Earlier in the week I got excited when I saw Obama was going to address Congress next week. I thought maybe he'll finally get tough with them. How incredibly naïve.
Instead, we found out later on Wednesday that Obama had already decided to kill the public option. The only question that remained was how to kill it. Then we found out that there is a good chance that they are not even going to do universal coverage. So, what's left of so-called health care reform?
This is an enormously disappointing day. Obama is not playing chess. He doesn't know something we don't know. It is exactly as we had feared. He did make deals with the private health care corporations. They would never agree to deals with a public option. He picked Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff because politics was his primary concern, not policy. He never intended to do the public option. It was all a joke.
I'm sure Rahm Emanuel thinks there is nothing to lose by angering or disappointing the left. He knows they're not going to vote for lunatic Republicans. So, he figures they can get political credibility by attacking the very people who put them in office. Classy. Except, I think he has miscalculated a little.
We have lost all enthusiasm for Obama now. It's not just me. I thought after I ranted against Obama's pathetic capitulation today on the show that a lot of Obamabots would come out and give the usual excuses -- give him time, he's a master strategist and we mortals cannot understand his ways, yada, yada, yada. But no, not this time. The comments on our website and our You Tube channel were uniformly against Obama. There was one common refrain -- why did we bother electing this guy?!
I think the Obama White House is doing untold damage to its credibility here by scheming against the centerpiece of healthcare reform - the public option. We're not unreasonable; we get that compromise is necessary. And there are many things we are willing to compromise on. But the public option is the very heart of reform. If you don't have it, it turns into a large boondoggle for private insurance companies to make even more money.
Who is excited to work for Obama after he kills real reform and passes something already pre-approved by the very lobbyists he claimed he was going to fight? No one I've seen so far. Of course, there are differences between Democrats and Republicans, but in the end, it appears they serve the same corporate overlords.
So, the only hope that remains is the progressive caucus in the House. They must vote no. Without a public option, this whole thing is a joke. The private insurance companies will make even more money, the deficit will go even higher (with subsidies we're shoveling over to those same companies to cover the previously uninsured) and our premiums will continue to go up. The average American will get little to nothing from this so-called health care reform. But, of course, the private health care companies will make a fortune.
Washington appears to be a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America. We're going to find out soon if there is anyone who is willing to fight this takeover. Apparently Obama never intended to do the public option or real reform in the first place, but it appears that the progressives in Congress did. Now we're going to find out if they will follow the time honored tradition of Democrats and capitulate or if there's anyone in DC with a backbone to actually stand up to the lobbyists.
If they vote no on Obama's weak sauce bill, the world will come down on them. Rahm Emanuel who is scared to death of fighting Republicans will relish beating up on progressives. He's a lion against liberals and a pussy cat with Republicans and lobbyists.
Of course, the media will go along and say that it was the progressives who killed the bill when not a single Republican would have voted for it under any circumstance. They have to withstand this barrage and show what they're made of. Is there anyone on the Democratic side who is actually willing to stand up for principle? We're about to find out.
If the progressives buckle on this one, I can guarantee you that this kind of appeasement will only encourage Republicans to do these same tactics all over again on every issue. And Emanuel (Obama's Cheney) and the rest of the White House will run for the hills every time and we will get absolutely no change in America.
We have to stand strong here -- and it sickens me that it is against Obama that we must do this. Remember his campaign? What a politician, what a disappointment.