Crossposted at Daily Kos
At a DNC fundraiser last night, President Obama had an interesting exchange with a Democratic organizer about health care reform, wherein he appeared to suggest that Congress could drop the ball and fail to pass a bill–and that voters should judge them harshly if they do.
“[I]t may be that — you know, if Congress decides — if Congress decides we’re not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not,” Obama said.
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“What I’d like to do is have a meeting whereby I’m sitting with the Republicans, sitting with the Democrats, sitting with health care experts, and let’s just go through these bills — their ideas, our ideas — let’s walk through them in a methodical way so that the American people can see and compare what makes the most sense,” Obama said.
Yeah, that’s it. Let’s see what Republicans can bring to the table so they can work with Democrats to gut and defeat health care reform.
Obama, you know I love you, buddy, but what part of NOOOO!!! do you not understand? These Republicans are NEVER going to work with you. They never planned on working with you in a constructive manner. They Hope You Fail. They hope America fails and Americans suffer so they can use that anger to take away your Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. That’s is all Republicans are bringing to the table. On pretty much everything policy wise Republicans got NOTHING, and you can’t say nothing without NO!
Now, I know Obama understands this. I think Obama is the smartest person in the room when he sits down with the petulant children that make up the Republican party, but to pin the blame on Congress if HCR fails only damages the Democrats in power who hold the majorities in Congress. Wouldn’t it have been better to say something positive about how passing a Health Care Reform bill would be a huge improvement over the current situation and let the Dems take credit for that win than to put Congress in a position where they should take all the blame if this thing gets screwed up any worse than it already has?
Greg Sargent notes . . .
Again, Obama did repeatedly state his preference for Congress to get reform done. And perhaps this was meant as more of a threat that if Dems failed they would pay at the ballot box.
But it seems clear that he also acknowledged the possibility that it may not happen – and cast that possibility as something Dem Congressional leaders would ultimately decide on their own. It’s hard to see how that helps the prospects for getting it done.
Now, President Obama does say something like this in the quote I’ve included below, but notice the bold text included at talkingpointsmemo . . .
And then I think that we’ve got to go ahead and move forward on a vote. We’ve got to move forward on a vote. But as I said at the State of the Union, I think we should be very deliberate, take our time. We’re going to be moving a jobs package forward over the next several weeks; that’s the thing that’s most urgent right now in the minds of Americans all across the country. And that will allow everybody to get the real facts, both about the health care crisis that we face, why it’s so important for deficit reduction, why it’s so important for families all across the country.
Far be it from me to offer advice to our President, but I will when I say that Obama should write the damn jobs bill himself. Go with something that is more like the House version of a jobs bill and TOTALLY leave the Republican party out of the equation. They don’t want Americans to get jobs right now, they want them pissed off so they can unleash their loony Right Wing base on these Democratic majorities when election time comes later this year, and even then that won’t work if Democratic voters show up in droves, but that will NOT happen if you keep sitting down to negotiate with people who HOPE YOU FAIL. To keep negotiating with this Republican party is insanity. They have no interest in helping Americans, it is against their interests to do so.
So put Health Care Reform on hold for now if you must, President Obama, but it only makes political sense if you and Congress can pass the best damned jobs bill possible AND pass meaningful health care reform, and in order to do either of those things the Democratic party MUST STOP NEGOTIATING with the Party of NOOOOO!!!
Will this Congress screw the pooch on the jobs bill as well?
Regarding how they may screw the pooch on Health Care Reform, Greg Sargent says . . .
To be clear, Obama didn’t say this was a desirable outcome – quite the opposite, in fact – but he did seem to suggest that it’s possible.
Dear Mr. President, we need YOU to lead. We need you to twist arms and knock some metaphorical heads together. This is not just Congress’s failure if they screw the pooch, it is yours as well, and one that working class Americans who are suffering can hardly afford.
Also crossposted at ProgressiveElectorate.com