CNN is reporting that, 8 months after he should have, President Obama is considering drawing up his own legislation on health care and submitting it to congress. Most people feel that as far as it relates to Obama himself it is too little too late. And also not very smart.
One aspect of the legislation includes a dropping of the public option to appease Republicans, a party in such a minority their votes arent even needed to pass any legislation the Democrats want.
What Obama is considering in place of the public option is this silly idea of a "trigger", a Republican smokes screen for putting the public option on ice.
The "trigger" idea is that the public option would only be triggered after insurance companies are given a chance to meet certain benchmarks and if they don't a public option would be triggered.
What these benchmarks would be and how long insurance companies would have to meet them would have to be negotiated and anyone with two cents for a brain knows that Republicans are not going to agree to a time table or benchmarks that Democrats would go along with. It also would effectively put off a public option for years which is the whole idea.
Obama is either dumb enough to fall for it, or thinks other people are dumb enough to fall for it but the whole idea is for Obama to do, not whats best for the country but to politically take the heat off himself.
Olympia Snow has said she would vote for such a "trigger" and so it seems Obama is willing to throw the public option and his whole party under the bus in order to get one Republican vote. Not every smart. And it's not going to work.
Obama's problem is the Democrats in the House have made it clear, especially to him that they consider a strong public option essential to any health care reform. And it is. The fact that Obama would consider dropping it is showing the Democrats he can't be trusted.
How stupid is this decision if in fact Obama tries to sell it? The only people opposing the public option are Republicans and the town hall mini-fascists with the Hitler signs and swastikas that have obviously made Obama's knees buckle. And by trying to mollify them Obama is on the verge of alienating his own party.
Someone who CNN identifies as a "Democratic aide" but who is clearly someone inside the White House, suggested to CNN that Obama doing something that "makes the liberals mad at him is not a bad thing to do now". First, notice that the statement has nothing to do with considering whats best for the country,only what they think is best for Obama politically. And it shows just show smarmy and political Obama is.
The second part of that statement is that it was obviously suggested by someone who can only be called a political village idiot who is trying to shape the debate.
What makes this "aide's" statement so idiotic is that if Obama tries to forge a bill that doesn't have the public option he will not just get the liberals "mad" at him. They will not vote for it and it will go down to defeat in the House, and will be as humiliating a defeat at the hands of his own party as any President has had in American history. In fact it would probably have Republicans rolling on the floor laughing and Obama's entire presidency at that point will have blown up in his face.
He will be seen as a totally ineffective and ineffectual non-leader who will not have the backing of his own party. He will certainly not have the backing of Republicans who want nothing more than to defeat him in 2012. He will be a President without a party, without a constituency and without support of the American people. Those who oppose him now will continue to oppose him and those who supported him will oppose him also.
To add to his humiliation, a bill containing a public option will most certainly be brought to the floor of the House and would most certainly pass. As far as the senate which supposedly is where the problems lie, the reality is according to a Whip count there is now not one single "no" vote among Democrats for a public option. The current count is 46 "yes" votes, 13 "maybe's" and Sen. Kennedy's seat up for grabs.
If a bill does come out of the senate without a public option thanks to Obama's knee buckling it will never get reconciled with a House that will not pass a bill that doesn't have a public option. If the result is no health care reform, Obama is finished for the rest of his term and will be little more than a public joke, a cigar store Indian of a president, a symbol and president in name only. And if he tries to sell anything without a public option to appease Republicans as "don't let the good be the enemy of the perfect", he may get a job writing greeting cards but he is finished as a president.
If the White House thinks its okay to alienate liberals and moderates in the House over the public option, Obama is in for the surprise of his life, and for those who thought he couldn't mess up health care even worse than he has, it will get a lot worse. But mostly for Obama himself.
If health care reform gets passed with a public option and without Obama's steadfast support, Obama will be irrelevant for the rest of the legislative session. And if it should stall in the senate, Obama will be blamed for it as well he should be. In other words Obama has put himself in the incredibly stupid political position of getting no credit for reform or the public option if it passes (though he would certainly try) and all the blame if it fails. And he will deserve what he gets.
The rest of Obama's presidency is going to be decided on health care. And the way it looks now, he is going to be so damaged as a result of his own disingenuous political actions that no matter what happens, dont be surprised if his own party asks him not to run in 2012.
His only chance is to drop this idea of a "trigger" as some kind of political bait and switch on the public option, stand up for ithe public option since he has claimed he supports it and fight it out. Otherwise he could be headed for oblivion. But he's had so many chances to redeem himself before on health care and has blown it each time, that passing a health care reform bill with a public option is much more likely than Obama redeeming himself. But one can still hope.
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