the mandate.

  19. 19
    El Cid says:

    I don’t think you have to see Daschle as a paragon of truth to conclude that what he’s saying here might be more reliable than his normal utterances.

    That’s because it appears to reflect what he would tend to say behind closed doors, where he does his profitable dealings, and public spin, which is mostly dissimulation.

    If Rupert Murdoch continues to lie in public, and then once gives an interview in which he says “Nobody at Fox News thinks they’re in the news business, we made a deal at the beginning that we’d be there to drive the conservative agenda and help Republicans to power,” that sort of statement is more likely to be true than more laudatory public statements.

  20. 20
    Kristine says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: This s what I wonder about, too. When his name was tossed about as a nominee for what–HHS sec’y? A specially-formed healthcare related position?–much was made of the fact that he was a tainted lobbyist, an insider, a corporate shill. His support in the lefty blogs sank like a rock. Now his word constitutes Proof. Not saying whether or not the PO actually was DOA, but I wouldn’t trust Daschle to deliver the definitive word on the subject. He has a reputation to repair.

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    comment #7 on the Jesus post has broken the format. could someone fix/delete it?

  22. 22
    Alwhite says:

    Look, not to go all firebagger on you but this story has been out there for a very long time. You keep pretending to not know why liberals are unhappy with Obama “he got a bill passed”. Why we are unhappy is because he did his level best to insure that it would not be the best deal possible. Lets pretend the Ds could not have passed PO (we will never know because Obama never gave us the chance) it still might have been a decent bargaining chip to get some actual improvements in what did pass. He gave away the best arguments before the negotiations even started.

    The fact that he gave this away not to Republicans but to corporate interests makes liberals deeply suspicious of his motivations. It smacks of the sort of backroom law creation that the Republicans used to give away the store for the previous decade+

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    @Kristine: If a corrupt lobbyist suddenly turns from saying that no one in his firm ever, ever consciously tried to give bad information to a politician, and then in an interview talks about an occasion in which his firm openly discussed how to give bad information to a politician, I would give weight to the latter and very little to the former.

  24. 24
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I first thought of Digby since she had mentioned it recently, but that seems plausible as well. She is big on the seeming necessity of hippie punching, but then again she’s probably right that it’s a popular move with ‘moderates’ and ‘centrists.’

    Combining the two, I can totally buy that the Left was led on to keep their support, but seemingly fucked over at the last minute as a necessary sacrifice on the alter of moderation.

  25. 25
    Nick says:

    @Alwhite:

    Lets pretend the Ds could not have passed PO (we will never know because Obama never gave us the chance) it still might have been a decent bargaining chip to get some actual improvements in what did pass.

    Four words: Bernie Sanders, Community Centers.

  26. 26
    Juicebagger says:

    All roads lead to this being the best of all possible worlds.

  27. 27
    Nick says:

    Wait a minute

    “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

    Wasn’t this only true of the public option tied to Medicare rates?

  28. 28
    mai naem says:

    Daschle is a United Healthcare lobbyist. I am sure that has something to do with this. Also too, I am sure being a politician he thinks he was screwed over by Obama during the HHS sec. dust up.

    The Dems are crappy negotiators. They are crappy at PR. FDR must be rolling over in his grave with what little the Dems are doing right now to help themselves. And Biden, Obama and Gibbs calling the professional left as a bunch of WATB ain’t gonna help.

  29. 29

    Actually, mistermix, we didn’t miss this little bit of “drag around the dead horse for another round of beatings” – it’s been popping up like a zombie in the comments for a while.

    Again, I’ll just ask why all of this 6-month later quarterbacking is coming up again so close to the mid-terms?

  30. 30
    Zach says:

    The public option in the House bill was only pegged to Medicare for the first 3 years and then put pricing in the hands of HHS negotiators, requiring that reimbursements be raised to whatever level’s necessary for public option beneficiaries to have adequate access to services (and, less forcefully, saying that rates shouldn’t go up more than Medicare, but I’m sure the first requirement would win out if push came to shove). Basically, the compromise Daschle’s talking about is the public option in HR 3200. Replacing the significant bargaining power of Medicare (which covers many, many people with very, very large healthcare bills) with an HHS administrator (with very few beneficiaries with much smaller healthcare bills) would’ve meant reimbursements in line with private insurers.

    Not to mention that the public option included in the House bill was extremely limited in how many people would be eligible for it.

  31. 31
    sparky says:

    i continue to be amused by the process fantasies spun out here.
    doesn’t anyone get that these “count” arguments are the equivalent of fantasy football strategies?

    this “reform” was, from start to finish, a crap swap: the US turns over the federal government’s powers to private industry, and in turn the private industry agrees to play nicer, at least a little bit, for a little while.* you all got rolled by them into thinking it was anything else. that said, i am sorry that you wasted so much energy carrying water for a lie that you wanted to believe. it’s like the argument for american exceptionalism: it’s not true, but because you want it to be true you pretend that it is and actually argue about it.

    *the private industry decides what the meaning of “nicer” is.

  32. 32
    angler says:

    Read this after above on latino vote. MM aren’t you decrying here what you asked for in reference to the Hispanic vote? That is push & slog to get the leadership to listen. Grassroots activism was a wasted effort on the p.o., but its absence–voter apathy–in immigration reform justifies doing nothing at all.

    The prez said “make me do it.” Can’t blame the people who voted for him for trying.

  33. 33
    Dennis SGMM says:

    I never expected that the Dems would have the wherewithal to pass a full-on public option. What did surprise me was the way they summarily disposed of Medicare buy-in. Not only would that have presented an alternative to for-profit health care plans it would have improved the finances of Medicare by enrolling younger and healthier subscribers. That, to me, was a win that would have defanged a lot of the opposition the mandate.

  34. 34
    Joe Beese says:

    @John Cole:

    why the fuck did they keep toying with people about it?

    Let’s have no euphemisms, Mr. Cole. Obama didn’t “toy” with you.

    He lied to your face. For months. As brazenly and shamelessly as Tom DeLay peddling bullshit to the rubes in his audience.

    Then he joked to his $30,000-a-plate friends about your having fallen for it.

    Feeling excited about November yet?

  35. 35
    cleek says:

    @Alwhite:

    You keep pretending to not know why liberals are unhappy with Obama “he got a bill passed”. Why we are unhappy

    you do not speak for all liberals.
    thanks.

  36. 36
    WyldPirate says:

    @John Cole:

    But I’m with Mistermix- why the fuck did they keep toying with people about it?

    Because Obama is a a motherfucking lying sack of shit sell-out to the highest bidders, too.

    /SATSQ

    Goddamned you’re naive, JC

  37. 37
    flounder says:

    I figured that it was always dead, but I made phone calls because I like to make Congressional staff babble stupidly, and I also thought there was a chance, however remote, that we could get one of those “make me do it” moments where the Democrats ended up with a PO by getting 50 votes (in reconciliation) in the Senate and Obama would sign the bill no matter what their corporate allies wanted.

  38. 38
    Oscar Leroy says:

    after the WH gave up the game, the votes just weren’t there

    Exactly. Wouldn’t it be nice if the president we helped elect actually fought for what we wanted, instead of seeing our goals as chits to be traded away? See also: Social Security.

    Yes, Obama was the one who actually put the kibosh on the public option. But is it “his fault”?

    Way to answer your own question.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: Do you think that if Congress had sent a bill with a strong public option on his desk, Obama would have vetoed it? Neither do I. There is a huge difference between agreeing not to push for a public option from the White House in return for the insurance companies agreeing to keep their yaps shut and agreeing to kill a public option. My understanding of this deal form what Daschle said is that it was the former that was the agreement.

  40. 40

    @Corner Stone:

    indeed. i have a feeling I need to bookmark any links to daschle’s book for repeated use.

  41. 41
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @mai naem:

    The Dems are crappy negotiators.

    Only if you think what they ended up with wasn’t what they wanted all along.

  42. 42
    WyldPirate says:

    @Alwhite:

    He gave away the best arguments before the negotiations even started.
    The fact that he gave this away not to Republicans but to corporate interests makes liberals deeply suspicious of his motivations. It smacks of the sort of backroom law creation that the Republicans used to give away the store for the previous decade+

    This. Over and Over again.

    I still don’t get why people don’t see through all of the “hopey-changey” horseshit.

    The Democrats are even worse than the Rethugs. They are spineless fucks who promise one thing and sell-out to the same corporate masters in the end. They are backstabbing, two-faced sleazeballs.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the president we helped elect actually fought for what we wanted, instead of seeing our goals as chits to be traded away?

    I don’t know about you, but I had a number of goals, hopes, and aspirations regarding what the Democrats would do. I also knew that few would be attained completely. Progress has been made on many of those goals. The fact that none have been attained completely in two years does not surprise me; hell, it doesn’t even disappoint me. There is a lot to fix in this country, and fixing it will take time.

  44. 44
    cleek says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Feeling excited about November yet?

    not as excited as the Firebaggers, apparently.

    how wonderful it must be for you!

  45. 45
    cleek says:

    @WyldPirate:

    The Democrats are even worse than the Rethugs.

    idiocy.

  46. 46
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @cleek:

    We’ll see about that if Obama’s committee cuts Social Security.

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m amazed at this logic. If it was dealt away in early July, then there were never the votes for it in the fall or for reconciliation.

    Say what now?
    There were never votes for it in the Fall because the leadership dealt it in the Summer?
    There were no votes for it because there were no votes for it and because there were no votes for it the leadership dealt it away because there were no votes for it?

    But if it was “dealt away,” by definition, the votes were not there and all the whip counts were accurate. Maybe at some point in time prior to this, 50+ Senators would have supported it. I still have my doubts, but after the WH gave up the game, the votes just weren’t there.

    Your argument is that the WH did a whip count pre-Summer, decided there would never be 50 votes for it when the final vote came (and remember that IN JULY NO ONE KNEW when that final vote would be or what the final bill would contain), and decided to sell it to the enemy for keeping their mouth shut about the PO?

    I can not believe this bullshit.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: The commission cannot cut anything. It can make recommendations. If it does, then Congress must pass legislation based on those recommendations and the President must sign that legislation before any action takes place.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: The commission cannot cut anything. It can make recommendations. If it does, then Congress must pass legislation based on those recommendations and the President must sign that legislation before any action takes place.

  50. 50
    Joe Beese says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    There is a huge difference between agreeing not to push for a public option from the White House in return for the insurance companies agreeing to keep their yaps shut and agreeing to kill a public option.

    It’s the difference between filing your nails while your boyfriend executes the convenience store employee tied and gagged in the store room and pulling the trigger yourself.

    I’m not recommending parole for either of them.

  51. 51
    eemom says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Knowing that Tom Daschle is a paragon of virtue and pillar of absolute truth…

    yeah. Funny how the former Mr. Industry Shill Incarnate is now the preacher of gospel, isn’t it?

  52. 52
    cleek says:

    @Oscar Leroy:
    sorry, but Obama’s committee can’t cut SS.

    but never fear, i’m sure you can find some other reason to be mad at him.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: No, it’s the difference between promising not to work for something and promising to work against it. Again, do you think Obama would have vetoed a bill containing a public option?

  54. 54
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @eemom:

    Yup. It’s really funny watching the usual suspects using this revelation to get in some more of their favorite type of bashing. As someone noted above, he was a hero one minute and a sellout the next. Now he is a hero to those who last thought of him as a sellout.

    If the foo shits then the manic progressives are more than happy to roll around in it.

    All day long.

  55. 55
    Oscar Leroy says:

    It seems that some people here don’t know that Obama twisted Congress’s arm to vote on the committee’s recommendations. After the elections, of course.

    Also, some people here seem to think that Tom Daschle is the only evidence that Obama killed the public option.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Link?

  57. 57
    Joe Beese says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Again, do you think Obama would have vetoed a bill containing a public option?

    Your hypothetical is meaningless. He made sure it would never come to that.

    But I don’t care about convincing you of anything. If blaming Congress helps you keep from gagging on the stench when you vote for Democrats, go right ahead.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Again, do you think Obama would have vetoed a bill containing a public option?

    How is this even a relevant question?

  59. 59
    Oscar Leroy says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....98658.html

    “Feingold: Obama Responsible For Loss Of Public Option”

    And don’t forget:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08......html?_r=1

    ” Drug industry lobbyists reacted with alarm this week to a House health care overhaul measure that would allow the government to negotiate drug prices and demand additional rebates from drug manufacturers.

    In response, the industry successfully demanded that the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul.”

  60. 60
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Joe Beese:

    I think you ought to call this “The Circle-Jerk Conspiracy”. After all, Obama is in the middle and you all got him surrounded and are firing away like your lives depend on it, right?

    Keep blasting away!

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: Ah, yes. I forgot that the President can make the government do anything he wants and Congress simply obeys his wishes.

    I get it. You don’t approve of Obama. You don’t approve of the Democrats. You would prefer a government further to the left. Do you realize that such a thing is not going to happen in the near future? Which would you prefer, a government that makes incremental progress toward the goals you want or one that is actively hostile toward those goals? I choose the incremental progress.

  62. 62
    Oscar Leroy says:

    “This weekend’s comments by White House officials simply acknowledged the long-obvious reality that the idea of a government-run insurance plan was partly a bargaining chip.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politi.....tico/26180

  63. 63
    cleek says:

    @Corner Stone:

    How is this even a relevant question?

    it’s a way to gauge the respondent’s level of Firebaggery. if the respondent thinks Obama would veto the PO, it shows that the respondent is too stupid to bother talking to. if the respondent doesn’t think Obama would veto the PO, it demonstrates a gaping hole in the respondent’s conspiracy theory. if the respondent refuses to answer, it shows that the respondent knows how silly his position is.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: It goes tot he question of whether you believe Obama was actively against the public option or if he was simply willing to trade it away if it was necessary.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek: Why would an irrelevant question tell me anything about a person’s position if they chose to not respond to it? Or if they snarked off it or anything else?
    To ask whether or not Obama would veto a bill with the PO is meaningless.

  66. 66
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Joe would prefer Republican rule until he gets Democrats who are pure enough to “do the right thing”. Obama is preventing him from getting his ragegasm on with this incremental ‘stuff’.

    With Joe, it’s all or nothing baby! He didn’t get it all so now he wants nothing. Gotta keep the ragegasm going!

  67. 67
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @cleek:

    it’s a way to gauge the respondent’s level of Firebaggery.

    Because if someone doesn’t accept such a blatantly simplistic view of government (“It’s all Congress’s fault, the president is powerless, etc.”) then they must be wrong.

    By the way, what is a firebagger again? If people are going to substitute juvenile name-calling for real arguments, we might as well be on the same page as far as terminology.

  68. 68
    cleek says:

    @Corner Stone:

    To ask whether or not Obama would veto a bill with the PO is meaningless.

    it isn’t. it’s a way of assessing the respondent’s opinion of Obama.

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Those talk about lack of support for a public option, not actively acting to kill it.

    @Oscar Leroy:

    …partly a bargaining chip.”

    This does not support your thesis.

  70. 70
    John Cole says:

    Just checking in to say I know it is not their intention, but Cornerstone and Joe Beese are just such complete and total douchebags that anything they say makes me supportive of the administration, not less.

    It’s the Rush Limbaugh principle.

  71. 71
    Juicebagger says:

    John Cole: I like the cut of your jib. I will blindly follow your ego-driven emotionalism off whatever tall structure you have handy.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John Cole: Yeah, but they are a distraction from reading about prevailing wage law, so it’s all good.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    makes me supportive of the administration

    There is simply no way you could be more supportive unless you were his jockstrap.
    What you are saying about the process is nonsense Cole.

  74. 74
    ChrisWWW says:

    We shouldn’t be in the business of supporting politicians because of their mastery of back-room deals and other forms of realpolitik. But at the same time there is no reason to dwell on real or perceived betrayals for months and years.

    Just ask yourself before voting or donating to a candidate, will the world be a better place if this person wins the election? If your answer is yes, you know what to do.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ChrisWWW: Tactics v. strategy. The ability and willingness to do backroom deals is a benefit if it produces a net positive result. Purity and lack of compromise are a negative if the produce a net negative result. Or, in other words, I agree with you.

  76. 76
    cleek says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    Because if someone doesn’t accept such a blatantly simplistic view of government (“It’s all Congress’s fault, the president is powerless, etc.”) then they must be wrong.

    nobody’s saying the president is powerless. but the powers he does have were not sufficient to force the enactment of a PO.

    By the way, what is a firebagger again?

    in a nutshell: a knee-jerk lefty Obama hater.

  77. 77
    TJ says:

    What I don’t get is why Democrats thought it was a good idea to pretend that the public option was a possibility long after the deal to kill it was in the bag.

    What’s to figure out? They lied for a short-term boost of support. Now they pay the price for their lack of vision, as the Emperor would say.

    Next time they use a corporate hack like Daschle, make sure he signs a non-disclosure agreement.

  78. 78
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “This does not support your thesis. ”

    Really? Stating that the PO was a bargaining chip doesn’t support the idea that Obama was never serious about it? How?

  79. 79
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @John Cole:

    Holy crap! What do you base THAT on?

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Did you see the word “partly” in the quote? Also, one can be in favor of something, one can want it, but nevertheless be willing to give it up in return for something else. I will agree that the public option was not a top priority for the administration. That is a different thing than being against it.

  81. 81
    Oscar Leroy says:

    “NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....00999.html

    That’s a lobbyist for the hospital industry and he’s talking about the hospital industry’s specific deal with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee and, yeah, I think the hospital industry’s got a deal here. There really were only two deals, meaning quid pro quo handshake deals on both sides, one with the hospitals and the other with the drug industry. And I think what you’re interested in is that in the background of these deals was the presumption, shared on behalf of the lobbyists on the one side and the White House on the other, that the public option was not going to be in the final product.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Better, but still fundamentally an opinion piece. The contents of any deal matter. The majority of the reporting on this still indicates that Obama agreed not to fight for a public option, not that he agreed to work to kill one.

  83. 83
    Oscar Leroy says:

    I will agree that the public option was not a top priority for the administration.

    Why would it be? Most of his supporters wanted it, and he campaigned on it. Wait a second. . .

  84. 84
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    You had me until “I know it is not their intention” to be complete and total douchebags.

  85. 85
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    Arguingwithsignposts, you’re arguing with signposts.

  86. 86
    WyldPirate says:

    @cleek:
    Go fuck yourself, cleek.

    You’ve fallen on your head too many times as Lucy (the Dems) have jerked the football away. You’re brain-damaged or rather insane because you expect a different result after seeing the same thing over and over.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Well, let’s see. If you have priorities, list them in order of preference, and assign a number to them, then you decide, based on an analysis of the situation, that you can only accomplish priorities 1 and 2, does this mean that priorities 3 through 12,000,000 were not something you wanted?

  88. 88
    cleek says:

    @Oscar Leroy:
    when it looks like you’re not going to get an A no matter what you do or want or promised or campaigned on, but you might get a B if you work hard, it makes sense to go for the B.

    unless you’re a firebagger, of course; then a B is no better than an F.

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cleek: It is weird version of a pass/fail system. Either you achieve perfection or you are a failure.

  90. 90
    homerhk says:

    Can we get off the fucking public option for just 5 freaking minutes?Healthcare reform provides and will provide access to healthcare to 31 million people. that’s 10% of the population give or take. without the public option. with subsidies if they can’t afford it. with better regulations – a patients bill of rights on steroids to coin a phrase. This is what is so absolutely disgusting about progressives with their heads in the clouds. Just what would the public option have added? the CBO said its premiums would be higher than average and that it would in any event only cover about 3-4 million people; those same people will be able to get coverage through the exchanges where insurance companies have to spend at least 85% of revenue on actually providing healthcare.

    One last thing: http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....dent-Obama – this woman is such a sellout doesn’t she know that HCR is nothing but a corporate sellout to insurance companies?

  91. 91
    cleek says:

    @WyldPirate:
    you have two options and one of them is 180 degrees opposed to everything you seem to care about. and so you oppose the other.

  92. 92
    eemom says:

    Another of the many things that gets lots in this cacophany of bullshit is that the sainted “public option” that Obama Iscariot betrayed ended up being something that would help less than 5% of the uninsured population, right?

    But it still had the words “public option” stuck on it, so the self-proclaimed “left” TOTALLY would have won, even if that was the ONLY thing that passed.

  93. 93
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Too funny! “I promise there won’t be a public option”. See? He didn’t promise to KILL the PO, he just promised there wouldn’t BE one!

  94. 94
    Oscar Leroy says:

    Despite the recent surge of support in the Senate for a government-run health insurance option, President Obama chose not to include one of the most popular elements of reform in the plan he is presenting to a bipartisan group of lawmakers Thursday.

    The Obama plan explicitly bridges the differences between Senate and House legislation on issues both large and small, but on the public option — which is included in the House bill, but not in the Senate’s — Obama is entirely silent.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....71320.html

    He didn’t “kill” the PO, he just left it out of his plan. It’s dead, sure, but he didn’t “kill” it, he just didn’t not kill it. Biiiiiig difference!

    </semantic wanking

  95. 95
    WyldPirate says:

    @cleek:

    They’ve already won and they’ve been aided and abetted by the spineless fucking Dems and, Aider and Abettor in Chief Obama.

    They all play for the same team you dumbass–those that write the big checks at the head of the corporate oiligarchy.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Again, I’ll just ask why all of this 6-month later quarterbacking is coming up again so close to the mid-terms?

    I’ve been wondering that myself. It’s interesting to me that all of these people have come out of the woodwork right before the election to piss and moan about the past rather than, you know, spending the last six months trying to get a public option bill passed since they keep claiming that’s their fondest wish evah.

    It’s like they’re hoping the Republicans win and completely fuck things up beyond repair so they can stand on the smoking ruins and scream triumphantly that they were right! Oh, sure, people will die and suffer, but as long as they were right, who cares?

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    Just out of curiosity, are you an American working in Canada, or are you a Canadian? Because if you’re not actually an American voter, you can fuck right off.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Oh, fuck it. You are right; Obama was a sneaky little fucker who promised a public option and did not deliver. He did it intentionally just to piss people off. He totally could have made sure that a public option was in the final bill, and he totally could have made sure that the bill containing the public option passed. Health insurance companies and other stakeholders would not have jumped into the fight against the bill and today we would have a health care system that is the envy of both France and the Netherlands. Democrats would be cruising to easy victories in the mid-terms and the unemployment rate would be -7%. Did I miss anything?

    Seriously, was the public option, in and of itself, that important or was the goal to get the best bill possible under the circumstances that existed at the time?

  99. 99
    Juicebagger says:

    The legoslation passed and was signed into law, therefore it must be objectively good.

  100. 100
    cleek says:

    @WyldPirate:

    They’ve already won

    (checks calendar). nope, still October ! though i’m sure future-Speaker Boehner appreciates your enthusiasm.

    but don’t worry, your time of great joy will be here soon.

  101. 101
    cleek says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s like they’re hoping the Republicans win and completely fuck things up beyond repair so they can stand on the smoking ruins and scream triumphantly that they were right!

    ding!ding!ding!

  102. 102
    lethargytartare says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s like they’re hoping the Republicans win and completely fuck things up beyond repair so they can stand on the smoking ruins and scream triumphantly that they were right! Oh, sure, people will die and suffer, but as long as they were right, who cares?

    …in fact, it’s almost like they were never democrats at all.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Juicebagger:

    The legoslation passed and was signed into law, therefore it must be objectively good.

    No, the legislation passed, so we should move the fuck on and turn our attention to improving it rather than continuing to rehash battles from six months ago.

    Seriously, what’s the point of the people who keep whining about it? Do you think someone is going to lend you a time machine so you can go into the past and change it?

  104. 104
    cleek says:

    i like how the firebagger’s Tale Of Obama The Wicked always starts with Obama “killing the PO”.

    it never starts with something like “…and after having considered the likely votes, the state of the nation’s finances, the positions of the relevant industries, and all the rest of the political landscape…”.

    nope, it always starts with Obama standing proudly over the corpse of the PO (the Platonic ideal PO, i’m sure), with evil in his eyes and blood on his hands, offering to open the coffers to the insurance industry (the same insurance industry that has now openly aligned itself with the GOP explicitly in order to repeal HCR).

    it’s as if firebaggers are primarily interested in portraying Obama as the epitome of evil.

    but that can’t be, because that would be totally fucking stupid and pointless.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cleek:

    (the same insurance industry that has now aligned itself with the GOP in order to kill HCR)

    So you are saying he is evil and stupid?

    /firebagger

  106. 106
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I don’t have anything to say other than if the dumbest commenter on Balloon Juice called this one months ago, what does it say about the rest of you? lol

    Otherwise, I respect Obama’s eschewing of openness and transparency to achieve his desired goal. I never believed he was as helpless and impotent as his fiercest supporters insisted.

  107. 107
    lacp says:

    Slightly OT, but isn’t it about time to retire that “now make me do it” crap? I doubt that FDR himself even believed it. The only person in DC who has ever said it and meant it was David Vitter when his dominatrix told him to put on the diaper.

  108. 108
    cleek says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    exactly!

    actually, it’s not too implausible that the insurance industry tried to play Obama: agreeing to HCR as delivered, but knowing they’d support the GOP’s efforts to repeal it in the next few election cycles. but that’s a really long gamble – it’ll be at least another two years before there’s a chance of any of it being repealed. and maybe not even then…

  109. 109
    patrick II says:

    @Corner Stone: @John Cole:

    It seems John Cole is trying to have both sides of this argument. His original assertion was that Obama did not back the public option because the votes were not there. But if the reason the votes were not there was because of Obama and his back room dealings, then Cole’s reason is specious and Obama should assume some, if not most, of the blame for the lack of a public option in the health care bill.

  110. 110
    WyldPirate says:

    @cleek:

    but don’t worry, your time of great joy will be here soon.

    No, I’ve just been around long enough to see that it doesn’t really matter who is in charge. Neither side does what’s in the best interests of the country as a whole. They do what is in the best interests of their corporate donors.

    But what is the cause of your blindness, cleek? Is it willful stupidity or is it simply because Obama’s nutsack is covering your eyes?

  111. 111
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WyldPirate: So you subscribe to the “the brakes don’t work, might as well not steer” school of political involvement?

  112. 112
    cleek says:

    @WyldPirate:

    No, I’ve just been around long enough to see that it doesn’t really matter who is in charge.

    of course it doesn’t.

    i’m sure that Gore would’ve appointed Alito and Roberts to the SC, had he won in 2000. likewise, had McCain won in 2008, he would certainly have picked Sotomayor and Kagan.

    not a dime’s worth of difference!

  113. 113
    cyntax says:

    @cleek:

    i’m sure that Gore would’ve appointed Alito and Roberts to the SC, had he won in 2000.

    At a minimum he would’ve invaded Iraq and set up Gitmo. Of that I’m sure.

  114. 114
    WyldPirate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No, I’ve come to the realization that our system of government is broken beyond repair. It is going to have to fall completely apart–perhaps in a big smoking heap of chaos, anarchy and suffering–before whatever arises from the ruins replaces what is left of our pathetic ruins of a Republic.

    I’m done giving money to the Dems. I’m done doing phone banks. I’m done doing GOTV. In short, I’m done aiding and abetting the Democratic party in the fleecing of the people they so hypocritically claim to represent.

    There is no fixing the wreckage that has been made of the country by the thieves from both parties that have been raping and pillaging it for the past 30 years.

  115. 115
    Mike from Philly says:

    This thread is hilarious. It started out tentatively, clearly the news that Obama was complicit in killing the public option while lying through his teeth to his supporters about how he wanted oh so badly threw the usual “let’s blow Obama” crowd for a loop.

    But then they found their inner hippie puncher and rallied to the cause. Never once pausing to contemplate why “this is the best bill we could have gotten under the circumstances” isn’t quite resonating and firing up the supporters. Certainly never considering how mandates are a far cry from the public option that was campaigned on all through 2008. And never never never pausing to hold Obama accountable for lying through his teeth during the entire ugly process. Because really, what could HE do? Follow through on his campaign promises? Treat the American people with dignity and respect? Fight for what he onstensibly believes in? Ponies ponies ponies.

    November is almost here guys, clap harder!

    Retards.

  116. 116
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s interesting to me that all of these people have come out of the woodwork right before the election to piss and moan about the past rather than, you know, spending the last six months trying to get a public option bill passed since they keep claiming that’s their fondest wish evah.
    It’s like they’re hoping the Republicans win and completely fuck things up beyond repair so they can stand on the smoking ruins and scream triumphantly that they were right! Oh, sure, people will die and suffer, but as long as they were right, who cares?

    exactafuckingly.

    Veeeeery iiiinteeeeeresting TIMING, as that renowned legal scholar “bmaz” (aka “Marcy Wheeler’s law degree”) would say.

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WyldPirate: I am sorry you feel that way. The more people who give up, the more likely it is that your dystopia will come to be.

  118. 118
    WyldPirate says:

    @cleek:

    not a dime’s worth of difference!

    Yeah, and all of those 130k troops and 6.5 billion a month Obama sent to Afghanistan is making what difference?

    Fucking zero other than the needless deaths.

    And how is that Gitmo closing going?

    And civil liberties?

    and financial reform?

    and climate bill?

    Raise your hand up cleek and pull Obama’s cock out of your mouth and shove his nutsack aside. What you will see is the harsh light of reality once you’re done gagging and picking the short and curlies out of your teeth.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WyldPirate: We haven’t invaded, and are not likely to invade, Iran or Belgium. I am not sure that would be the case if McCain were in the White House.

  120. 120
    Suck It Up! says:

    @eemom:

    wink, wink. riiighhhht. you and I know for sure that had it passed, those feeling “betrayed” over the loss of the watered down version would now be calling it a POS.

  121. 121
    Alwhite says:

    @cleek:

    Nope, never pretended to. Only wanted to point out what some unhappy libs are unhappy about. If you ever find the one person that does speak for all libs please post here as I will be thrilled to meet them

  122. 122
    Suck It Up! says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Wow! you’re a total jackass.

  123. 123
    homerhk says:

    A final thing. Can anyone really look me in the (virtual) eye and say that they voted for Obama because of the public option? Albeit that it was in his campaign literature, his campaign never concentrated on that and his healthcare plan was always about increasing access to healthcare and reducing costs by way of exchanges. So, I think it is fair to say that Obama probably used it as a ‘giveaway’ to get other stakeholders on board. I really have no problem with that because it took all the intense scrutiny away from really good things in the bill like community health care centres, preventative medicine, transitioning to fee for service models, a massive amount of subsidies to the poor (talk about a re-distribution of wealth!) and much tighter regulations on insurance companies as well. It doesn’t matter really whether there were the votes for the public option; what matters is that he got the major planks of reform through. Those who complain about negotiating 101 always leave out the fact that the most important thing in a negotiation is to wave something in front of the other side that would be nice to have but could be dropped as a concession if need be. That’s precisely the function that the public option served and all the progressives screaming about it only made it serve its purpose better.

  124. 124
    WyldPirate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Oh boy, thank heavens for Belgium!

    Please….

  125. 125
    WyldPirate says:

    Ah, another fan of Tinkerbell and Peter Pan, I see.

    Keep on clapping…..

  126. 126
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I never believed he was as helpless and impotent as his fiercest supporters insisted.

    Uhm, it wasn’t his fiercest supporters calling him weak and spineless. It wasn’t his fiercest supporters claiming that every decision was Rahm’s Geithner or Summers. People who respect him knows that he can think for himself.

  127. 127
    Alwhite says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, I’m torn on this. Sometimes I agree that surrender is useless and we have to keep fighting. Other times I feel like we are removing a bandage. You can rip it off fast or you can rip it off slow. We can bring America to the end quickly with the Republicans or drag it out over time with the Democrats but neither seems the least bit interested in not destroying the country.

  128. 128
    WyldPirate says:

    @homerhk:

    This would all be well and good if the bill wasn’t so emasculated in the end that none of the shit that is in it will even hold up.

    It won’t. The bill is toothless and impotent.

  129. 129
    4jkb4ia says:

    Tom Daschle did, in fact, give this interview because he wanted to sell a book. “Getting It Done” is coming out next Tuesday. Here is the product description from amazon.com.

    The evolution of health care reform was drawn-out, frustrating, and complicated, but Senator Tom Daschle is the ideal person to recount the process. His account will guide you through the entire story, from the earliest presidential campaign debates — and his firsthand experiences in the Obama team — through the battles on Capitol Hill to solve our most serious health care problems. Not simply a book about policy, Daschle’s narrative describes in vivid detail how fragile the support in Congress was at every step of the way, as well as the frantic efforts to design a rescue strategy before time ran out.

    Combining his insights as a health care expert and his political expertise, this is the inside story about how the new legislation came together: from the persistence of President Obama to the subsequent efforts–and counter efforts–within the Senate and the House. In Daschle’s hands, this becomes a dramatic personal story and a remarkable lesson in politics at the highest level.

    This description looks as if the book was written to help Obama. The publisher would be more interested in bringing this out closer to the midterms because they can assume there is more interest in politics at this time and the fall is the time for “serious books”. This was also the time of year for Bob Woodward’s book describing events at a similar time in the past.

  130. 130
    4jkb4ia says:

    David Leonhardt today assumes that the bill is NOT “toothless and impotent”. If the insurers are afraid of the 85% medical loss ratio that is something already.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Alwhite: I am not as pessimistic as some of you. I can offer this idea though: if you work at the slow decline, you are buying tine so that there is a chance that it can be turned around. If you let it all go to hell, there is no tell what will replace the current system. Peak oil: conserve and decrease use, perhaps we will find a technological solution before it is too late, etc. Just a thought.

  132. 132
    homerhk says:

    wyldpirate – I’m not sure I understood a word of that post. I mean, I’m sorry, but are you saying that you can tell right now, before the exchanges have been implement, before a lot of the reform goes into place, that it “won’t hold up” – who are you again?

    and again, are you saying it’s a POS bill because of what’s in it, or because it won’t ever be implemented?

    For those who want to feel even more disgusted by the Professional Left I would suggest reading some of the DKos comments under the diary by Dawn Josephson about how HCR has helped her and her son – questions like “did the WH encourage you to post here”; “happy for you that you can afford healthcare” – people’s lives don’t mean anything to these people, it’s just ideology, ideology, ideology. Forget the fact that real fucking people are being helped by the this law, because it didn’t do away with insurance companies it’s an absolute disgrace. You expect that from republicans, you expect that from teabaggers but it is becoming clear to me that there are certain people on the so-called progressive side that are just as callous and without any human compassion as the guys on the right. “Progressives” comes from the word “progress” implying a constant move to get to a destination. You guys are basically in the position of someone sitting 5 miles into a marathon and telling the runners that because they’ve been too slow to get to that point they need to go back to the start line and start over. Really, you guys deserve the teabaggers to rule over you for the next 30 years; however, the people whom this law benefits don’t deserve that, the people of the world don’t deserve that either.

  133. 133
    4jkb4ia says:

    Davis X. Machina has it part of the way right that Obama wanted to keep the left, defined as HCAN etc., fighting for some bill. Also, if Obama’s strategy is to give Congress credit for the bill, and you have the majority of your own party willing to vote for the PO, you should NOT say “We dealt this away already”. You should say “I will sign what Congress comes up with which does these positive things”, which Obama did. Thirdly, if you make clear to everyone for months that what you are proposing is what Massachusetts has, this trains the media to focus on the failures of what Massachusetts has.

  134. 134
    Suck It Up! says:

    @homerhk:

    A final thing. Can anyone really look me in the (virtual) eye and say that they voted for Obama because of the public option? Albeit that it was in his campaign literature, his campaign never concentrated on that and his healthcare plan was always about increasing access to healthcare and reducing costs by way of exchanges.

    I didn’t hear zip about a public option until AFTER the election. Then someone said ‘oh if we get that, single payer isn’t far away’ and so the left clinged to it for dear life. Making it the most important part of the bill even as it got weaker and weaker. While petitions were going around for the PO for the 100th time, there were really strong parts of the bill were slowly getting peeled away.

  135. 135
    4jkb4ia says:

    @eemom:

    I was pleased to see Kagan very engaged on her first day and to have Liptak say that she displayed a mastery of the legal issue.

  136. 136
    cleek says:

    @WyldPirate:
    so, there is a difference. but it’s not on your wish list, so it doesn’t count and therefore everything sucks ! gotcha ! enjoy your self-imposed misery, i guess.

    oh, one more thing: what’s your fascination with Obama’s genitals ? why do you keep bringing them into the discussion, in such graphic and detailed ways ? maybe you should look into that.

  137. 137
    eemom says:

    @WyldPirate:

    This would all be well and good if the bill wasn’t so emasculated in the end that none of the shit that is in it will even hold up.
    It won’t. The bill is toothless and impotent.

    Please elaborate on exactly what provisions in the bill you are referencing as “shit,” and by what process you contend they will be “emasculated in the end.”

    Otherwise, I’ll be forced to go with my tentative conclusion from your other comments in this thread that you are in fact an ignorant “Everything Sucks!” sheep who doesn’t even understand the language he’s bleating in.

  138. 138
    Jim Pharo says:

    Well, now I’m confused. Wasn’t the public option essentially a bargaining position, a “chip” meant to be given up? Seems like it. If so, isn’t that what we’re often crying out for when we say the Dems to fight for positions we know they’ll lose (like climate change or immigration, say)? Seriously fighting for those things would entail a lot of pixels and phone calls, too.

    Starting to feel a bit like they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  139. 139
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Say you have a child who wants an iPhone. You’ve looked at it and decided that it’s the best device money can buy but you can’t afford it. Nevertheless you tell your child that you are working toward getting that iPhone and that you’d love to see your child holding an iPhone some day.

    Four months pass. Your child asks about the iPhone. You pull out a Tracfone with a ribbon on it and hand it over. Your child asks why it isn’t an iPhone. You tell your child to grow up and quit whining.

    I put it this way because it seems more charitable to cast the White House as bumbling, incompetent parents than liars and cynics, and that this interpretation might be more acceptable to the denizens of Obotia.

  140. 140
    cleek says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
    i, for one, am perfectly happy to believe that Obama over-promised on health care, as he has done on many other things – and as every politician since the beginning of time has done. it’s the nature of politics.

    what we got isn’t ideal, but it’s much better than what we had. and hopefully, it’ll serve as a stepping stone to better things in the future.

  141. 141
    eemom says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    Same here. Someone else mentioned that she said more in her first day than Clarence Thomas has in 18 years…..

  142. 142
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @cleek:

    Master promised you Science Diet but gave you Ol’ Roy instead. But good dogs are grateful anyway.

  143. 143
    4jkb4ia says:

    @eemom:
    I saw Steve Benen say that, quoting McClatchy.

    (Baseball!)

  144. 144
    Ailuridae says:

    Tom Daschle is a liar, of this every FDL-er is sure. They are also just as sure that they know when he is telling the truth based on when his narrative coincides with theirs and when he is lying by when his narrative coincides with actual whip counts and known Senate meetings.

    If the WH had already negotiated away the public option then somebody should probably tell Harry Reid and those ten Senators who wasted all of that time negotiating the Medicare buy-in that they were all just pawns in Obama’s game all along.

  145. 145
    cleek says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
    good dogs know their masters aren’t all-powerful unicorn pony dispensing deities, and that what’s possible doesn’t always match what’s hoped for.

    political reality doesn’t give a fuck about your wish list.

  146. 146
    ruemara says:

    You missed a portion of the quote that could be important ““The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers. May not mean what you think it means.

  147. 147
    TimmyB says:

    Yeah, so Obama’s a sellout. Who didn’t know this already?
    This country is corrupt to its very core. Both political parties depend on the same corporations and banksters for money, so its not like there is much difference between the two. As the great American George Carlin said, political parties are there to provide us with the illusion that our vote matters.

    However, I don’t think there is zero difference between the two parties. Dems give the people crumbs, while the GOP gives them nothing. That’s the difference. Its not much, but its something.

  148. 148
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @cleek:

    good dogs know their masters aren’t all-powerful unicorn pony dispensing deities

    Balloon Juice schtick to the rescue, just in the nick of time.

  149. 149
    General Stuck says:

    Query

    Could the coppers, if they had really tried, saved Jimmy Hoffa?

    And why dint they go all out from the git go to find his body?

    Is this thread, or is it not, the dumbest thus far this week?

    Discuss

    GO REDS!!

  150. 150
    Brighton says:

    Who was in the room for the real stakeholders. You know, Americans?
    How is this any better than Cheney meeting in private with oil company buddies?

  151. 151

    There is a hell of a lot of speculation about something that never happened. There was no vote on the PO and so there is exactly nothing known about it that a vote made in front of the American public would have shown.

    The outcomes of this Democratic majority do not reflect the percentage make up of the elected members – try to keep that in mind when deciding to give up. The make up of the elected Fed Democrats is quite a bit left of any previous group and that is progress. If you’d like to see that shrink take every possible opportunity to say what we can get is good enough.

    Everyone here that isn’t a closet GOPer knows that what we’ve gotten isn’t good enough. That means either act as though the status quo is just fine or keep pushing for better. That doesn’t mean behaving stupidly but it also doesn’t mean acting like George II’s dead end 22%ers. The gulf between Stuck and Wyld leaves plenty of room for reasoned thought.

    I’ll be go to hell if I’ll spit on Sen Ron Wyden and Sen Jeff Merkley just because Sen Ben Nelson exists. No, I don’t agree with them on every damn thing and so what?

  152. 152
    General Stuck says:

    The gulf between Stuck and Wyld leaves plenty of room for reasoned thought.

    Don’t put me on a polarity position with the mouthy sumbitch Wyld. If you think there is a gulf for reasoned thought to beat a dead horse to death ad infinitum, when all the facts except for Dachle’s smarmy bullshit point to Obama not having much influence on congress for this particular bill, then I have a bridge to sell you. And what, pray tell, would be the purpose of holding a vote on a PO when Joe Lieberman, a non dem, publicly declared he would vote no on cloture? It would have been a testament to failure and may well have sunk the whole deal. And doing a PO thru reconciliation was procedurally a non starter.

    The votes were never there, and there was no magic Obama could have used on Holy Joe to get his vote. And his vote was the only one that mattered on the PO> period, case fucking closed. The rest is just wanking nonsense.

  153. 153
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Wow, HCR that had it’s schlong removed? If this is the case then why do you still feel that you were screwed by Obama?

    That’s pretty hard to do without a good schlong on hand.

    @cleek:

    It’s because they fear “The Package”.

    Health Care Reform is done
    Here but now they want it gone
    Daily Kos and FDL
    In opposition for eternity…Daily Kos and FDL
    30,000,000 men and women everyday…Despite Daily Kos and FDL
    30,000,000 men and women everyday…Redefine healthiness
    Another 40,000 coming everyday…They can be like we are
    Come on baby…don’t fear the package
    Baby take my hand…don’t fear the package
    We’ll be able to fly…don’t fear the package
    Baby I’m your prez…

    Taken from: Don’t Fear the Package, performed by the BOC (Barack Obama Cult).

  154. 154
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Dennis SGMM: According to Paul Starr, it wasn’t just Joe Lieberman that killed the Medicare buy-in. Supposedly, the Midwestern Democrats (Harkin, Franken, etc.) refused to support it because it would mean a significant pay cut to local doctors. Lieberman just took the blame for it.

  155. 155

    @General Stuck:

    Don’t put me on a polarity position with the mouthy sumbitch Wyld

    Obviously, it is my opinion that you put yourself there. You are the one who self-described as an Obot and you seem to have lived up to it pretty thoroughly.

  156. 156
    General Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    yea, I call myself Obot, and what I mean by that and what you think I mean are no doubt two different things.

    I’ve laid out my obot reasoning on this issue, for this thread now, and several recent ones. Try addressing that instead of sucking your thumb with oblique labeling.

  157. 157

    @General Stuck:

    there was no magic Obama could have used on Holy Joe to get his vote

    You also are one of those who has spouted about how much vote talk was just talk. No vote, no knowns. You play both ends of the string together because it pleases you and serves whatever end you’re playing at right at that moment. I haven’t said I know anything, you have. I’ve had enough experience arguing with theocrats and wingnuts to recognize your methodology.

  158. 158

    @General Stuck:

    sucking your thumb with oblique labeling.

    You really are into your second childhood, aren’t you?

  159. 159
    General Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    You also are one of those who has spouted about how much vote talk was just talk. No vote, no knowns. You play both ends of the string together because it pleases you and serves whatever end you’re playing at right at that moment. I haven’t said I know anything, you have. I’ve had enough experience arguing with theocrats and wingnuts to recognize your methodology.

    Loblaw grade blather. No Knowns? it is known that Lieberman declared he would not vote for cloture. It is known that he is not a dem and dems, especially Obama had no leverage over him. It is known that with controversial leg, for the majority to call for a vote knowing it will likely fail, is momentum crushing stupidity. It is known that doing the PO by reconciliation will not work for getting an intact functional bill passed.

    Until someone can answer how Obama was to get Lieberman’s vote, then the Obama fail wankers have nothing but hot air. And it is rich claiming I am the one burning both ends of the candle here, when you have been bouncing off of walls for months now, taking this side, or that, as is your pleasure to cause some havoc.

  160. 160
    General Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    You really are into your second childhood, aren’t you?

    No, but you seem to be.

  161. 161
    Sandmann says:

    Why would anyone who leans left want to re-hash this god damn public option ‘talisman’ a month before elections?

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    @Sandmann:

    Why would anyone who leans left want to re-hash this god damn public option ‘talisman’ a month before elections?

    Very good question. It seems to me, some dems are salivating over the prospect of dems losing big, for the I told you so factor. Or, just plain stupidity. Take your pick.

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @Sandmann: The PO is a maguffin in this debate.
    People who want to obfuscate what we are really talking about get all nutty about the PO.
    But what happened during this debate, and process, are what the real discussion is about.
    Has very little to do with the ephemeral PO nonsense that some are trying to misdirect to.

  164. 164
    Sandmann says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Say what you mean, what’s the bottom line?

  165. 165
    A Humble Net Slave says:

    I’m going to get called naive for this, but I thought what they were banking on was getting a separate, maybe even better public option in a separate bill before the mandates are set up. Hell, I thought that was why there was a good chunk of the health care bill that wouldn’t come to pass until 2014. To give them time to add and fix stuff. Isn’t there a congressman in Oregon or Washington working on a bill like that right now?

    Found it:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....cation=rss

    I know. 11 dimensional chess. But just the fact that some really good parts of the health care bill go into effect a little more than a month before the midterms…I don’t know. That says to me some kind of chess is being played, even if it’s not 11 dimensional.

    I have a feeling no one’s going to read this…Oh well. Probably for the best. (Crawls back into the shadows.)

  166. 166

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s like they’re hoping the Republicans win and completely fuck things up beyond repair so they can stand on the smoking ruins and scream triumphantly that they were right!

    Don’t worry, Obama already factored that into his 11th-dimensional political chess calculations.

  167. 167

    @patrick II:

    It seems John Cole is trying to have both sides of this argument. His original assertion was that Obama did not back the public option because the votes were not there. But if the reason the votes were not there was because of Obama and his back room dealings, then Cole’s reason is specious and Obama should assume some, if not most, of the blame for the lack of a public option in the health care bill.

    This.

  168. 168

    @Mike from Philly:

    This thread is hilarious. It started out tentatively, clearly the news that Obama was complicit in killing the public option while lying through his teeth to his supporters about how he wanted oh so badly threw the usual “let’s blow Obama” crowd for a loop. But then they found their inner hippie puncher and rallied to the cause… never pausing to hold Obama accountable for lying through his teeth during the entire ugly process. Because really, what could HE do? Follow through on his campaign promises? Treat the American people with dignity and respect? Fight for what he onstensibly believes in? Ponies ponies ponies. November is almost here guys, clap harder!

    That’s what I was thinking. Obama has been caught lying and he did appalling backroom deals that forced Americans to give money to the same insurance companies that were letting people die, and the crew here attack those who respond appropriately, and want to convince you that Obama is powerless.

  169. 169

    @cleek:

    political reality doesn’t give a fuck about your wish list

    Surrendering before the fight starts creates future political reality.

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