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Update: To be clear... I am persuaded that, given the way that this thing has been handled to date, we need a platform from which to make this bill better.  I believe that it's easier to do that piecemeal after the bill is passed then to start from scratch.  This will be easier if the chief compromiser is removed from the process.

Put me down with Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman.  This thing has to pass.  If it doesn't, it will set back the progressive cause for a generation.  Better to pass the bill then make it better through reconciliation.  But either way, we should exact a price, and after the White House response to Gov. Dean yesterday, the target is clear. It should be the compromiser in chief... Rahm.

See below the fold for details.

Cenk Uygursaid it clearly back in September...

Rahm Emanuel has been pushing for a weaker version of reform from the beginning. In his defense, he believes he is focusing on what is doable (nearly the same thing he said during the previous House elections). Emanuel has argued for a trigger from the beginning of the debate and seems to think that a public option is not realistic in this political environment.

Howard Dean has instead argued for a stronger version of health care reform. He believes the country is persuadable (the same position he had in the House elections) and is largely on the side of bolder reform already. He believes the Democratic politicians need to have the courage of their convictions and they can make a real difference.

Once again, Howard Dean is right and Rahm Emanuel is wrong. The voters didn't vote for a little bit of change. They gave the Democrats the White House and overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate. They voted for real change. The kind of change that Dean always pushes for (and often accomplishes) and the kind of change that Emanuel doesn't ever find "realistic."

Emanuel needs to change his definition of realistic. We didn't elect Obama to fiddle around the edges. We elected him to change the current reality of Washington. We didn't elect him to figure out the best way to appease the lobbyists; we elected him to figure out the best way to beat them. What Rahm Emanuel doesn't seem to get is that real change is realistic. You have all this political power. It's time to use it. If not now, when?

Rahm never got it.  So the price that progressives should demand for supporting the bill is Obama's "Realist".  Rahm must go.

Originally posted to kant on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:58 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That would be fun to watch too. (7+ / 0-)

    Howard Dean should be the first to demand it.

    •  Machievelli recommended that politicians (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George Pirpiris

      blame their ministers for bad news and fire them.

      Imagine how refreshing it would be if Obama held a press conference and acknoledge his first year got off track, blamed Rahm for everything,
      and promised to start over this year on a more progressive track.

      Then he replaces Bob Gates, as Secretary of Defense with General Wesley Clark.

      Withdraws Bernanke's nomination and replaces him with Paul Krugman.

      Replaces Geithner and Summers with Robert Reich and Elizabeth Warren.

      Then announces that he supports full equality for all Americans with regard to marriage.

      He could be a hero again and morale would improve greatly.  

      After seeing how great this would be can anyone honestly, beleive he shouldn't do this?

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

      by HoundDog on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:23:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Other than that maybe replace Holder with Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project or Tony Romero of the ACLU.

        We could also stand to redirect the mission of the Defense Department to focus more on climate change and have it start using its muscle to enforce 350 rather than just keep the oil flowing.

        Obama is still a hero to me, I think the guy is fairly competent. Unfortunately he's personality type AB.

        He has a quick mind, is eloguent and articulate, manages to convey a biting intelligence, but at the same time is laid back, unflappable, likes to get things started, is confortable delegating responsibility when he doesn't have the time to micromanage, but still manages to find time to enjoy life with his family.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:45:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds good. I like Obama a lot personally (0+ / 0-)

          And even think he going to end up doing a great job.  

          He's already accomplished an impressive list of improvements.   Your analysis of his personality sounds plausible.

          I think also, he really wants to be like by everyone, so may tend to overdo it on trying to please the GOP.  

          But, he's supersmart and will probably be a quick learner.

          I just think we've worked so hard to come this far, it would be such a shame to let so many of our base become discouraged, cynical, and drop out.

          And, I think Obama and the leadership probably agree and are searching frantically for a political viable way forward better than this.

          I think they underestimated the symbollic meaning of the public option and Medicare buy-in to the progressives and thought the Lieberman gambit would be a viable graceful closure to this.

          And it might turn out that way.  Not everyone is following things as closely as we do here.

          But, I'm hoping the rally behind Dean gives the progressive wing just enough leverage to get back a triggered public option with Snowe or a Lieberman cave in to resupport the Medicare buy-in.

          Nelson's going to be a big problem though.  I think they had forced him to stand down earlier in the week, but, now he senses a moment of weakness or crisis and may try to ram this abortion thing back into the process which could be the killer fly in the oinment.

          But, Democrats have too much to lose here to let this die such an ignoble death.  They will figure out something.

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

          by HoundDog on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 05:10:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I am always open to constructive suggestions. (7+ / 0-)



    This is not what I thought I'd be when I grew up.

    by itzik shpitzik on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:01:15 PM PST

    •  Fine 3 Day Strike (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Walk out all of you who still have jobs

      walk out for reform

      •  This is precisely what should happen and would... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        one pissed off democrat

        happen in Europe.  Between the most deftly manipulated teabaggers and the remarkably docile sheeple of America, it won't happen.  Too much fear, bedwetting and media manipulation, IMHO.  People in this country are far more concerned about losing their possessions than making the world beter fo their fellow countrymen.  I know that's a generalization, which is less true for folks on this site, but.... on average, many fling up their hands and ask "what can we do?" but they've already given up.

        •  It's easly to be a street activist in warmer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          one pissed off democrat

          climates and when one is young.

          It's 15 degrees out here in Massachusetts.   The only thing now that could get us out in the streets protesting is they turned off the electricity causing us to lose TV, and closed down the liquer stores.

          Other than that, you folks down in the warm south are going to have to keep the progressive street protest scene going until spring.


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

          by HoundDog on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:25:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  No, passing it will set back Progressive causes (18+ / 0-)
    for a generation.

    We put these people in power.

    If they mandate Democratic voters buy private insurance with no public option, we're done.

    Nobody will trust us for decades, and rightly so.

    Stop attributing to incompetence that which was really maliciousness on the part of the Bush administration.

    by tdaniels on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:02:15 PM PST

  •  No. (11+ / 0-)

    No bad bill.

    We don't need Rahm; we need reform!

    AFL-CIO Statement Blasting Senate Bill

    Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

    On Health Care Bill

    December 17, 2009

    The labor movement has been fighting for health care for nearly 100 years and we are not about to stop fighting now, when it really matters.

    But for this health care bill to be worthy of the support of working men and women, substantial changes must be made. The AFL-CIO intends to fight on behalf of all working families to make those changes and win health care reform that is deserving of the name.


    But because it bends toward the insurance industry, the Senate bill will not check costs in the short term, and its financing asks working people and the country to pay the price, even as benefits are cut.

    The House bill is the model for genuine health care reform. Working people cannot accept anything less than real reform.

    "Don't give up on the fight for real reform. Say no to the Senate bill, and get something real done." Howard Dean

    by TomP on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:04:13 PM PST

  •  but rahm should go (9+ / 0-)


    not another dime to the dnc, dscc, dccc until i have my civil rights.

    by scooter in brooklyn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:04:28 PM PST

    •  Hear, Hear!! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, LordMike, eztempo, HoundDog

      Rahm Emanuel has been nothing but an anchor holding back progressive change for this administration. And thanks to his treachery, he's got Congressional Democrats so scared of the upcoming 2010 bloodbath that they're running away from any progressive causes for the foreseeable future.

      This country is moving backwards even faster, thanks to the sick-fuck Right Wing and the weak-kneed "pseudo-Left". And we Progressives are just left out in the rain. It's time to drag the Democratic Party, kicking and screaming, FORWARD.


      by CajunBoyLgb on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:08:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yesterday's driftglass (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, HoundDog

      had a quick photo diary of interplay between Rahm and Lieberman.

      Well worth the click ~

  •  NO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Your so wrong you have no idea

    It will come up again in this year, we won't let it die,

    but I am thinking KOS should die out, too many Corporate trained lackeys in here

  •  If we want real reform... (7+ / 0-)

    we have to elect more Senators.

    More Democratic Senators is the only way to get a more progressive agenda enacted.

    The only way.

    "...this nation is more than the sum of its parts ..." Barack Obama-18 March,2008

    by Inventor on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:06:24 PM PST

  •  Oh Lord (10+ / 0-)

    First Obama
    Then Reid, Pelosi

    I should have known that Rahm's day was coming.

    I guess Tomorrow it will be Bill CLinton's day since he is endorsing the bill.

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:07:31 PM PST

  •  Passing this thing will be a cataclysmic success. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eztempo, greenskeeper, Clio2, Nailbanger

    A fiscally insolvent arrangement that will have some near-term benefit to the uninsured, but it will be incredibly unpopular from both the left and the right and the people will exact a heavy electoral toll in 2010. We will lose the committees, we will lose the ability to set the agenda, and we'll be left with Obama declaring Clintonesque victory after slashing an entitlement program or sending more jobs abroad.

    Essentially, we are mortgaging progressive influence for a long time to squeeze this very, very problematic bill through.

    I know pissing away 10 months of Congressional time would seem like a catastrophic failure, but the toll will be even higher if it passes.

  •  Odds are Rahm will probably be gone in 2012 . (7+ / 0-)

    if not sooner -- given that his advice is likely to cost the Dems their majority and possibly the White House.

    The problem right now is with his boss.  It'll be just like the case with Summers.  Summers had too many enemies, so he didn't get the post at Treasury, but he did get a key seat in the White House.  Obama will do the same for Rahm.

    The main thing right now is for Congress to pass a stop-gap, face saving measure with minimal ambition; regretting GOP obstruction.

    Then move on to jobs and the economy.

    Passing the Shit Sandwich in its largely unadulterated current form is not a wise policy or political option.  The move might fund the 2010 campaigns with kick-backs from the industry, but it won't provide votes for the 2010 election.

    Stand with Dean, don't crawl with Lieberman! -- Dr. Fatman

    by NotGeorgeWill on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:12:05 PM PST

  •  Rahm made a huge mistake... (8+ / 0-)

    ...when he told Reid to sell out to Lieberman.  I think that 60% of why we are so pissed is that Lieberman got to stick it to us.

    Rahm deserves to be fired for that alone!

    DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
    LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

    by LordMike on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:12:15 PM PST

  •  If Obama wants to silence me, he's got to give me (4+ / 0-)

    Rahm's head on a platter

    There are so many ways, and so many issues that I've seen Rahm Emanuel undermine the HOPE that Obama's campaign engendered over this past year that I firmly believe that, if Obama is to get my wing of the Democratic Party -- his most active and effective base of support, electorally, and the "base" that's going to make a difference next fall between some losses and catastrophic losses -- then the President is going to have to replace his Chief of Staff.

    Now.  Not later, after an Emanuel-engineered capitulation on energy & environment.  NOW.

  •  Nowhere near enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenskeeper, Clio2

    "And the biggest self of self is, indeed, self." Mark Sanford

    by Paleo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:14:33 PM PST

  •  i see its the blame rahm first faction again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, littlebird33

    Laughter is a force for democracy - John Cleese

    by GlowNZ on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:15:29 PM PST

  •  I blame the voters of CT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, littlebird33

    they voted the jackass Lieberman back in.  

    Laughter is a force for democracy - John Cleese

    by GlowNZ on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:17:52 PM PST

  •  Rahm's Removal is only a Down Payment eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Pirpiris
  •  The entire economic team and Gibbs. (4+ / 0-)

    Axlerod too now that he is attacking the base.

  •  They're all expendable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What else did we expect when Obama limited his choices for Cabinet members and advisors to career politicians? For these guys there is always a deal and favors to exchange regardless of what legislation we are talking about. What we needed were problem solvers and what we got were problem avoiders, people who think in terms of who has to be promised what instead of what needs to be done. If Rahm goes, another smarmy politician will just step in to take his place because we no longer have any bold thinkers in Washington.

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

      Steven Chu, SecEnergy
      Eric Shinseki, SecVA
      Shaun L.S. Donovan, SecHUD
      Arne Duncan, SecEd

      I would also argue that several of his other Cabinet appointments bring years of subject matter expertise, not to mention sub-cabinet and other advisors.

      It's easy to dismiss out of hand years of political experience dealing with issues like labor, defense, or justice. One can argue about the relative merits of different appointees, but I submit that Obama's choices may be the best in my lifetime.

      There are some I don't like, mostly in finance. I'm not thrilled with Salazar, Vilsack, Napolitano, Geithner and LaHood. But I utterly reject your blanket condemnation. Shinseki, Donovan, and Duncan are all stellar choices. Locke should have been one of his first choices in any of several positions. Gates and Clinton were brilliant moves for a number of reasons. Several others have the potential to prove out as solid or better.

      Chicken Little called--he wants people to start paying royalties for stealing his act.

      Schadenfreude--it's the new catnip. (Someone stop me before I become addicted--but not just yet!)

      by homogenius on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:47:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Granted these are the exceptions (0+ / 0-)

        we thought would never come after enduring weeks of scandalous revelations about potential appointees largely from the political arena. The selection of Judd Gregg for Secretary of Commerce, after Richardson's withdrawal, was perhaps the most patently obvious political choice and one that proved to be the biggest political blunder when Gregg rejected the offer. At this point I lost interest in the rest of Obama's choices. So excuse me for being a bit cynical.

        Duncan and Donovan are hardly new to government, having been political appointees to previous posts in government. This does not make them career politicians or invalidate their relevant experience, but one seldom survives in those positions without learning to play politics at some level. Duncan's professional basketball experience couldn't have hirt either, since the boss loves the game. Shineski, Gates, and Clinton were relatively uncontroversial and politically safe appointments, despite Shineski's criticism of the previous Secretary Defense, a criticism that appears to have been validated by events in Iraq. Besides, it's difficult to argue that a general doesn't know what he's talking about when he's discussing military matters. Chu seems to be the genuine oddball appointment, A Nobel prize winner and academic with no experience in government.

  •  Not buying it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So, four or five years from now, after Americans have been be forced to buy lousy, overpriced health insurance or else taxed for refusing to do so, they can take comfort in knowing that the guy who was once the WH Chief of Staff has gone on to some other position?  That's some extremely weak tea.  

  •  Rahm is Obama's buddy (1+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    blueyedace2, trashablanca

    Ignore what Obama says, his actions tell the real truth about his agenda.

    by arcticshadow on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:21:16 PM PST

  •  I've been following politics closely for years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, homogenius, littlebird33

    When did I miss the genesis of the whole "Rahm is evil" story?

    Is it when FDL said he was anti-immigrant?  Or was it when Glenn Greenwald went after him?

    Didn't Rahm Emanuel help orchestrate the 2006 Democratic taking back of the House?

    "The degree of one's emotion varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts-- the less you know the hotter you get."~ Bertrand Russell

    by samantha in oregon on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:22:30 PM PST

    •  It's only those (5+ / 0-)

      that can't bring themselves to blame the President for this crap that blame his COS.  They're only fooling themselves.  He's done nothing that Obama hasn't told him to do.

    •  Well Some Of It. I Gather There's Some Disagrmnt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samantha in oregon

      between activists and Rahm over how much credit he & the establishment get.

      I think he was very critical of Dean's all-states approach one or both elections, which seems to have worked out well when conditions broke in favor of Democrats.

      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 Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:43:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too many blue dogs (0+ / 0-)

      Rahm and Dean and million other people who's names we'll never know, including many here, helped engineer huge Dem wins in 2006, afer years of close defeats that left the party severely demoralized and mired in self doubt. But unfortunately they weren't all progressives, so...

  •  A better variant of this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homogenius, littlebird33

    The concept of accepting the heads of obstructionists as payoffs for our support has merit.  But there are bigger speedbumps than Rahm Emmanuel.

    Bring me the head of Joe Lieberman...then we can talk.

  •  Take the sacrificial Rahm. (3+ / 0-)

    How stupid is this? Let me count the ways....

    Rahm doesn't take a crap without the President's approval. Everything Rahm does he does at Obama's behest. Obama doesn't tolerate infighting or working counter to his policies.

    Fixating on Rahm (who, let's face it, is a very polarizing figure) is counter-productive. This President doesn't veer in whichever direction the political wind takes him like Bill Clinton. He is steadfast and consistent. He will not toss Rahm until he is DAMN GOOD AND READY!

    Rahm was his ONLY choice for COS. He told Rahm to take the job, no arguments. He told Rahm that he knew Rahm's conscience wouldn't let him turn it down.

    I wish people around here were half as deliberative, focused, and dispassionate in assessing the trajectory of HCR as the President.

    This was all so much easier when people could prance around waxing effusive about Hope and Change.

    "Who will help me do the shit work of enacting difficult, game-changing policies?" asked the Little Red Hen. And Foxey-Loxey, Henny-Penny, and Turkey-Lurkey promptly shat themselves in panic before running from the farmyard screaming for Mommy.

    Schadenfreude--it's the new catnip. (Someone stop me before I become addicted--but not just yet!)

    by homogenius on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:34:57 PM PST

    •  I'm too happy about the Al Franken slap down (0+ / 0-)

      but I completely disagree with this

      Rahm doesn't take a crap without the President's approval.

      All I can say is it is in direct conflict with the presentation of Obama , especially considering the President with his repetitive Management by Objectives style...

      You can't have it both ways and carries operational and political liabilities as well.   And as for the advisability of such a possible arrangement, then Obama has no room, no buffer...should perhaps, Rahm be less than transparent in his dealings. It's 100% Presidential liability, opening up the kind of Carter Micro-management criticisms 2.0

      And gives no cover whatsoever if that dreaded question would ever arise:
      "What did the President know, and when did he know it."

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance
      and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Robert Davies on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:51:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But now we're talking wiggle room. (0+ / 0-)

        That raises a different question: "Did Rahm exceed his latitude or misrepresent the President's position?" If Rahm was coloring outside the lines, this leads to a second question: "Is Rahm worth more to the President as a scapegoat or as COS?"

        I see that as falling far, far short of "Rahm has to go!!!!"

        Schadenfreude--it's the new catnip. (Someone stop me before I become addicted--but not just yet!)

        by homogenius on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:09:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I note that the 'realist' has to actually work (0+ / 0-)

    with members of Congress, while the 'idealist' doesn't.

    I wish Howard Dean was in a leadership position in Congress because no one makes that argument better than he does, and needless to say we could use another progressive vote (especially in the Senate).

  •  Rahm should fired soley that he sucks at his job (0+ / 0-)

    Whatever that job should be.

    Just a skinnier version of Mark Penn.

    Rahm Emanuel, Joe Liebeman...... Really these are the clowns that are gonna take us down in 2010?

    by George Pirpiris on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:55:40 PM PST

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