Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gone Missing: Spine

I was all set to write a tirade about the perfidy of the Obama administration on health care reform, when the position the administration staked out over the weekend seemed to dissolve today. For those of you not paying attention, the President, his press secretary, and the secretary of health and human affairs all put out distinct signals that the administration was willing to scuttle the so-called "public option," on health care reform. Faced with an outcry from the progressive Democrats in the House, not to mention a similar howl of outrage from the progressives in the party at large, the administration beat a hasty retreat. All the signals today were that "nothing has changed," a patently false assertion. For the moment, the president and his troops can't stand the heat from their own party. Don't worry, that will change soon enough.

I still have not changed my expectations about the final outcome of this imbroglio: Obama will cave on health care reform. He will do anything to get some kind of bill passed, which means he's prepared to give up public option, no matter what he and his people are saying today. He is willing to embrace any kind of legislation he can slap the "reform" label on, including health care cooperatives, an idea that's been bruited about for months, which, I guarantee you, not one in five hundred Americans, if that many, understand. (I sure as hell don't.) Which, by the way, the Republicans will not support either. This whole thing has become a freaking nightmare.

Here's an email I sent to a friend today. This was before I learned about Obama's reversal of field on the public option. But this pretty much an accurate description of my basic sentiments, and my basic sentiments about this are not going to change. All that's not here is my utter loathing for the Republicans, every single one of them, who are going to vote their corporate masters' interests and to hell with the American people. I have not heard a single one of them condemn the outrages their crazies out in the country are doing at the town meetings.

I'm thoroughly pissed. If Obama drops the public option, I'm finished with him. The guy is a frigging trimmer, and I'm beginning to suspect a liar as well. What's being bruited about now is NOT what 71 percent of the US people want. He seems willing to do just about anything just to get a bill. It was the progressive votes that got this guy into office, and all we've gotten since he took over is the back of his hand. This country needs a third party in the worst way, but I don't think it's going to happen without millions on the streets.

What's obvious to me is that single-payer health care system is what we need, but Obama took that off the table before we even got started. He told the insurance companies and hospitals, look, if you don't tear me new asshole like you did Clinton, I'll see that single-payer doesn't get considered. So the bastards said OK, and you see what's happened. The brownshirts are out in the town meetings scuttling the whole effort.

This kind of time will not come again soon. Obama has majorities in both houses. Do you think for a second he's going to have them after the mid-terms? The Republicans are making complete hash out of this feckless, half-hearted attempt at a reform that is crying out to be made.
I'm very close to abandoning this president. Very close. He's smart, charismatic, and inspiring. All this helped get him into office. But since then he's shown his true self. He's way too enamored of the idea that you can actually work with the jackals of the Republican party. Plus he's not kicking the sorry asses of the Republicans' allies in his own party, the miserable blue dogs, who in the final analysis are the true villains of the piece. So where's the presidential spine it takes to get the job done here? Sorry, our guy's got no spine.
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