Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Public Option Hocus Pocus: Deceitful Dems Pursue Winning Strategy of Pissing Off the Base

Chris Bowers, over at Open Left, observes that the White House offers no proof of its claim that Dems can't pass the public option even via the 50 vote Reconciliation procedure.

Hell, Dems could have a 95% vote majority and still be unable unwilling to pass anything without their corporate masters' stamp of approval. Come election day, maybe their corporate donors will show up at the polls because, other than droves of Republicans, who the hell else is going to? November 2, 2010 looks like a great day to stay in bed.

Glenn Greenwald has another fine post documenting the deceitful tactics of President Obama and the sham of a Democratic Party:

Progressives: Hey, great! Now that you're going to pass the bill through reconciliation after all, you can include the public option that both you and we love, because you only need 50 votes, and you've said all year you have that!

Democrats/WH: No. We don't have 50 votes for that (look at Jay Rockefeller). Besides, it's not the right time for the public option. The public option only polls at 65%, so it might make our health care bill -- which polls at 35% -- unpopular. Also, the public option and reconciliation are too partisan, so we're going to go ahead and pass our industry-approved bill instead . . . on a strict party line vote.

This is why, although I basically agree with filibuster reform advocates, I am extremely skeptical that it would change much, because Democrats would then just concoct ways to lack 50 votes rather than 60 votes -- just like they did here. Ezra Klein, who is generally quite supportive of the White House perspective, reported last week on something rather amazing: Democratic Senators found themselves in a bind, because they pretended all year to vigorously support the public option but had the 60-vote excuse for not enacting it. But now that Democrats will likely use the 50-vote reconciliation process, how could they (and the White House) possibly justify not including the public option? So what did they do? They pretended in public to "demand" that the public option be included via reconciliation with a letter that many of them signed (and thus placate their base: see, we really are for it!), while conspiring in private with the White House (which expressed "sharp resistance" to the public option) to make sure it wouldn't really happen

The only thing I wonder about is whether Washington Democrats are baffled about the extreme "enthusiasm gap" between Democratic and Republican voters, which very well could cause them to lose control of Congress this year. By "enthusiasm gap," it is meant that the very people who worked so hard in 2006 and 2008 to ensure that Democrats became empowered are now indifferent -- apathetic -- about whether they keep it. Even as crazed and extremist as the GOP is, is it remotely possible that the Democratic establishment fails to understand not only why this "enthusiasm gap" exists, but also why it's completely justifiable?