President Obama and his staff (Rahm Emanuel) are actively undermining Senator Harry Reid’s efforts to get a Public Option through the Senate, with the opt-out provision, and instead favor the Insurance Company blessed “trigger” charade that has been championed by Republican Senator Olympia Snow.
A sitting U. S. President has enormous power to influence wavering Senators on close bills, and keep unity within the Party on important goals. But Obama is not only sitting by passively and refusing to get behind Harry Reid’s effort, he is actually now scoffing at it, and projecting that Reid’s effort can’t work (i.e. sabotaging the momentum) while refusing to lend any proactive help to make it succeed.
NBC News reported that Obama administration officials called Reid’s decision to go ahead with an opt-out public option “dangerous.”
The administration basically told Reid, “You’re the vote counter. But don’t come crying to us when you need that last vote,” Chuck Todd said on MSNBC.
Obama privately discouraged Senate Democrats from pursuing the opt-out plan. “Everybody knows we’re close enough that these guys could be rolled. They just don’t want to do it” a senior Democratic source told the Huffington Post, saying that Obama is worried about the political fate of Blue Dogs and conservative Senate Democrats. “These last couple folks, they could get them if Obama leaned on them.”
But Obama isn’t leaning on them.
“No We Can’t!!“, says Obama.
He is wants the Insurance Monopoly supported “trigger” charade (which isn’t a public option for anybody at all).
This is the equivalent of Bush coming out and saying tax cuts for the rich are dangerous, and “don’t come to me for help if you need that last vote”.
If the Senate passes the public option, it will now be in spite of President Obama, and not because of him.