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Valerie Jarrett was at the Netroots Nation convention today. I went to go hear her speak and I left completely unconvinced. She is one of the top advisers to President Obama. She is a very good politico, for better and for worse. She is smart, composed and faux engaging and engaged. She seems to care but never really gives a straight answer. In a lot of ways, she's a lot like her boss.

I am not a doctrinaire. I understand the value of compromise, diplomacy, bipartisanship, etc. But if you compromise on everything, then what do you have left? It's a balancing act, of course. You have to know when to compromise and when to stand firm. So, that gets us to the question of the day? The central question of the Obama presidency.

Is Obama a Linconesque compromiser or is he just another politician who will sell out any principle just to get re-elected?

These days Abraham Lincoln is known for being the resolute leader that got us through the Civil War and freed the slaves. But you have to remember that he didn't free the slaves on day one (nor had he promised to), he didn't stand on principle on every issue and he was not some sort of mythical statue of a man that never budged. He slowly built to a place where he thought he had the political backing to free the slaves. So, I get that. And Obama might be doing just that on the issues we face today.

Or ... he's not building to a damn thing. If the New York Times is right about a story they ran on Thursday, then Obama is mainly dealing with the Finance Committee in the Senate and they have already agreed there will be no public option in the healthcare plan. That is a fundamental compromise that shows that you have no intention of actually challenging or changing the system. And that you are a run of the mill politician.

Why? Why is the public option so important? On the actual substance of the healthcare issue, the public option is critical in changing the insurance system we have now. If we don't use this to keep prices down through real competition, then the system will essentially be the same. Except with near universal coverage, taxes will of course go up (and private insurance companies will make even more money because we will subsidize more people to get insurance through them). And when the American people find out that taxes went up and their premiums did not go down, they'll be pissed.

And who do you think they'll be pissed at? The insurance industry and the Republican Party who killed the public option? Of course, not. They'll be mad at the people who did "healthcare reform." Then the industry and their wholly owned subsidiary, the Republican Party, will tell them that the reform pushed through by the Democrats led to higher taxes and higher premiums -- and real change will be made even harder, and maybe even impossible.

But that's still not the main reason why the public option is so important. It's because it is a standard bearer. It is a road sign. It tells you what Obama is all about. Is he willing to compromise something he knows is essential to get a deal done so that he can brag in the next election that he got "healthcare reform" passed? Or does he actually give a damn about policy and getting it right? That is the central question.

I don't know which way it's going to go, but right now the signs are not good. The New York Times story is very troubling because Obama is not going to spend all this time negotiating with the Senate Finance Committee and the industry players and then throw out the deal they worked on. And the industry and the Republican Party have been very clear -- if there is a public option, they're out. Obama is not go negotiate with them all this time if he did not already agree to that premise. That is very, very troubling.

And that brings us to Valerie Jarrett this morning. I was fine with all of her answers on other domestic and foreign policy issues and even on the issues I wholeheartedly disagreed with her on (and the issues she got heckled on). You're not going to get everything you want and you're certainly not going to get all of it instantly (meaning the first year of his term). But there is a bottom line. And as I have explained above, that bottom line is the public option.

So, here was her answer on that:

"Let me be very clear and I talked to the president yesterday about this, knowing I was coming here. The president wants the public option, he has made that clear everywhere he has gone."

That sounds clear, right? Wrong. No, she just said the president "wants" it. Big whoop dee doo. That doesn't mean a thing. It is political-speak for saying later, " We really wanted it, we fought hard for it but we just couldn't get it. But it is important to know that we got a great bill that is bipartisan, that everyone can live with and that will bring real change to America." And then you'll know that Obama was full of it.

There is all the difference in the world between "wanting" the public option and "insisting" on the public option. For example, the Republicans don't stutter. They say unequivocally that they will insist that there is no public option. Why must we always cave in to their demands? Especially when they are a statistically irrelevant minority (that doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to them, but it does mean we should stop following their orders and dictates on the most important issues). Why can't we insist on something for a change? Why can't we insist on the most important part of the plan?

Well, if we don't, it is obviously because we did not have the political will to do so. And that is 100% on Obama. If he caves on this, then he is your typical gasbag politician who promises one thing and does another. On the flip side, if he gets real healthcare reform passed with a public option, then I will be impressed and energized. I will dare to believe again.

I still think it's an open question. And it's one only Obama can answer. What's it going to be Mr. President?  Do you really believe in change? Do you really believe in what you said during the campaign? That campaign that got us all excited thinking that maybe, just maybe, if we supported the right guy he really could change the system.

Or are you going be just another politician?

Watch The Young Turks Here

Originally posted to Cenk Uygur on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:42 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Are you out of your mind? (7+ / 0-)

    "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

    by Troubadour on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:44:28 PM PDT

  •  I don't know,... (4+ / 0-)

    are you just another diarist?

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:45:32 PM PDT

  •  Hate to say it (22+ / 0-)

    but if he were serious, he would have said he'd veto anything without it and negotiate from strength.  But he didn't, he isn't and it looks like he won't.

    Experience may differ in online play...

    by OCD on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:46:57 PM PDT

    •  Bill Clinton threatened a veto of (11+ / 0-)

      healthcare legislation in 1994, and didnt ended getting a bill on his desk at all. So I'm not sure if that is the best strategy.

      •  Maybe Obama doesn't necessarily need to threaten (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, jj32, Situational Lefty

        to veto, but he hasn't been exactly clear on how valuable he thinks a public option is, all we keep hearing is some variation of "the president would like to see a public option"

        If you don't want to draw a line in the sand fine, but be more definite on whether he thinks we can have true reform without it.

        This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

        by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:14:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think he can count on the House to insist (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, princess k

          on a public option, and that's what he's doing.

          Meanwhile, if he pitches his argument around that, he loses most of his audience. Most folks mainly want to know how HCR is going to affect them, and most folks already have insurance.

          While many people might think it's nice to get everybody covered, they don't understand why that's crucial to getting their own costs down, and getting them a safety net. Obama briefly mentioned that yesterday, so it's clear he understands it, but if he makes that his main argument, he'll fail.

          Ergo, if you make it your central argument given the fact that the vast majority of Americans (as Clinton said) don't understand the complex issue, you lose them.

          Obama knows his audience.

          The new baby panda is HERE! See it at a PANDA CAM near you! Congrats San Diego Zoo!

          by Fonsia on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:22:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How is he going to convince people who are wary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee

            that the public option isn't evil if he doesn't even talk about it? Just hearing Pelosi/non-Blue dog House Dems talk about it isn't enough for the skeptics when Pres. Obama is out doing his own townhalls and giving his own speeches. I don't even think he mentions a public option in the town hall speeches he's been giving the last couple of weeks (we'll see about today in a couple of hours).

            I'm all for the benefit of the doubt, but that works both ways.

            This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

            by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:41:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  By focusing on everything else (0+ / 0-)

              and playing it down as a minor part of the bill.

              Which is all it has to be--just a minor part. I'll sign up for it, and so will millions of others, and then it'll grow.

              Although actually, those who think it's evil are unconvincable anyway, so let 'em screech.

              BTW, he brought it up yesterday twice.

              The new baby panda is HERE! See it at a PANDA CAM near you! Congrats San Diego Zoo!

              by Fonsia on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:02:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Two points (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee
              He definitely doesn't mention in speeches.  He does bring it up during question time.

              2.  The most ironic thing I saw all week was Mike Ross' incredible defense of the public option at his town hall yesterday.  He was clearer an more articulate on it than anyone I have seen, including President Obama.  Now of course he said he didn't know if he would vote for it, but darn if he didn't seem like he was convincing some real skeptics in the audience who you could tell started figuring out that it wasn't a public takeover.

              When blue dogs are your best advocates, but won't vote for it, you have a problem.  

              "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

              by justmy2 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:03:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  If Barack Obama took ownership of health (5+ / 0-)

          health care reform like he took ownership of his campaign, it would get done. It's up to him and his administration to come up with a plan, get legislative input, and sell it to the American people.
                The Bushies were very clear in their intention to get their policy priorities put into practice, and, in that regard, he can learn from them. The American people respect that even if they don't necessarily agree with it. When Bush wanted something to get done, he did it, he didn't delegate it to Chuck Grassley. And if Obama wants this done, he shouldn't be delegating it to Max Baucus.

          Fall seven times, stand up eight ---Japanese proverb

          by camlbacker on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:38:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bill Clinton didn't get a bill on his desk at all (0+ / 0-)

        That's because Hillary gave up on it.

        Sanford doesn't want tax money spent to help you keep your job, but he does want to spend it to get himself laid

        by William Domingo on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:51:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you sure? (0+ / 0-)

          Did Hillary gave up on it or was the bill soundly rejected and defeated before it every really had a chance? I suggest you go back and read the history of her healthcare bill then come back and let us know what you found out.

          In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

          by jsfox on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:01:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Is that what kept it off his desk? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee
        I think that is a unfair analogy.  Clinton didn't have large majorities.   He also issued the threat based solely on his plan.  Threatening a veto based on your core principle represents political strength.  But it also locks you in.  

        My guess is Obama is holding off because he doesn't want to be linked to the demagougery around the public option.  

        But that is Cenk's point.  The politics are not in sync with key party platform principles.   His only question is will h allow short term politics outweigh longterm politics.  

        "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

        by justmy2 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:59:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Treating today like 1993 (0+ / 0-)

        Is what has empowered the same strategy that failed then.  The veto is just a part of it. By trying not to do anything that was done 16 years ago, rahm and the boys are gonna end up with exactly what they got last time - bupkis.

        Experience may differ in online play...

        by OCD on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:29:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I see (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, andrewj54, MinistryOfTruth

      Lawerence O'Donnel & Johnathan Alter keep implying that the Finance committee is where it's at. And the left should understand. I will wait and see but seems like the deal with Pharma is an indication. Won't surprise me non,just like warrant less wire tapping,Bargram detention & those signing statements the disappointment will continue.

      •  LOD made my ears stand up too when I heard that (5+ / 0-)

        "The definition of a quorem is the President and the Finance Chairmen"

        If that is the case, we better hope it is Grassley and Enzi's fault, and not Baucus/Conrad, cause if so we are screwed.

        Change is not incrementalist, not now when the economy is falling for the non-wealthy and the environment is falling apart, not while Bush/Cheney walks free and Obama gets called a Nazi (Dems too)

        If we don't fight back now, then when?

        The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

        by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:24:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They Directly STATED It's Finance Chair + POTUS (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, sharman

        are the team that make the bill that will be signed. O'Donnell and Todd were saying that yesterday.

        I can understand zero accountability on the crimes of the Constitution and war. I've not believed that government of the people has had practical power to tread in that area for decades.

        If we come out of this effort with no public option, reasonably mainstream people will begin acknowledging that governance for the people is now limited to social and cultural issues, and minor economic issues the economy won't fight.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:30:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What infuriates me even more about this (32+ / 0-)

    is that the self-described "grown-ups" in the Democratic Party told us not to bring up issues like torture prosecutions, closing Guantanamo, and ending "don't ask, don't tell" because it would get in the way of health care reform--which is less likely by the day.

    "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:48:01 PM PDT

    •  Health care reform is not dead (18+ / 0-)

      and it's not even on life support.  We're going to get a decent bill, perhaps by the end of September, certainly by the end of the year.  There's even a good chance still that it will include a public option.

      Don't let the Republican noise, and their backers in the media, fool you.  The Democrats control Congress and the president is pushing hard for this plan.

      It's going to happen.  We need to help.

      Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

      by litho on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:02:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  1000% agreed (7+ / 0-)

      if we put off other stuff for a bill that is a compromise of a compromise of a compromise with people who call us Nazi's and reverse racists, we are truly getting fucked by petty politicians who like to lose on purpose.

      Anyone who can't admit that is a fool, or happy to be a fool

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:14:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is using his political capital (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, aymandaman

      on health care. Once he gets that, he'll earn more political capital, and he can tackle other issues.

      If he doesn't get health care, not much else will happen either.

      The other issues are important, but focusing on them now would look very much like he just wanted to use his presidency to prosecute the previous administration. They are divisive. If he focused on them first we wouldn't get HCR.

      Health care is the lynchpin. With it, we get the rest. Without it, we lose it all.

      The new baby panda is HERE! See it at a PANDA CAM near you! Congrats San Diego Zoo!

      by Fonsia on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:27:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  100% agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, Cartoon Messiah

        this is literally the waterloo. We win, we win for years and years. We blow it (and it is ours to win or lose), and the GOoPers will be back sooner rather than later.

        And with that loony base of theirs, does anyone want that? Not me.

        Go for it, Obama, all of it! I want Change with a Capital C. Lower case is a sellout

        The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

        by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:31:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think so. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, MinistryOfTruth

          A valiant and heroic defeat by the healthcare and drug cartels with Democrats standing on principle will look very good when we get to 80 million uninsured in a couple years of shitty economic conditions.

          "We really tried. We couldn't pull it off. Too many cards stacked against us. We're going to give it another go in 2011. We'll need your support."

          Clinton couldn't pull it off, as he rode a wave of "ME, ME, ME! Reagan focus group governance and Ross Perot." He finagled his way into the presidency with no mandate, in fact he held on with Republican policy.

          We had a sluggish economy for 18 years. We were not free falling into the chasm. This is a different time.

          Obama rides in after the most disasterous Presidency in history. On a wave of voters and non-voter good will. Freemarket ideology has failed us and it's more and more evident.

          A good loss with everything laid out on the line is better than a shitty win.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 03:58:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Lynchpin! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, Cartoon Messiah

        I would like to understand how getting a reform WITHOUT the public plan could be a victory for Obama and the Democratic Party.

        Without the public option, this 'reform' will suck so bad and will work so wrong that he will lose all his and his party political capital. Welcome to the NEW Republican President in 2012...

        •  The House is going to insist on the P.O. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew

          Pelosi has already said that rather forcefully.

          Doesn't matter what Baucus does. He's one committee out of six, and the other five have the P.O.

          The Senate can even bypass him completely, if it comes to that.

          The new baby panda is HERE! See it at a PANDA CAM near you! Congrats San Diego Zoo!

          by Fonsia on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:09:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not reality (0+ / 0-)
            The president consisently states he want a bipartisan bill.  Which of the other 4 bills included republicans at the table.

            Gibbs stated yesterday the pharma deal would be in the finance bill.  Which other bill includes the deal they signed off on with pharma.

            Keep telling yourself the Baucus bill is not the primary bill if you like.  Just be aware the reality and actions demonstrate that you are likely incorrect.

            "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

            by justmy2 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:27:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right on! (0+ / 0-)

              The five bills will be merged and if it's imperative to include the pharma deal, the public option in the other four bills will be out.

              Which brings another question:
              If the public option is dropped, will those who included the public option vote for it?

              Hey, Democrats can vote against a bill without the public option and say "public option" or status quo. Mr. President.

              Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate... leads to suffering...

              by JackLord on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:48:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  O has also said he wants a bipartisan bill IF (0+ / 0-)

              he can get it.

              That "if" is an important political statement.

              The new baby panda is HERE! See it at a PANDA CAM near you! Congrats San Diego Zoo!

              by Fonsia on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:25:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  You ask a valid (2+ / 0-)

    question about insisting on a public option but perhaps you could've avoided the title and framing.

    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:49:29 PM PDT

  •  OTOH (8+ / 0-)

    yesterday's (?) quote about Obama being OK with being a one term prez if he gets health care and climate/energy done is NOT a quote that would ever come from a craven, power-hungry, self aggrandizing politician.
    Unless he could lie like a star Republican, and I don't get that vibe from Barack.

    The Republican Party will never die until there is a new political home for racists.

    by kamarvt on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:51:41 PM PDT

  •  Well, he may just be a politician... (15+ / 0-)

    but he's a brilliant one.  I do not believe that he would be undertaking this battle if it was all about getting re-elected.  I believe that he really cares...

    I will be very despondent if the public option goes away.  At that point, we might as well forget about health care "reform"...

    It's up to us to keep the pressure on for the public option.  I've written several letters in the last couple of days making it known that I and other physicians are strongly in support of the Public Option.

    Hopefully, all who read this will do the same.

    We've got serious work to do. Health care and civil rights for all, please!

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:52:26 PM PDT

  •  Oh for God's sake (13+ / 0-)

    can you stop with these hand-wringing diaries and just help him pass a fucking bill!  Get out there and counter this Republican crap instead.

    Blagojevich/Palin '12.

    by fou on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:57:08 PM PDT

    •  And bills can be tinkered with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, fou

      But God help us when ANY bill comes out, and the Kossacks rip into it, regardless. I should be back to school, fortuitously.

    •  Positive Pressure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, moodyx, Cartoon Messiah

      is a good thing. Why should the only pressure on the Administration and Congress come from corporate created right wing nuts?

      That pushes the debate further to the right and away from a strong Public Option and strong negotiating with Big Pharma. If we just back off of any and all (constructive) criticism, it's a lose-lose for anyone who wants substantive health insurance reform.

      •  I'd argue that this is not positive pressure. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anotherCt Dem

        Most of the anti-Obama diaries lately do not represent positive pressure. If you have to resort to insults to get your point across, that is not positive pressure.

        •  Sure it is. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          You original comment was about countering Republican crap. If you listen to Cenk's show (or even just watch the YouTube clips) you know that TYT debunks right wing nonsense every single day.

          But Cenk also calls out corporate Dems (er, I mean "conservative Democrats") and criticizes the administration when the need arises, like when Geithner and Summers were put in charge of the economic team, etc. We can have a reasonable disagreement on the exact wording and form that criticism should take, but I can't accept just sitting back and pretending that everything is ok.

          Many of the things progressives are proud of today would never have passed if not for exactly this type of pressure. We can't just spend our time on defense shooting down right wing talking points, we also need to explain and demand good progressive policies.

          •  Awesome posts! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ihavenobias

            Totally agree.

            As if the Republican rank and file wigged on Pat Buchanan for saying Bush wasn't 'Conservative' enough.

            Bush couldn't be too conservative.

            Pulling Obama and the National Debate to the Left is very important and should, perhaps, raise an eyebrow from the Centrists, if that.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:05:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  So let's pass a stupid bill? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      I don't think so.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Cassiodorus on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are you going to let the man work (4+ / 0-)

    Are you going to believe his words and deeds?  Or are you going to be another pundit more interested in raking muck than advancing the conversation.  By your own account Ms. Jarret answered the questions correctly your interjection of doubt is unwarranted and typical.

    Today we are all Iranian!

    by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:58:41 PM PDT

    •  Positive Pressure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Messiah

      is a good thing. Why should the only pressure on the Administration and Congress come from corporate created right wing nuts?

      That pushes the debate further to the right and away from a strong Public Option and strong negotiating with Big Pharma. If we just back off of any and all (constructive) criticism, it's a lose-lose for anyone who wants substantive health insurance reform.

      •  Pressure is designed to persuade right (0+ / 0-)

        In which case what does this line of criticism persuade the President to do.  He is already on this side.  What this kind of thing does is demoralize those with us and give aid and comfort to those against us.  If I were big Insurance i would print 1000 of these things and write in big red words DEMS UNSURE OF PRESIDENT TRUTHFULLNESS AND ABILIT TO DELIVER, sounds like problems for Obama, and why the F does this ammunition come from our side.

        Today we are all Iranian!

        by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:04:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          When you have right wing nuts (who get a ton of media coverage) screaming against the Public Option and anything else that might represent substantive change, it's important to have strong voices on the left standing up and saying "hell no" to caving in.

          If nothing else it helps remind everyone that the current proposals (and this administration) are hardly 'far left', despite what the right wing nuts and right wing media claim day after day.

          •  This diary isnt screaming for a public option (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, TenthMuse

            It is questioning the veracity of Valerie Jarret and Barack Obama and their commitment to a public option.  Why not advocate something far left rather than attacking the commitment of those on our side.

            Today we are all Iranian!

            by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:12:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  First off, I strongly support the public option (14+ / 0-)

    I want a single payer system, and I think the public option could serve as a dry run demonstrating to the American people that government-run health insurance can be successful.  So I personally am going to fight as hard as I can for the public option.

    That sai, I respectfully disagree with you, Cenk, that the reform package cannot work if the public option is not included.  The guts of reform is the creation of the health exchange, which will place strict limits on insurance companies' abilities to screw over the public and will also guarantee an entirely new kind of economic competition between insurance companies.

    So I can separate two different issues.  One is ideological, the inclusion of a public option, and the other is economic, a health reform plan that lowers costs and improves service.

    A compromise on the ideological point does not, in and of itself, imply that the entire reform project will collapse.

    I have already lobbied my congressman, and I will continue to do so, to fight for the public option.  If the bastards in the Senate win and we get a reform package without the public option, I'm going to make lemonade -- I'll do the best I can with what we have.

    I certainly won't sell the president down the river because he was forced to compromise on a central plank of his program.

    Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

    by litho on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:58:45 PM PDT

    •  This is a constructive point (8+ / 0-)

      I don't agree, but I appreciate your point. It's perfectly smart and legitimate. I feel that without the public option, the system does not fundamentally change. But I understand what you're saying here (and I hope to God you're right).

      •  Before you assess the president (5+ / 0-)

        as a sell-out politician, you might want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he believes his position is a viable one.

        Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

        by litho on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:06:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Disagreed (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, KenBee, rubine, Nisi Prius

          I agree that we should always give the benefit of the doubt, but only to a point.

          Judge deeds, not words.

          If the Dems pass this without breaking up the private insurers monopolies, I will take it as a signal that we are fucked.

          And that means no change, just the same old shit with a different label.

          The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

          by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:10:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What is "his position"? (6+ / 0-)

          This is one of Cenk's main points.  We have no friggin' idea what Obama's "position" is.  He has talked for a long time about the public option.  Now it appears he may be ready to cave on that point as well.  So what is his position?  Are you saying his position is that meaningful health care reform is possible without the public option?  Because if that's Obama's position, it'd be nice if he let us know it.  And then he'd have to pardon the confusion of everyone who got this crazy idea that Obama supported the public option, because, you know, he kept saying he did.

          Of course, Obama said he'd filibuster the FISA amendments act, and we can see how that promise turned out.  So I think it's perfectly reasonable for Cenk to wonder where Obama stands.  And it's also perfectly reasonable to characterize Obama as a conventional politician if he caves on the public option.  He'll have promised people one thing and have done another.  That's the stereotype of a conventional politician.

          •  His position is crystal clear (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, seabrook

            and he articulates it repeatedly.  He strongly supports the public option, but he believes the future of the American economy depends on achieving a viable and effective health reform package now.

            If he could write the bill by himself, it would certainly have a public option.  Given that he can't, he will do his best to make certain the bill achieves the minimal conditions of lowering costs and improving coverage.

            Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

            by litho on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:47:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Medicare Part D like bullshit (0+ / 0-)

              -no public option
              -mandatory insurance
              -premium raising conditions('reforms'):
                *no recissions
                *no exclusions for preexisting conditions

              and premiums jacked even more.

               'Medicare' Part D which is not Medicare, but private insurance and sounds very much like the hyped 'health insurance exchanges' or whatever bullshit title it gets.

               Any solution that doesn't include a strong and viable public option, as good as Medicare or better, is a sellout and actually a loss.

              The public option could simply be Medicare Buy In.

              Since health prevention is SOOO much more cost saving than after the fact 'treatment, allowing Medicare signups at 55 would be a savings. I'd love to see the study on that, if it exists:

              I shouldn't assume everybody has read Grand Junction a microcosm of efficient healthcare in the LA Times, but do so now, thanks.

              Deepending on the point of view, Grand Junction embodies some of the principles outlined by Obama in his bid to rein in healthcare costs -- such as promoting preventive care -- or shows what can be done without government intervention.

              In 2002, the USFS spent $36 million on its Tongass timber sales program, and rec'd back just $1.2 million from timber companies.

              by KenBee on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:09:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You forgot (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee

                that insurance companies would also benefit from making health insurance mandatory (creating a huge captive market) and taxpayer subsidies for premium payment (like Medicare Part D).  This latter part is what really kills me.  Why give people money to buy private insurance when it would be far cheaper just to let them enroll in Medicare or Medicaid if they can't afford insurance?  Subsidizing private insurance requires us to subsidize private overhead and profit.  This makes no sense.

                •  didn't forget :> (0+ / 0-)

                  -no public option
                  -mandatory insurance
                  -premium raising conditions('reforms'):
                   *no recissions
                   *no exclusions for preexisting conditions

                  In 2002, the USFS spent $36 million on its Tongass timber sales program, and rec'd back just $1.2 million from timber companies.

                  by KenBee on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:49:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  and The Profit! (0+ / 0-)

                  Obama really got on this in his terrific reply to the NRA gent in Montana.

                   Medicare Part D (It's not Medicare) is the worst nonsense.   Try wading thru that with your elder ma or pa, and explaining it all to them!

                   On the other hand, the Medicare book is great, answered all our questions and is really helpful, as are the DMV and the Social Cecurity administration.
                    SS sent me my first check 6 days after signing up!

                  I've got no complaints with my socialized agencies.

                  In 2002, the USFS spent $36 million on its Tongass timber sales program, and rec'd back just $1.2 million from timber companies.

                  by KenBee on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 03:01:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Honestly (0+ / 0-)

          I don't know if the exchange you describe will control prices or not.  I hope it does, if that is what we get.  But the evident fear of a public option evinced by the Right and the insurance lobby tells me that that is where the real change is.

          No public option? Let the motherf*cker BURN!!!!!!!!

          by andrewj54 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:47:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  additionally, taxes won't increase as implied by (0+ / 0-)

      the diary, because the employer mandates and other savings measures will largely offset the subsidies for low income folks.  the spending being proposed is not going to make a significant impact on the deficit, meaning that it won't have a significant bearing on taxes.  

      the only relevant questions in terms of the effect this reform will have on the middle and upper-middle class electorate are: what will happen to premiums and what will happen to care.  if premiums go down and care goes up, that is a major win.  if one or the other happens, it is a minor win.  if care goes up but premiums do too, that would be a problem and could create real electoral dangers for democrats.  but litho's point about the exchanges is that this shouldn't happen, even in the absence of a public option.    

      •  oh yeah, the subsidies (0+ / 0-)

        forgot about those, and how are they going to work?
         Is there a whole new agency to handle that, or are we going to get a tax credit when we itemize deductions?
         Forgot about that too, we poor people don't often itemize.
         Need a few more details....same line as the food stamps, public assistance, or some demeaning exercise? grrrr.

        In 2002, the USFS spent $36 million on its Tongass timber sales program, and rec'd back just $1.2 million from timber companies.

        by KenBee on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:14:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Problem with health "insurance" reform (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      is that the public option is the only thing to keep the insurance companies honest.

      People can say all they want about requiring them to cover people with pre-existing conditions and community based ratings but you know damn well that as soon as the health insurance company stops making the kind of huge profit that they are used to they will go crying to their enablers in congress for relief and their payments from our tax dollars will go up.

      If we only have the private insurance industry, we have nothing to stop them from gouging us. Why is that so hard to figure out?

      "If you can't afford a boat, and are standing tiptoe in the water, the rising tide goes up your nose." -- Barney Frank

      by JanF on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:43:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your supposition would be correct (0+ / 0-)
      If demand for health care were elastic, but it is not.  

      We have an exchange for oil, but we are still at the whim if OPEC.  We need oil.  We need health care.   Acting like simply opening up the market will drive down long term costs is naive.   Just like OPEC knows they can't go beserk because they have goverment who put pressure on them, a public option is required to keep the private market honest.      

      "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

      by justmy2 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 03:26:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We also need to support restoration of full (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou

    funding for Medicare reimbursements.  I just learned yesterday that the reimbursements percentage for health care providers is going to drop from 80% of their cost to in the 70s. - this risks destroying the closest thing to a viable public option we have.

    We should add full funding and 1005 reibursement of Medicare procedures to our agenda.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:01:29 PM PDT

  •  Well, duh, as the saying goes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Naniboujou, in2mixin

    Which is to say that he is of course a politician.  But that ain't necessarily a bad thing. I worked very hard to elect him knowing full well that he is just a politician.  The folks who are doomed to disappointment are those who believed he was some special new breed, above the mundane influences and considerations that drive other politicians.  He is a very smart politician and the fact that he is "just a politician" means that he is subject to being pushed and pulled by all the same forces that push and pull other politicians.  People who thought that we could just elect him and have all our problems solved were dreaming.  Electing him was the easy part.  Now comes the never-ending work of making him do the right thing by organizing and mobilizing.  

  •  Oh and by the way Lincoln never freed a slave (0+ / 0-)

    The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in states that were in rebellion at the time, and none in the north.  The slaves were freed by the 13th ammendment and Lincoln was dead by that time.  Lincoln did not fight the Civil War in order to free slaves and in fact stated numerous and different times that he would have saved the union with slavery if it had been possible.

    Today we are all Iranian!

    by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:03:54 PM PDT

    •  Lincoln Led the Civil War & Freed the Slaves. (0+ / 0-)

      Goofy argument. The U.S. military, led by Lincoln, freed all the slaves, of course. The Emancipation Proclamation was just one tiny part of that effort, but it remains a very important document. And Lincoln introduced and supported the 13th Amendment, although, you're right, he was murdered before it was passed.

      Clearly, the slaves themselves appreciated Lincoln, even if you don't.

      A boner is a terrible thing to waste.

      by Otherday on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:24:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Black people appreciate anything done for them (0+ / 0-)

        That does mean to appreciate and that means understand.  If the south had agreed to the Missouri comprimise, or did not press disolution Lincoln would not have done a dang thing.  Sorry if I'm not sufficiently impressed by the big father using slavery as an economic weapon against the south, and don't sufficiently genuflect.

        Today we are all Iranian!

        by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:42:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hypotheticals are Hard to Prove (0+ / 0-)

          "If" the south had done something else, then we can only guess what would have happened. Then again, the south wouldn't have been the south. It did what it did.

          Yes, the Republicans and Lincoln started out trying to restrict slavery to the region where it existed, but the south would have none of that. As the Civil War proceeded it became clear to most northerners that slavery had to go, and not primarily for racial reasons, but because slavery's existence was inconsistent with a functioning, stable republic. James McPherson's book, What They Fought For, handles this point very well. As long as the institution of slavery existed, the country's politics would always be screwed up.

          A boner is a terrible thing to waste.

          by Otherday on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:46:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's a question that I've been trying to answer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vc2

    I've finally come to the conclusion that guaranteeing Universal Coverage is stronger than the public option.  I feel that those who can't afford coverage (due to being too expensive) should be given subsidies and I figure if we compensate on that front we can solve that problem temporarily.  We can come back to that issue at another time and fix it.  I just feel, narrowly, that universal coverage is a moral concern that trumps government playing a role (in that regard) as a price fixer, at least temporarily.  

  •  I think that is the direction this is headed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey

    It's pretty clear that what Congress wants, and what the Democratic base are pretty different.

    I don't mean to get all conspiratorial, but you have to consider the whole history of Democratic dealings with the health care industry. What was Tom Dashcle doing running around collecting millions in speaking fees before Obama nominated him for HHS?

    By the way, front page article in Politico today:

    Party Leaders Prepare Liberals To Accept Health Care Reform Deal

    http://www.politico.com/...

    Now, I'm not saying there's no good to come out of a deal that doesn't have a public plan. But let's not be naive. By the way, keep up the great work with Young Turks Cenk!

    •  It's not that conspiratorial (0+ / 0-)

      I just think, pure and simple, the votes aren't there.  We, technically speaking, only have 58-59 democrats in the Senate right now.  I'm not counting Ted Kennedy because, due to his absences of Eunice Shriver's funeral and the WH event for the Medal of freedom is leading me to conclude that he's too sick to vote right now.  

      Further, Reconciliation is not going to work, as that's for budgetary matters, the public option is not a budgetary matter.  We're basically running out of options,we have little to no choice but to compromise some things with the republicans.

      •  Well, there is that reality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus

        But I think you are missing something if you don't consider the pressure from private industry and lobbyists and the huge role they play in the process.

        I don't think they donated $1500/day for several years to Baucus just for shits and giggles. And as mentioned, the man Obama wanted for HHS for pretty much a lobbyist, he was so closely tied to the industry.

        When I saw I don't want to get conspiratorial, it's because I don't believe it's 100% bad to work with the private industry on these issues affecting them (although donations of the kind they are funnelling to Baucus certainly smack of corruption). But it does beg the question of how committed the Democratic leadership (as opposed to the base and even the rank and file Congressmen and women) ever were to the "public option."

      •  Then give a good fight and hang the carcass (0+ / 0-)

        around the Republican and Bluedog's neck.

        "Sorry about the 80 million without Healthcare. We tried to fix it but were not able to overcome the combined might of corporate propaganda and sponsorship. We'll try again next year!"

        Just lose the fight.

        Who cares, really?

        Shitty plan that will result in being blamed for the failures built in by design? Or losing a heroic battle and laying yourself out there for the People.

        Which one would you rather be sitting on in your personal history?

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 03:44:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lose it? (0+ / 0-)

          Morally this is something we as a party have been fighting for universal coverage for decades.  We need to get it done now.

          •  But we're not getting universal coverage. (0+ / 0-)

            We're going to mandate that people be covered and it's going to be a boon to the Insurance Cartels just as Welfare to Work was a boon to Employers.

            Just as Deregulating the Media was good for Media Consolidation.

            To settle for anything less than the public option, is not right, Morally.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 05:51:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  is that duck over there, just another duck? (0+ / 0-)

    If your comment is mean, I might have Sarah Palin sue you.

    by in2mixin on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:11:52 PM PDT

  •  Obama is behaving like a typical politician (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey, gleniris, Nisi Prius

    Obama has yet to show that he's any different from other Kumbaya politicians. He will not take any action that might cost him future votes.
    He is serving up second-rate shit and backing off even on that as soon as the wingnuts protest.

    A real American president would tell the wingnuts to go to hell, describe birthers and deathers as idiots and use the power he has to give us single-payer health care. He could whip out his pen and eliminate DADT in under a minute. He could tell his AG to hunt down the criminal torturers and enablers.

    We may not have a female president yet, but we do have one with no balls.

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:12:20 PM PDT

    •  We also have a country of people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SottoVoce, TenthMuse, aymandaman

      Who do not understand the role of the President.

      A real leader doesnt give credence to the stupid by addressing it.  So birthers and deathers can go where they want.  Single payer health care although cool with me isnt done by fiat, and none of the legislative proposals are single payer, so that says alot about what the public will go for.  DADT is a congressional mandate, and he has said he would sign a bill overturning it.  This isnt an imperial presidency.  He most certainly can not direct the AG to prosecute anything we just escaped that hell.

      If you think he has no balls you make yourself black and stand in front of 75000 americans saying you want to be the president.

      Today we are all Iranian!

      by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:15:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Boy, is this wrong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MakeChessNotWar, Cartoon Messiah

        You claim that:

        none of the legislative proposals are single payer, so that says alot about what the public will go for.

        Actually, no, it says nothing at all about what the public will go for but says a great deal about what the country's political class will go for.  Americans are more than willing to support a single payer system, but the Congress, which is in hock to corporate interests, won't support it because they're too cozy with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

        So don't try and pawn this off on the American people.  It's our bought-and-paid-for politicians who kept single payer off the table.

        •  Oh yeah? (0+ / 0-)

          I don't recall seeing anybody at the town hall i attended losing their mind over a single payer.  A lot of Americans dont feel comfortable in a government run health care paying system that doesnt have the ability to call on the private sector, hell im not sure I want that yet.

          Today we are all Iranian!

          by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:37:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess you oppose Medicare then (4+ / 0-)

            Oh, and I assume you also oppose Medicaid, the VA health system, and Tri-Care (the DoD single-payer system).  All of those are "government run health care paying systems."

            And by the way, it appears you may be confused on one point.  Medicare/Medicaid, which are two of those evil, government-run, single payer systems, both depend entirely on private doctors and providers, as well as on private pharmaceutical manufacturers.  These systems are single payer.  They are NOT "single provider."  The VA system does offer a high percentage of government providers, and it provides high-quality care for our nation's veterans at a very affordable price.

    •  I think he'd get rave reviews on all of that. (0+ / 0-)

      People are so afraid of conviction and principle.

      They're going to call us Commies whether or not we work on a social safety net.

      We ought to at least help some people, you know?

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:11:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lincolnesque With the Opposition? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    felldestroyed

    Perhaps President Obama is being quite Lincolnesque in his dealing with the opposition.

    Recall that Lincoln took the high road once he was elected, even though most of the secessionists moved for disunion before he even was sworn into office. Many months went by. Lincoln explained himself clearly and offered his hand in friendship to his "dissatisfied fellow countrymen." He was patient. He let the hotheads fire the first shots. He let all the country & world see what type of people he was dealing with.

    President Obama may cave on us, but I doubt it. He may very well be taking a page out of Lincoln's book. Take a good long look at those birthers, deathers, town hall screamer, Rush, Beck, et. al. It's like they want to prove that they will never work with Obama, like they opened fire on the fort. Everyone with an IQ over 60 points can see that they're a pack of lying wingnuts. Should Obama make a strong definite move on health care, and give up on getting any help from the right-wingers, no sane person could blame him.

    Once Lincoln joined the fight, he did it with notable vigor.

    A boner is a terrible thing to waste.

    by Otherday on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:12:41 PM PDT

  •  Re; public option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey, felldestroyed

    I think we've been getting a lot of lip services on the Public Option but NO ONE in that administration is willing to say how essential a public option is to any health care bill they may sign. I don't like the beating around the bush. People keep saying "well Obama is just playing chess" Well what happened to the Obama from the campaign who promised to ALWAYS tell us what he's thinking even if he knows we won't agree? It's a lot easier to "have faith" when we know what the hell he's thinking.

    This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

    by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:12:43 PM PDT

    •  Obama hath stated clearly and unequivocally (10+ / 0-)

      That a public option was an essential component of health insurance reform.  I don't know what you people want him to do tatoo it on his forehead or something.

      Today we are all Iranian!

      by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:17:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, he hasn't said it's essential and lately he's (6+ / 0-)

        been less likely to say anything about it. He went almost to the end of yesterday's townhall without saying it. He has to say it every day, you don't hear the "deathers" just saying their statement once, they are hammering it home. Obama knows how to get a message out there. And if he was so unequivocal about it, there wouldn't be so many questions on that here because the people on this blog who write about health care frequently aren't stupid and I'm willing to bet they watch every word that comes out of his mouth on the public option.

        The public option is expendable to the President, while he might "like" to have it, it's not "essential" to him. It doesn't help that we keep getting leaks that Obama is willing to abandon it and Obama has not said he's not willing to abandon it.

        This isn't like the birth certificate BS, I think there is legitimate concern on the Public Option issue.

        This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

        by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:20:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Deathers are ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TenthMuse

          For some reason i dont think its needed for him to reaasure this side with everyone of his statement beginning with i'm for a public option.  His work is with those who do not believe a public option is warranted.  The very idea that he has to spend capital and energy molly coddling us is beyond belief.

          I'm unwilling to call Obama a corporate pimp betrayer.  I feel he is working the best he can and shares the same basic philosophy I do.  Nothing he has said or done has been able to change my opinion, but then again im willing to limit myself to what he has actually said and done without the negative speculation our friend Cenk is into with his what if scenarios.

          Today we are all Iranian!

          by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:24:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't call him a corporate pimp either (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JNSD, FogCityJohn

            all I'm saying is keep your damn promises. How exactly is he convincing people who aren't sure about the public option that it's a good idea if he can't even convince the supporters of the public option that he's really serious about it being necessary for health care? It doesn't take much to satisfy us, just MENTIONING it consistently makes people happy (don't believe me check out the liveblog from yesterday's townhall). He doesn't have to sell us anything, so it won't cost him anything to merely fight for a public option out in open like so many are willing to believe he's doing in secret.

            This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

            by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:29:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If we don't get a public option on the table, (0+ / 0-)

              we'll lose in 2012, period.

              Better to lose on principle with the public option, go to the mat for the people, and bring it up after 2010 elections.

              The problem with the Democrats is that the rhetoric and policy is at odds with our values.

              Obama got the rhetoric part right, but the policy is not quite there.

              Republicans have had their values, rhetoric and policy in line for a few decades now, and they're reaping the rewards.

              Another corporate bailout or corporate copout, and the Dems are done.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:18:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  BTW... nice work on this thread...nt (0+ / 0-)

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:18:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Molly Coddling? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nisi Prius

            Gee, yeah, I guess it's really unreasonable that those of us who supported Obama, gave him money and votes, and helped him get to where he is today think that we're owed as much attention as a bunch of people who have already announced they won't vote for this bill.

            You do realize, don't you, that if the bill doesn't include the public option, it will basically just require businesses to provide health insurance to workers and require individuals to purchase insurance?  The government will subsidize the premiums for those who are poor and near poor.  So, in the end, the so-called "reform" will create a huge captive market of customers for the insurance industry, which will then benefit from taxpayer subsidies that will help people purchase its products.  This is not much different from Bush's prescription drug benefit.

            I can't say whether or not Obama shares your basic philosophy, because I don't know what philosophy either of you holds.  I can say that people who think the public option is key to reform have every reason to be nervous about Obama's commitment to it (if such commitment exists).  He broke his promise on FISA.  He's already cut a backroom deal with Billy Tauzin and PhRMA.  You can claim Cenk is speculating, but you certainly can't claim there's no basis for the speculation.

            •  linky (0+ / 0-)

              You link a credible source to this so called Pharma betrayal.

              Fisa?  Please I'm way more concerned about the police arresting my black ass on my front porch than if they watch my porn preference.  He never promised he wouldn't support Fisa and in fact wrote an op ed saying if you didnt agree with it you could step.

              You are owed that he will work to complete what he has promised, and you have not one shred of credible evidence he isnt.  So called progressives are really beginning to remind me of children.

              Today we are all Iranian!

              by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:58:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here you go (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nisi Prius

                I am more than willing to admit that the exact details of the deal aren't known, but that's only because it was struck in secret by the White House and no one seems to be willing to tell us the whole story.  As a result of the lack of transparency, what you term "credible evidence" is impossible to come by.  But that's the president's fault, not mine.

                Try this New York Times article for starters.  Then you could move on to Ryan Grim's post on Huffingtonpost.com, which includes a copy of a memo that is said to come from a lobbyist involved in the negotiations.  You might also want to check out a diary by DK's own mcjoan on this topic.

                And if you're intested in informing yourself on Obama's flip-flop on FISA, you'll find a pretty good summary over at TalkingPointsMemo.  After changing his position (and, perhaps not coincidentally, sewing up the nomination), Obama did write an editorial telling those of us who support civil liberties that we could legitimately find it a "dealbreaker."  Or, as you put it, that we "could step."  For the record, that is precisely what I did.  Having contributed almost $2,000 to his campaign by that point, I ended my contributions.  Clearly, this particular civil liberties issue is not terribly important to you, but please don't criticize those of us who expected more from a former professor of constitutional law, particularly based on his own prior statements.

                •  No deal in those links. (0+ / 0-)

                  Like I said FISA is next to a non issue for me.  I guess thats because I grew up Black and the idea of authority listening to my private conversations is less of a concern than as stated before them arresting me off my porch or dragging me off a train and blowing my brains out by accident.  All this FISA stuff reminded me of a scene from ROOTS.   In it Fiddler the slave is in the kitchen with some lady slaves and they over hear massah talking about freedom and the American Revolution.  Fiddler replies "aw lawdy what we gone do if massah dont git his freedoms"  of course the ladies hit him upside the head.  Words like that couldnt be heard.  FISA strikes me very similarly airy rights and and percieved intrusions I doubt this President is interested in pursuing.

                  Today we are all Iranian!

                  by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 05:51:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Airy rights? (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm afraid I can't follow you.  Simply because governmental authorities commit a particular violation of your rights (e.g., arresting you on your porch) doesn't make other violations of your rights any more justifiable (listening to your private conversations).  

                    Unlike you, I don't consider the Fourth Amendment to be a bunch of "airy rights."  And the intrusions are anything but perceived.  We know they already occurred during the previous administration and that this administration is defending the program under which they occurred.  Whether Obama is interested in pursuing this is hardly the point.  The question is whether we want any executive to have to power to engage in warrantless wiretapping.  

                    As for your comment about there  being "no deal in those links," it seems that either you didn't read them carefully enough or you're insisting on a quantum of proof that is unattainable.  The articles document admissions from administration officials and folks in the pharmaceutical industry that some deal was made. We don't know exactly what it is because the administration isn't being forthcoming.  If the only thing that will convince you that a deal has been made is an explicit admission from the president's own mouth that he made one, well, then you're simply unpersuadable.  For obvious political reasons, he's never going to admit to it.  

        •  Can I ask you a sincere question? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adept2u

          Last year on this date, how often did you think about the public option? Was it a life or death issue for you? I'm not asking about the general idea that something had to be done about healthcare but the detailed idea of the public option. I am curious if you would like to answer. Thanks in advance.

          •  Last year it was merely a campaign promise (0+ / 0-)

            the reason I'm so concerned about it NOW is because NOW we are having the actual debate.

            This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

            by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:26:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Just another poilitican so far. (4+ / 0-)

      If you make a simple table of what Obama said during the campaign and what he's actually done, you can see that what he's doing is orthogonal to his campaign rhetoric.  

      1)public option vs 'compromise' now
      2)negotiating drug prices vs 'back room deal' now
      3)against telecom immunity vs. 'hum-ah hum-ah' for it now.
      4)out of Iraq, vs. 'crickets' now

      And if you look at his response to the banks and Main Street, it's easy to see that he was 24/7 saving the banks vs. very little for Main Street.

      Yes, politics as usual, and intellectual dishonesty.
      I voted for him, gave money, volunteered;  not again.

      He needs to walk the talk.

      •  I agree, all I ask is that he keep the promises (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FogCityJohn

        that I sat here and watched him make in every speech he gave.

        This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

        by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:21:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew
        1. He has always and steadfastly shown his support for a public option.  All this comprimise is speculation and in the future.
        1. Both he and the pharma industry deny a deal was made, yeah i know huffpo found some memo on the ground from someone who they wont name who wasnt there, but so what anyway.  Pharma is only at most 20% of health costs, and if Obama can snatch 80 billion and 110 million in good will so what.  If they don't play right they're next.
        1. Telecom immunity.  Under no circumstances do I personally want to prosecute an orgnization for following the orders of the President.
        1. Out of Iraq. "We will be as careful and deliberate leaving Iraq as we were reckless entering it"  I don't know about you but to me that means pretty freaking careful.

        Walk the walk huh?  You name one politician in the entire history of this nation that has come near as close without even taking to account he has 5 crisis that any 1 of which would define a presidency outside what he had planned on working on.

        Give your money to Nader and his parrot Cardoza then.  The adults will mind the store and still get you your health care.

        Today we are all Iranian!

        by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:30:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's put a withdrawal timeline into (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew

        place in Iraq. U.S troops have withdrawn from the cities there already. I know it's different than his campaign promise(16 months vs. 19 months), and there are criticisms of it, but I wouldnt describe it as a crickets regarding Iraq withdrawal He set the timeline in February.

  •  Yes, see my sig, from a man who knows him well (0+ / 0-)

    "He's like any other president -- he's a politician and he's got to do what politicians do." Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    by PhillyGal on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:12:58 PM PDT

  •  You're right. There'll be no public option... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanF, gleniris, FogCityJohn

    ...for we can all smell that "compromise" coming.  And the result will be much as you described so well:

    Why? Why is the public option so important? On the actual substance of the healthcare issue, the public option is critical in changing the insurance system we have now. If we don't use this to keep prices down through real competition, then the system will essentially be the same. Except with near universal coverage, taxes will of course go up (and private insurance companies will make even more money because we will subsidize more people to get insurance through them). And when the American people find out that taxes went up and their premiums did not go down, they'll be pissed.

    Learn more about second-class U.S. citizenship at http://www.equalitymatters.org/

    by Larry Bailey on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:13:09 PM PDT

  •  Obama's main problem is the makeup of the Senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, bullyness

    When you think about it, Democrats don't really have enough votes to pass big agenda items like heathcare. Conrad, Lieberman, Bayh, Landrieu, Specter, Nelson, and the Wallmart twins are not going to vote for things like real healthcare reform or cap and trade. They just aren't. The only way to get control of this is to cut off their cash flow as much as possible and run issue specific ads against them in their states. They have to know that if they don't have the party's back the party won't have theirs. Obama has been forced to negotiate with his own party because of a lack of party discipline.

    •  Don't agree (0+ / 0-)

      Obama could use leverage against folks like Landrieu and the Walmart twins if he wanted to.  All three of those senators depend very heavily on African-American support to keep them in office.  African-Americans are Obama's most loyal constituency, and they need this health care reform more than most Americans.  Obama could use his pull with those voters to pressure Landrieu, Lincoln, and Pryor to get on board.  Believe me, they'd wake up and smell the coffee pretty quickly.

      •  I don't absolve him in this matter (0+ / 0-)

        I agree with you. He has been part of this problem. When he insisted that Lieberman get his chairmanship back he sent a signal to conservative dems that dissent has no consequences. He could assert a lot of pressure on these senators and more importantly their donors. He could start lobbying the leadership to threaten to remove some committee seats in 2010. He and Reid are going to have the same problem getting important things passed until they start getting rough with these guys. If we lose some seats in 10 so be it. When I said that he was being forced to negotiate with his own party, I should have made clear that he is as responsible for this as anyone.

  •  No (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, joemcginnissjr, TenthMuse, vc2

    but your timing is good, Cent. A lot of regulars aren't here.

    A poster even said the other day. that this is a great opportunity for the more negative diarists. Not that anything dissuades you from young turking, LOL.

    I believe we can only be aware of the tip of the political iceberg. And behind the scenes is where movement occurs in politics.

    You want to "challenge" him. First he would have to pay attention you, and why should he? You heap abuse on him with every diary.

    •  Errm (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Cassiodorus, Muzikal203, ruscle

      You heap abuse on him with every diary.

      If all we do is sing his praises, what is supposed to keep the Dems from becoming the R's?

      We don't need to become dittoheads ourselves. A healthy debate is good, and there is nothing wrong with calling any politician out. Anyone.

      As long as it is done respectfully, which I think Cenk does.

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:28:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  (we aren't allowed to disagree with Obama here (3+ / 0-)

        if we do, we're only hurting him)

        This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

        by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:30:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do you actually disagree with him on (0+ / 0-)

          Seems what you disagree with is false charachterizations of him and things that haven't happened yet and the possibility he is a liar.

          Today we are all Iranian!

          by Adept2u on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:32:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree with the lack of transparency that he (5+ / 0-)

            spent the last 2 years promising us. Maybe if there weren't so many backroom meetings going on, people wouldn't be as wary. I have no problem with compromising if that's what you MUST do, but at the same time I don't think you should compromise away all of your campaign promises. I'm not someone who thinks everything he does is wrong, and I will frequently defend him if I think he doesn't deserve the criticism, just like you are doing in this diary.

            I'm seeing the lack of transparency for myself, so it's not a false characterization. We don't know exactly what he's thinking/doing and that bothers me. It's a lot easier to "just have faith" in him if we know what he's thinking.

            I'm not calling him a sell-out, I'm just not convinced about what he's not willing to compromise on.

            This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

            by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:36:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, then you get the Obam hater reputation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Muzikal203, JNSD, FogCityJohn

          I say to hell with that. You praise him when he does good, and criticize when he doesn't

          Anything less is something I will not do.

          There are things I really like about him, and lots of his policies he has that I support. My question is if HE SUPPORTS HIS OWN POLICIES. If he doesn't support himself, why the hell should I, or anayone else?

          And that is the rub of it.

          The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

          by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:33:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly, all we want is for him to do what he (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JNSD, MinistryOfTruth

            promised during the campaign. If he was going to campaign as "change" and govern as "the same" then he was wrong to do that. I was one who sincerely thought Obama WOULD do all of the stuff he promised, and yes I know it's only been 7 months, but it's never too early to hold his feet to the fire (like he asked us to do repeatedly, unless he didn't really mean that either)

            This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

            by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:37:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Please no "ermms" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, MinistryOfTruth

        They usually are shorthand for patronizing. I DON'T believe Cent is respectful, but respectful is in the eye of the reader and not worth arguing about.

        I DON'T think we should "heap praise" on Obama or practically anybody for that matter. Nothing is that black and white.

        My stance is consistent - people here jump to conclusions before the truth about almost anything is known, and then generalize to hyperbolic degree.

        Six months into one of the most miserable political climates ever, and we have to either decide whether he's just a politician or heap praise? And I DO believe that Obama will pay no mind to bloggers who are predictably one note.

        But, to reiterate what someone above said, I should be writing letters and not aguibg here, so have a good wekend. Bye.

        •  The problem with waiting (0+ / 0-)

          Is that by the time we know what is being tried for with Healthcare -- and I mean REALLY PRESSED for and not just given lip service -- it will be too late for us to act or to express any concern.   By that time, it will be a done deal.

          The time for us to press our points is NOW.  Not after the legislation has been crafted in back-room deals while Teabaggers are shrieking on the front lawn.  

  •  obama is a politician, lincoln was a politician. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, Adept2u

    "just" a politician? was ted williams "just another left handed hitter?" lincoln had his purely political reasons for issuing the emancipation proclamation, not the least of which was keeping foreign nations from getting into the fight on the side of the confederacy. the president has & i'm sure will disappoint me in many ways & on many issues, but i can always compare him to the alternatives.

    "Michele Bachmann is like the demi glace of wingnuttia." - Chris Hayes, Countdown, 2/18/09

    by rasbobbo on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:25:32 PM PDT

  •  Does it occur to people that he's paying so much (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, IndySteve, jj32, zizi, Adept2u, Deathtongue

    attention to the Sen Finance Cmmtte. because they're the biggest pain in the ass? That if he can get them on board with something, anything, he can then move forward with TWO Senate bills and THREE House bills in the fall and get something voted on in each chamber -- the house WILL have a PUBLIC OPTION and the Senate likely will too.

    Then HE/They merge the two bills and a public option is included and he uses reconciliation to pass it then he signs it -- a public option.

    That's leadership.

    •  Not quite correct (0+ / 0-)

      He's not paying attention to the Senate Finance Committee itself.  He's paying attention to the rump group of that committee that Baucus has assembled to negotiate a deal in secret.  Even other members of the Finance Committee have expressed their frustration at how they're shut out of the process.  That's right.  Senators who actually sit on the committee of jurisdiction don't know what's going into the bill their committee is supposed to be drafting.

  •  By the way, I don't think the question (0+ / 0-)

    is the right one. The answer should be obvious - he absolutely is another politician.

    So were Lincoln, FDR, and all these guys we now see as heroic. They were all cutting back room deals, in bed with powerful interests to a certain extent. I never expected anything different from the latest guy in office.

    The question for me is not whether he's "another politician," it's who's interests he is most interested in representing as he carries on the business of political deal making, which is never going to be pretty. If Obama somehow emerges as just a pawn of big business special interests, moving the legislation that they want through, then obviously his support will disintegrate fairly quickly. On the other hand, if he's working to cut deals with them (which may not always be perfect) in order to get something good done, then I'm on board.

  •  And by not DEMANDING a public option from (0+ / 0-)

    the Sen. Financ Cmmttee. he keeps the talks going so that they can produce something.

    If he says now, public option or nothing, he shuts it down and forces reconciliation at best and maybe loses the blue dogs and the ability to win a house vote.

    He's winning concessions -- keeping dialogue going -- and will win in the end.

    •  he doesn't have to say "public option or nothing" (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think that's what anyone expects at this point, I think the issue is how strongly he feels that a public option is necessary for real reform. I'm not a politician, I'm just an average person who wants him to talk straight and do what he promises. I had enough talking out the side of your neck with the Bush administration.

      This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

      by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:39:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How many times does he have to explain to you why (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, Adept2u

        a public option is so critical to real reform? I can recite his entire pitch. Why? Because he says it every chance he gets.

        Why would he close down discussions/dialogue by drawing that line in the sand right now? Why not wait until he has one Senate bill and one House bill? Then he can say: Public Option or nothing. And can then use reconciliation to get the 51 votes in the Senate.

        •  he has to say it as often as we hear the other (0+ / 0-)

          stuff, I know his pitch too, but I'm not the person he has to convince. I'm not even requesting a line in the sand. Obama knows how to drive a point home (as evidenced by the whole "change" thing during the campaign), and he hasn't been doing it on the public option.

          This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

          by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:44:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because it's not what Seniors and women want/need (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jamtown

            to hear. They are the ones who are most worried -- according to polling. So he's driving home the idea of security and protection -- rather than public option.

            That's what persuasion means. Address those who need reassurance not by saying Public Option over and over -- that won't move them. (yet he still explains it and calls for it in every appearance).

            Meanwhile -- the congress is doing all of the messy work and there's so much special interest money and power at stake and it's ugly to watch.

            But the fact that insurance companies and pharma hopped on the Obama train says to me that they know where this is headed -- toward a public option and all sorts of change -- and they want to cover their asses rather than get left behind.

            Scream bloody murder when the FINAL Senate and House bills DON'T contain a public option.

            Until then -- support Obama as he tries to do what no president ever has.

            •  How exactly am I not supporting him? (0+ / 0-)

              if I wasn't supporting him, I wouldn't give a rats ass what he was or was not doing.

              This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

              by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:53:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Rock on! Spread the word...chill people out... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RinaX

                Everyone's freaking out because Obama's not acting like George W. Bush and being all "I've got a mandate" and shit. Maybe, just maybe, that's not the best way to make this happen. Maybe he's got a better way. And so far, as ugly as it's been, we're closer than we've ever been.

                The key is September and getting people fired up about the monumental challenge Obama is taking on -- and yes, he has a huge mandate for it -- but he's not playing that card yet. He will, though. When the time is right.

  •  Question: if all the Dems in the Senate were (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, Deathtongue

    like Boxer and Brown and Feingold -- don't you think we'd have a public option passed by now?

    And if the blue dogs were neutered in the house -- maybe half the number they are now -- wouldn't we have a public option bill passed by now?

    OF COURSE.

    But we don't. We have what we have. And Obama has to work with what he has. Cautious, conservative dems and idiot republicans.

    And still -- he's getting it done.

  •  The way I see it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, FogCityJohn

    ...if Obama will finally rid himself of his on-going bi-partisanship fetish, there will be a public option.

    But if Obama is going to allow sneaky, devious Republicans to poison his health care reform bill with right wing conspiracy theories, then there will be no public option.

    It will be interesting to see how the Republicans are treated after they return to Washington D.C. after the recess.

    If the returning Republicans  from the break are, by Democrats,  treated like hail-fellow- well-met long lost brethern, then you can forget a public option.

    But if the returning Republicans are, by the Democrats,  treated like idiotic pariahs who need to sit down & remain quiet  while the adults hammer out a health care reform bill, then you'll get your public option.

    Dear ignorant teabaggers: You want your America back? First, check with the original proprietors, the Native Americans.

    by wyvern on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:45:14 PM PDT

  •  How's this for insistent? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, joemcginnissjr, Adept2u

    Goddamned Democrats, SUPPORT your frigging DEMOCRATIC President.  Enough of this ridiculous "sky-is-falling" Chicken Little act  and pessimistic parsing.  I'm embarrassed for you people.

    Where the brook puts out of the roots of the old tree and flows to the meadow

    by peterborocanuck on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:47:03 PM PDT

  •  Look, here's the biggest problem with the health (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joemcginnissjr

    care debate. There is no frigging bill! That's why the right is going around talking about death panels, that's why the left is concerned that the public option will be compromised right out of the bill, and that's why the center is just confused and frustrated.

    Once there's an actual BILL out of the Senate we can stop all of the "what ifs" and talk about/promote/complain about what's actually being voted on. Until there is a bill we're just going to keep going in circles and making it even harder for the President until there is one.

    Talk is cheap, what matters is what actually ends up in the bill.

    This user is no longer hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials. . . Now what?

    by Muzikal203 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 01:47:20 PM PDT

    •  And that was the Republican plan! (0+ / 0-)

      No final bill;
      No defined idea;
      No intelligent discussion;

      ... and Master Yoda explain it perfectly:

      Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate... leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.

      If Obama had a bill before August recess, Americans wouldn't be on the path to the Dark Side.

      And, in a Town Hall, a 'brilliant' man suggested a referendum for that!

    •  Sorry, Muzikal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, RinaX

      but there are bills.  In fact, the House has produced the so-called Tri-Care Committee bill (H.R. 3200) and the Senate HELP Committee has produced a bill.  There ARE bills out there.  The two bills I've mentioned both contain a public option.  Yet somehow Obama and everyone else is acting as if the Finance Committee in the Senate is the only thing that matters.  By doing so, they've given folks like Grassley disproportionate influence over the final legislation, and not surprisingly, it looks like the SFC is going to produce the weakest, most corporate friendly bill of them all.

      I guess my point is that we can start talking up a bill already.  My vote goes to H.R. 3200.  In my view, it's already a weak, watered-down compromise that gives away far too much to the insurance and drug companies, and it contains only a minimal public option.  But at least it's a credible start.

      •  Sorry, FogCityJohn (0+ / 0-)

        but we don't know how the bills will fit together and how important the Finance Committee's bill will be.

        We can discuss H.R. 3200 all we want and, by October, it can be in the recycle bin. However, we have to advocate the public option.

        Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate... leads to suffering...

        by JackLord on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:41:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When I asked this question, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, slinkerwink, Cassiodorus

    to friends at dinner, very liberal friends at that, there was visible anger.

    I've seen quite a bit of 'politician like behavior' from President Obama in the last six months...I want to believe in change...but I am not holding my breath.  

    I do appreciate your writing this diary, Cent...it needs to be discussed in the large forums that you contribute to.  

    You'll get push-back from the true believers...but kool-aide is kool-aide no matter which side drinks it.

    Truth needs to be pursued...

  •  Four out of five congressional committees that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, anotherCt Dem, Adept2u, RinaX

    have passed reform legislation have included a PUBLIC OPTION – with Baucus’ bill still in the works.

    Read that again, people.

    And again.

    And again.

  •  oh, es tu Cenk?? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, anotherCt Dem, zizi, Adept2u, TenthMuse

    Jesus you guys are tiring.... a whole diary over the use of "want" vs "insisted"?? Really, you would have left absolutely convinced if she had used it? Ok, I admit that she probably won't give u a thrill up your leg when she talks but then again, I only know of one person who's managed to do that for millions of people around the world in decades...
    The sausage making in Congress is dirty, ugly, tough and requires an incredible amount of the same political skill you seem to disdainfully dismiss as a nuisance. Unlike you, am actually happy that Obama seems to be very skilled in that matter without coming across as slimy à la Romney.. Trying to soothe, cajole, threaten, talk to those 500+ congressmen, reps, senators with egos the size of Sarah Palin idiocy is no small feat. Trying to get them to write a bill that will satisfy every "want", excuse me, "insistence" of a president is near damn impossible.
    So while this president is going into the lion's den getting his message out( including defense of a strong public option), passing signs depicting him as Hitler, a fascist, a communist, while he is actually encouraging the crazies to challenge him directly, while he seems to be doing all the heavy lifting when some of democratic senators give weak performances at their own town halls ( yes Specter , am looking at you), while he gets nutjobs showing up near him with guns, while some of us are trying to get enough facts to counteracts right wing talking points so we can finally get this legislation 40 years in the making pass, we have pseudo intellectuals wondering why VJ didn't say "insist"!!!
    Unbelievable! How r u helping anyway, besides giving the rethugs smth else to cheer about? Ooooh, even the liberuls are turning against him!

    •  Amen. You hit the nail on the head (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, TenthMuse

      We truly are our own worst enemy sometimes. We have come this far, 40 years in the wilderness, yet when we come this close we line up in a circular firing squad and fire away.

      It is so sad. The easiest thing Obama could have done, if self-preservation was his main goal, was to absolutely do NOTHING about healthcare. He did not need to wade into this lion's den, and he could have coasted on his 2008 win through his first term and kissed babies here, tinker with some banal legislation there and he would have been just fine. Yet this!

      "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

      by zizi on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:50:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cannot believe how foolish people are for rec'ing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, anotherCt Dem, Adept2u, TrahmalG

    this shit diary.

    4 out of 5 Congressional committees have passed bills that include Obama's Public Option.

    We're closer than we've ever been to passing this -- something no other president has come close to.

    So get on board and stop reccing chicken-little self-important self-promoting whiny rants like Cenk's.

    But I'm sure you'll congratulate yourselves (and not Obama) when he signs the public option into law in October. Of course you will.

    •  Missing Cenk's point (5+ / 0-)

      Cenk's not asking whether there are public option provisions included in the bills reported out of committee.  He's asking whether Obama will insist on those provisions being included in the final legislation, particularly since it appears that Baucus's committee is going to dump the public option.  Cenk's concern is based on the NYT story referred to, which claims that Obama has already agreed to dropping the public option.  

      Oh, and yeah, if Obama signs a bill in October containing the public option, I will be congratulating people like Cenk, Jane Hamsher, our own slinkerwink, Raul Grijalva, Lynn Woolsey, and the rest of the CPC.  Because if a public option makes it into the final bill, it will be due to their unrelenting insistence that the president and Congress resist industry/Republican pressure to drop it.

      •  you are joking right? congratulating cenk? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "I know we will have differences. Put them aside. It is so easy to focus on where we don't agree and to lose the big picture. Fight until we win" -Kwickkick

        by vc2 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 03:06:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No joke (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, ihavenobias

          The public option won't make it into the final legislation by magic.  The only way it will get there is if consistent pressure is applied on Democrats in Congress not to cave on this point.  The Republicans have announced they'll fight it until the end.  So, yeah, if it makes it through the legislative process, I'll be congratulating everyone who helped maintain that pressure.  And that includes folks like Cenk.

  •  I have a hard time taking this seriously (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, zizi, TrahmalG

    yes, he is a politician.  He makes deals, compromises and negotiates with the enemy. Sometimes I don't like the compromises.

    like all the others? I must have missed the others that look or think or talk like Obama. I haven't seen any and what he is and what he has tried to accomplish in the last nine months is remarkable as far as I am concerned. He has tried to lead a nation zombiezed by the right towards normalcy and even progress. There are some that don't seem to see that as the herculean task I do. I live in a community still ruled by Rush most of the time. Deprogramming isn't easy.

    In Obamas writings he has always made it clear that sometimes you can't have what you want immediately.; that success is moving things onward in the right direction till it gains velocity.  That may not mean things move as fast as I like but I see this as a far different philosophy than status quo politicking. I don't think he walks on water but I certainly don't agree that he is just another cut out politician.

  •  Worried and Not Worried (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    I'm not worried that we are gonna have some healthcare reform legislation.  That is pretty much a given.  

    What I AM worried about is that it will just be more "regulation."  We already have regulation.   Banking regulation, insurance regulation... blah blah blah.  So how's that been working?   Regulation is too easy to get around, too easy to "look the other way" on, too easy to change.  

    I'm worried that what we are going to get is going to be the equivalent of giving a rape victim the morning after pill and saying the crime of rape doesn't really matter and no need to stop the rapist because Big Pharma has given us a medicine cabinet full of morning after pills.  

    And I feel like I'm being raped by my insurance company every month I pay $500 for my monthly premium for just me.   And every year when they send me a thank you letter... and raise my rates 20% while cutting my benefits in ever more clever and complex ways (but always to my loss financially).

    We need Medicare for All.  

     

  •  Lincoln was a politician too (0+ / 0-)

    If you were around when Lincoln was President, you probably would've opposed him. He threw half of the Maryland Legislature in jail in order to prevent the state from seceding. He suspended habius corpus, willfully ignored the rulings of the Supreme Court, awarded government contracts to his political benefactors (especially in the railroad industry). Now he did all that to achieve a larger, and worthwhile goal.

    Obama making deals with the pharmaceutical industry might raise your suspicions. Obama not immediately voiding no bid contracts might raise your suspicions. And that's fine.

    Obama, like Lincoln, is a politician. To get things done, and enact massive changes, politicians have to cuddle up with their political enemies. The question which has not yet been answered for Obama--and won't be answered until the end of his term--is whether the unseemly political actions that the politician named Barack Obama had to take were taken with broader overall goods in mind.

    It's a question of ends, and it's too early to judge.

  •  I'm not sure why but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ruscle

    I prefer this diary to many of the others that have been critical of the president. Perhaps because it doesn't come across as an angry rant, I feel more open to considering the points it makes.

    Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
    A yam.
    What a Yam!
    And that's all that - A yam.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 03:24:08 PM PDT

  •  I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    I think Obama is just another politician personally. I like Obama the person more than what i have observed from Obama the politician. (continuing of Bush's policies) He says things we want to hear and for us to vote for him but abandon us once in office.  At least with republicans, they don't take their base for granted and throw them under the nearest Bus upon taking office.  It just didn't start with Obama. Democratic Presidents in General. From Bill To Obama. They don't even throw us a bone anymore I think most of us on the left are getting used to being disappointed. It seems in the end the right "aka the mythical center" and far right always get their way anyway why even debate about anything, even with health care reform.

    •  Bill Clinton was considered... (0+ / 0-)

      ... the Third Way (very moderate liberal). Blue Dog?

      What did Obama do to disappoint us?
      In six months, the only real policy he has implemented was Cap&Trade (Health Care reform is in its way). All the other decisions were mending Bush's policies and we know that he can't end the Wars overnight.

      Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate... leads to suffering...

      by JackLord on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 03:39:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama has stated his support for the public (0+ / 0-)

    option at every opportunity. He has a personal story of why with the private insurer which wouldn't cover his mother. Why do you doubt that he will fight for it?

    Of course, the political organizing must also be done by those of us who want the public option bad enough to back him up. If it fails, why would you just blame Obama.

    Everyone, get out there and demand it, convince others of its necessity and get them to write their reps and demand it. Obama cannot do it alone. Will he be willing to veto a health bill if Congress sends it to him w/out the PO. I doubt it....so we need to make sure that doesn't happen.

  •  Of course, some of us had concerns (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Larry Bailey, ruscle

    about this long ago.

    Silly us.

    What's that saying? "Those who fail to remember the past are . . ." --  well, you know how it goes.

    (Or has the end of this sentence disappeared into the memory hole as well?)

    Short version:  time to pressure those who need pressuring, if you're still hoping for change.

    Reporter to Mahatma Gandhi: What do you think of Western Civilization? Gandhi to reporter: I think it would be a good idea.

    by tryptich2 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:04:08 PM PDT

  •  ASK PRESIDENT OBAMA! (0+ / 0-)

    Since President Barack Obama is taking questions in Town Halls and he might be taking one-on-one interviews, someone has to reach him with one simple question:

    "Mr. President,
    If Congress presents you a bill without a public option, will you veto it?
    "

    If he doesn't give us a categorical "YES". The backstage rumor is true and the bill is born-dead.

    Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate... leads to suffering...

    by JackLord on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 04:51:45 PM PDT

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