The Bestest of All Possible …

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

(Simulposted at the Orange)

best of all possible worlds

I have literally lost track of the amount of comments that respond to analyses of Obama’s actions with “why are you surprised?” and “what did you expect?”

But I have to say the latest is downright hilarious.

Most of us already know the latest story about how the pharmaceutical companies, via their lobbyist, former Congressional Rep Billy Tauzin, publicized a deal they supposedly made with the White House which they claimed promised there would be no fooling around with negotiating (i.e., lowering) drug prices in health care legislation in return for a hefty investment in advertising and an $80 billion investment in the plan itself.

Caught between a pivotal industry ally and the protests of Congressional Democrats, the Obama administration on Friday backed away from what drug industry lobbyists had said this week was a firm White House promise to exclude from a proposed health care overhaul the possibility of allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices under Medicare.

We were promised transparency in these negotiations.  Of course, politial promises don’t count.  Why are we surprised?  What did we expect?

“Not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN,” Obama explained in a Democratic debate in Los Angeles in January 2008, in language similar to many of his campaign stops.

However, the two biggest deals so far – industry agreements to cut drug and hospital costs – were reached in secret.

So now we see who has a seat at the table,  not because the Obama Administration was open and transparent, but because Billy Tauzin and the pharmaceutical companies panicked when they thought Congressional Dems were going to mess up their deal and demanded assurances from the White House.

Of course, everyone could have predicted this!  Why would anyone be surprised?  What do you all expect?

Well I guess I’m just real ignorant about Obama.  I’m not as prescient as those who have inside information about him from reading his books and following websites of his supporters, I don’t have their inside line to know I shouldn’t be surprised by virtually anything he does!  I don’t have the enlightenment to know that Obama’s campaign promises are entirely consistent with what he is actually doing to govern, that he was never a progressive (why so surprised?  what did you expect?), and folks have reams of “evidence” to show their interpretation of President Obama’s actions is definitive and shows that, in the midst of all the horrible problems of the day, he is the best of all possible Presidents!

As though surprise and expectations have anything to do with it.  Yet I hear that over and over again as a supposed bona fide response to questions about how healthcare negotiations are progressing, the implication being that if Obama is involved, nothing could possibly be done better, this is the best of all possible ways to reform health care, and anyway, what did you expect?

I  have no illusions that this kind of sloppy dialogue will end given the emotional investment so many  have in this talisman of Voltarian optimism.

I will say, though, that we do need to understand as much as possible about these negotiations and the sausage-making process that will affect so many lives – and we need to understand who is getting the biggest seat at the table and who is being left out – not to have big flamewars over whether this is the absolute bestest that can be done under the circumstances, but so that as we move forward with reforming health care in the USA we leave no one behind.  This is beyond politics and is the duty of each citizen.

And it deserves a better kind of dialogue, imo,  than these shallow faux rejoinders.


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  1. … it was getting on my nerves, like Chinese water torture.

    Of course I shouldn’t expect real dialogue when it comes to politics.

    Silly me.

    • Joy B. on August 10, 2009 at 21:35

    Doesn’t that suggest two ‘sides’ have something to say, and both get to say it? Here we have smoke-filled back room deals, government secrecy, and the usual “call out the troops to defend nothing but shit” catcalls. We’d get way more dialogue with the Nazis showing up at the Town Halls, who are even more ignorant than we are about what’s what from the back room.

  2. titling away at this particular windmill. Hey I read his books I listened to his speeches  all of them, I was even indoctrinated on how to spread the gospel according to Obama via his campaign. All i can say is contained in his own words. This is a distraction, this is a bamboozle.

    My last comment was in reply to a poster who stated that health care reform or the public option is not possible at this time. I guess the same can be said of regulations on the too bigs or the endless wars for profit and sadism, or even the undemocratic and illegal pumping up of unitary power for the executive.

    Nothing but what the entities that are in power declare possible is on the table and we should STFU and not get in the way of ????? What do we interfere with except the demise of our system and any social or civil progress since they wrote the quiant constitution. Politics trump all but pragmatically speaking what do we the people end up with when we trade our rights as citizens and believe that nothing but what they decide is possible.

    My neighbor just accosted me, (since I convinced every one in my district he was the cats meow during the campaign) and asked ‘What’s up with Obama I must say I’m disappointed. Why don’t the Democrats rule when they have the power?” You cant have it both ways the executive is beyond the law, and then talk about how powerless you are as we need consensus, or were not ready or this is the best you get suckers.            

    • Edger on August 10, 2009 at 22:28

    The optimist says we live in the best of all possible worlds.

    And the pessimist says the optimist is probably right.

    I know, I now… I’m leaving now. Ducks… Scuttles away chuckling softly. 😉

  3. From my former experience with Medi-D, I am very suspicious of what lurks beneath the surface, of what they refuse to reveal.

    After the fact, we learned all the sneeky details that milked us for whatever they could get.  Let’s remember the key role Tauzin played in Medicare-D, Dr. Pangloss proclaiming great benefit to seniors!  And just like Pangloss, just as falacious. Shortly after passage of Medi-D, Tauzin left his Congressional seat to become President of PhRMA, Pharmaceutical Research and Management Association, where he seems, once again, to be fulfilling his panglossian function.

    From the NYT article:

    On Friday night, however, the drug industry lobby appeared to line up once again with the White House, perhaps satisfied that the White House had at least ruled out the price rebates in the House bill.

    Asked about the White House statements, Ken Johnson, a senior PhRMA official, said, “All of the questions about what was in the agreement distract from our shared goal of making sure everyone has access to health care coverage.


    The full terms of the White House agreement with the drug makers, like a similar deal with the hospital industry, have never been disclosed.


    Mr. Tauzin insisted early this week that the deal clearly precluded drug price negotiations as well as any other additional costs. Drug companies have long opposed government price negotiations on the grounds that they would effectively set prices and cripple the industry.

    Emphasis mine.  Yah, sure.  Asking questions abvout particulars would distract from the common goal:

        Coverage for All!

        At whatever the cost!

    Thanks NPK.

  4. i know u r but wut am i?

    your mama!

    i’m rubber ur glue…

    u b serious, and i’ll be mucus.

    that’s all i got.

    See, the thing is, Obama is so much smarter than all of us… he has a plan.  it has to be super-secret at this point, not because he hates transparency (he loves it actually!), but because in his incredibly smart smart state, he knows we aren’t ready for it yet.  See, he’s got a big plan for change we can believe in, for fulfilling all that hope, and he’s implementing that plan so smartly, so brilliantly, that we can’t even tell he’s doing it.  You just wait.  You’ll see.  And then Obama will do an impression of Nelson Muntz and “ha ha” all naysayers.


    The Bagram Boom Town complete with Burger King!

    Obama Joker posters very creative

    Vaccine adjuvants and then of course Dr. A True Ott, Dr Steven Greer and Len Horowitz.

  6. In Mexico meeting with PM of Canada and President of Mexico, Obama said that the Canadian system wouldn’t work in US.

    He spouted some crap about our systems “have evolved differently” as if there is no qualitative difference between the two. Then out came some B.S. about having a “uniquely American approach” to HCR, as if that is supposed to make us feel good.

    I am listening to him less and less when he is on TV, it’s just drivel wrapped inside of pablum.

  7. I get into with a member of the “Obey Obama” crowd.  Great thinking.

  8. Dynamics.

    What more does one need to know?

  9. Course, I should have expected that they would expect that I expected something different from what I actually expected.  

  10. … President Obama actually promised change. While most of his policy proposals were small incremental changes hiding behind big sweeping rhetoric about the challenges the nation faced, he DID promise substantial improvements in “process”.

    I would not be surprised if I had a comment or two during the online pre-primary wars about the superiority of POLICY promises over PROCESS promises. But damn, I don’t want to say “I told you so” badly enough to wade for hours or days through the online pre-primary wars to find it.

  11. I think we’re all feeling very let down, once again, and with good reason!

    But there are those who say that Obama was never for single-payer and that is simply not true — I just want to point that out.  I posted a couple of videos on the subject here, but it wasn’t seen, as it was pretty much the end of the thread, so to speak.

    Moreover, Hillary beat him up for his position of single-payer in the primaries.

    I am not seeking justification for Obama’s positions, which seem to have almost completly reversed themselves from his original stance.  But, I am truly wondering if we’re not watching a modern-day “lynching of a black man!”  (All the power and money, you know.) And, then, too, you have the Dems, with their own personal political agendas, which don’t exactly coincide with progressive movements.  

  12. all of these things, why the hell did we choose him as our candidate and why did we elect him?

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