(10 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The most generous reading I can give is that he’s trying to derail any efforts to pass a public option or medicare buy-in through reconciliation and ensure that none of the deals he struck will be harmed in the process.
Which leads me to ask if they still don’t ask the right question: did Rahm ever want to pass real health care reform? And if he did, can there be any excuse for his having mangled the legislative strategy so badly?
From the absurd strategy to try to call health care reform “deficit reduction”, to backroom deals after the president ran explicitly on transparency, to allowing the hostage taking by the Gang of Six for months to a dozen other inexplicable tactics — it all makes the most sense if you already assume that he wasn’t fully committed to its passage.
Maybe not. I’m not one to mythologize single actors, and I do believe that the buck always stops with the president. But either Rahm is a brilliant legislative strategist, in which case he didn’t bother to use his great powers to pass health care reform for reasons we can only speculate about, given the stakes — or his reputation for brilliance is extremely overrated. But Rahm’s culpability, whether intentional or not, has long been obvious and there’s nothing surprising in these recent statements.