Conspiracy Theory

(10 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

What digby said

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.


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    • Edger on January 30, 2010 at 03:30

    Yeah, Rahm’s a bright shining light illuminating that darkness enveloping the WH, for all to see.

    • Eddie C on January 30, 2010 at 04:48

    Barack Obama serves at the pleasure of Rahm.

    I wake up some mornings hating me too.

                        —Rahm Emanuel

  1. …. you may as well just ban yourself.

    I read this a bit differently.  Very early in the year of 2009, they (POTUS and advisors) thought that they could just palm this bill off on the Senate and House and sign off on it when it was done.   They had a final outcome in mind, which they didn’t share with the general public, which was based on keeping the existing private insurance industry intact, and subsidizing it, by forcing more people into HMO’s and taxing the people the least likely to be able to fight back against being taxed, to expand the subsidies.  This would please the businesses, the wealthy, the high powered professional “community organizers” also known as the OFA hit squads, and the Pandercrats and Vichy Dems and Befuddled Dems in the Senate, and the Republican Party.   They kept the other things, like the possibility of a Public Option, in play all summer and fall to get more donations from the pro and anti health care reform factions.

    And it’s blown up in their faces.

    So they are taking their ball, and going home.

    But that looks like they’re abandoning it, so as Digby noted her friend noted that Rahm’s version is different from Axelrod’s is different from the President’s, etc.  

    Think a minute. Planned chaos, when they’ve brought Plouffe back in to tighten up message control ?   No, this is planned to confuse people and keep them guessing.  And it’s harder to hit a moving target.

    At this point, everybody officially pontificating on health insurance reform on behalf of the Democratic Party does not need health insurance, they already have it.  It doesn’t really bother them that it didn’t pass, very much, it’s just another spoke in the bicycle wheel.

    Now, they (WH and advisors)  are perturbed at the House, and at the Speaker, for not just signing off on this Senate Finance Committee version, and they know that the Pharma industry and the Health Insurance industry is going to be rather angry at missing their new customer base and mandated subsidies, so they need a scapegoat.  

    The buck isn’t stopping with anyone, by design.

    Now, where it ventures into conspiracy theory, is when you look at who and what was directing the Tea Party Patriot movement, and just who was paying the Sacramento based swiftboating specialists Russo Marsh and Rogers and some of these other Republican PR astroturfing entities to organize all these anti tax, stop Obamacare, death panel whackadoodle camera vignettes for Fox News.  Because when I started showing that the Blue Dog Dems were taking the same sort of donor money, it made the official Dem establishment very, very unhappy.

    Let me repeat, that these companies are heavily hooked into the Pentagon Public Relations apparatus. In other words, this was some of your tax dollars at work.  

    Who’s the Commander in Chief, again ?

    I think it blew up in their faces the wrong way.  I think they were hoping everybody would say, oh, look at how RIDICULOUS the Tea Party racist tax dodging old coots on Medicare look waving around snake flags at these rallies, run by the crazy neocon Republicans, and this is going to make it easy for us to get this passed.  And it ought to pressure some of these Blue Dogs and progs and liberals to go along with whatever we really want.


    Time and time again I saw them underestimate the impact this messaging was having on the general public, and with very few in the MSM (except Rachel Maddow) willing to interview and talk about that money and where it was coming from, MOST people in the United States, if you say “Tea Party” to them, they don’t even realize it’s Oil Company astroturf, let alone where they’re getting the money from, or that this is Republicans as usual with a new label.

    They (WH and advisors)  still will not acknowledge that at least 25% of this country is desperate for health insurance reform,  because they have no insurance or are under insured or don’t have decent insurance, irregardless of whatever polls they are using that say “the public doesn’t like this bill.”   They are, as my spouse reminds me, just paying close attention to the people who have insurance, and who don’t follow politics closely, the great apathetic middle, because that’s what governing to the middle does.  They get their news in sound bytes, and form opinions, if they have any, on that and whatever they pick up from commercials.

    And yet this awful Senate version of the bill leaves so many people out. The MSM ignores this. Over half the people needing insurance are still left out, to be supposedly serviced by those community centers.  Mindboggling.  But that is why they can abandon it, if they wish. They didn’t, to their thinking, dangle something in front of a known voter block and then jerk it away.  The Senate bill was not designed to actually cover them, they were going for the people who already had insurance, permanent addresses, not the economic nomads and detritus working off the grid or for minimum wage who may end up moving or don’t vote at all.


  2. Good people tend to project their goodness in trying to manifest that good into reality.  

    The conspiracy take on health care is that it was never about who pays but rather who controls. “Our” government has bailed out the Bernie Madoff types to the tune of the sum total of the entire financial history of American experiment so getting said government to magically pay for everybody’s health needs just ain’t happening.

    What did come out of the Bilderberg group’s globalist meeting in 2008 were the two major points of global control of money (mission accomplished) and global control of health.

    Big pharma has a magic pill for everything.  It is evident by the library shelves in my local CVS that major numbers have opted for Tv induced ask your doctor for informercials in spite of internet ads from law firms also seeking your business.  Yes they will sell you junk medical insurance even if you are unemployed.  It will get you into he doctor’s office, it won’t pay for the tests doc needs to get you “on” some cholesterol reducing thing but now you do have yet another monthly bill.

    • banger on January 30, 2010 at 19:25

    I really like his act. It’s as good as anything on SNL.

    Forget these personalities — these are employees who do what they are paid to do and at least Rahm clearly enjoys his job. The reality of power in Washington is something quite beyond Rahm and the WH. For starters you can follow where the money goes. And you might also look at where the money that is not accounted for goes as well. Just doing that gives you a more accurate picture of the real power-relations in Washington and the world.

    Somehow we think, because of a truly ludicrous understanding of history, that events are driven by outsize personalities. In fact it normally is a struggle of groups and classes.  

  3. has been Obama himself.

    The President talks a lot about the importance of compromise, but when it came to anything that might have hurt Rahm’s precious deals with Billy Tauzin and others, he was all ‘my way or the highway’.

    The Progressive Caucus (as is their wont) wasn’t asking for much at all, but apparently the Insurers couldn’t stomach even a shell of a public option, so Rahm dug in his heels and eventually managed to browbeat a non-PO bill out of Baucus’ committee.

    From Rahm’s POV, he’s happy to let Obama be the President of No to anything even remotely Progressive, because he knows that his corporate client just with killing the bill outright.  The Senate Finance bill getting passed would be gravy, but the fall back is almost as good.

    So now, Rahm walks away with millions of dollars from lobbyists and netroots suckers, satisfied corporate clients, and the fun of blaming Progressives for not being able to compromise.

    Next thing you know, Barry shows up at a Gooper confab whining about how he can’t get anything done without Republicans.

  4. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Kind of like a stock option, to be cashed in at a later date. Look at his old boss, Bill. And you want me to believe he’s made a hundred mil cause he gets a lot of high rollers to listen to his BS? He’s paid a FEE, the payback on the IOU.

    As far as Barack is concerned, as soon as he was elected, they blindfolded him and spun him around. He stumbled out of the gate like a drunken sailor, and is so far behind, he just staggers along like a lost cause.  I loved his strategy last summer: What a great idea to have public forums during the congressional recess, with nobody knowing what the shit to say, where Obama stood, and facing the Teabaggers.

    I remember his OFA group asking me if I wanted to get involved. Ya right, WTF ? Advocate for WHAT? I’m 61 years old, and I’m supposed to advocate for WHAT? REFORM? WTF is that? IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!But perfect for the HCR abortion.

    Secret Agenda??? Incompetence?? What about a little of both. And when you mix the two together, this is what you get. And we sure got it.

    • Xanthe on January 31, 2010 at 14:28

    when I lived in Chicago.  He came in as the area, generally working class, became gentrified.  In my opinion, he was sensitive to the new class of individuals who moved in (younger, more affluent, nonunion and many were independent) but to the rest of us natives – not so much.  I am always cognizant of a certain resentfulness in my own nature as to these people who moved in and took over the neighborhood – and I present that to you for your own consideration.

    He was facile, shallow and appeared to me to run away from neighborhood meetings where the natives were complaining about the runaway gentrification and developers, for instance.  Nor did I like his staff – a bit patronizing.

    Just for what it is worth….


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