Below is the letter the Dog sent to the President today.
Dear President Obama;
Mr. President, you are in a trick bag. You have a speech to make to the Joint Session of Congress and there are no easy options for you. Health Care Reform is a signature issue for you; this is why you put it in the agenda for the first year of your first term. You have made the quite case for this being the place where your administration will have to spend the most political capital of all so all other issues from DADT to accountability to the rule of law must take a back seat so this issue can be resolved.
“Originally posted at Squarestate.net“
It is hard to understand then, how you have allowed yourself to get into such a weak position. I understand that your failure analysis of the Clinton Health Care initiative was it was perceived as being forced on the Congress. There is something to be said for this point of view. However to abandon the Presidencies biggest weapon, the bully pulpit all together does not seem to have worked either.
You are now at a point where you have allowed the entrenched interests in the Congress to develop a potential split in your own majority party. Speaker Pelosi has said she can not pass a bill out of the House of Representatives without a Public Option. 60 Democrats from the House have written you they will not support any bill without a Public Option Health Insurance plan. I urge you to take them at their word, Mr. President.
I do not know how much you are hearing from the grass and net roots these days, but from where I stand, it is clear what the people of the nation want. They want Health Care Reform and they want it to have a Public Option. They are not going to be satisfied with any kind of trigger mechanism for this plan either.
It is possible you and the Congress could pass something without these items and make some difference in the way health insurance is delivered in this nation. Make no mistake though, if you do pass something which does not include a Public Option and without triggers, then it will be considered by the vast majority of the nation to be a complete failure. This failure will be laid at the feet of your administration. It will in short, be your failure Mr. President.
It is clear there is no chance the members of the Republican Party in the Senate will agree to even this massively watered down plan. You will not get their votes no matter what. You will also be vilified for what you do in this area regardless of the outcome. These are hard nosed political facts sir. They are going to be true regardless of the outcome.
Given this state of play there is still a way forward and I urge you to take it. Come to the Congress next week and demand a plan with a Public Option that is available from day one. Take the fight to the Republicans and those in your own party who are enabling the dismantling of the chance this decade for real reform.
The nation is hungry for a leader who will stand up for the people. I do not need to tell you this; it is part and parcel of how you became our President. It is time for you to show them that leadership which I know you are fully capable of. Those who are yelling and bringing guns to Town Hall meetings will never thank you for the leadership in this area, but the vast majority of the nation will.
Mr. President, we need this reform. Without a Public Option that can compete from day one in every insurance market in the nation, we will not contain the cost of health care. The profit motive which has allowed insurance companies to make over 90% of the insurance markets what the DOJ calls “highly concentrated” is never going to abate on its own. Without a plan that provides health care at the cost of health care, there will only be increase on increase on increase. This is the way a monopolized market works. To change this paradigm you must change the conditions.
If you take the podium next week and stand up for the people you will be rewarded. There will be yelling and screaming from the Right, the attacks on you and the plan will not stop. However once it is in place, you will be the President who did it. The public will start to learn the truth of this plan and will find it to be the right thing for the nation.
If you do not make a strong stand for the Public Option the view from the Left and Right will be that you have failed. It will not matter that you might have made some positive changes, the metric the people are measuring you on will not have been met. You will have significantly weakened your presidency and all of those other agenda items we were told we had to wait for until after Health Care will be that much more unlikely to pass. Do not do this to yourself or us Mr. President. Do not allow a split in your party from passivity. Be bold; stand strong for what the people of the nation want. This is your time to lead, but you will only get through this fight by leading, not by being passive.
I have faith you will do the right thing Mr. President. This is what you ran for, this is what you worked so hard to win, the ability to make significant and real change. Now it is time for you to do it.
The floor is yours.