Healthcare, for me, will be the defining moment of the Obama administration.
If he manages to pass a strong health care bill with a public option--and not some mealy mouthed coop plan or an option made worthless by a 7 year to infinity "trigger"--then I think he'll be reelected. Right now, he's doing terribly on the entirety of the Big Three, or Four if you read Glenn Greenwald's constant and irritating reports about Barry's "no snitchin' " policy when it comes to Republican war crimes. The Big Three include healthcare, EFCA and a real climate change bill. His climate change bill, which I canvassed on several weeks ago while waving around John Fetterman's picture on a flyer, simply won't get it done as it was written as it passed out of Waxmen's US House committee. Today, there was an AP report that he's considering Kent Conrad's coop idea so he can get bipartisan support. Look, the goal of the government isn't to be bipartisan. It's to pass a bill that provides a real health care alternative to upwards of 40 million Americans. Chris Bowers wrote the definitive piece on this topic here. I don't want to get "along" with or "work" with the Republicans. They're an evil party. You're an evil party, by the way, when you always frak over the public interest on behalf of rich fatcats. That's the very definition of the Republican Party. Turns out, though, that may be a lot of democrats as well. We've always suspected the Blue Dogs and Ben Nelsons of the world but I was kind of hoping the President would be on my side. So far, not so much.
The Big Payoff for the president if he were to pass real health care reform is that it almost guarantees his reelection. For example, I'm not happy with a lot of the president's policies but could I afford to vote against him if I had real healthcare? No I couldn't. The reason why I couldn't is that I know that if the Republicans were to retake the White House their first order of business would be destroying meaningful health care reform. That's the nature of the Scorpion. There would be upwards of 40 million previously uninsured Americans just like me who simply couldn't afford a Democratic Party loss.
Here's the worst case scenario: Obama fails to pass meaningful health care reform. His climate change bill passes congress but it not only doesn't help the climate but there would be no incentives--as environmentalists have argued--to actually create "green jobs." Zippo. They won't be building wind turbines in Braddock because the utility companies will have no incentive to do so. Third, well, if he punts on both climate change and healthcare we can imagine how hard he'll fight for a meaningful EFCA bill. Not much. Keep in mind that Penny Pritzker, billionaire benefactor and rainmaker, has already been reported to oppose EFCA because she happens to be a hotel magnate, who benefits from keeping the hotel "help" reliably under a Living Wage. And don't get me started on Barry's "no snitchin" policy on Republican War Crimes.
(You know, the really interesting thing about Barry's "no snitchin" policy is that Republican judges--which dems never seem to block--can actually abide by the constitution and screw Obama's presidency at the same time. Read Greenwald's point five.)
If that worst case scenario comes to pass and if he's 0 for 4 on those important issues, then I don't see how he gets reelected. I think he might even have a problem getting the nomination again. I would be looking at my options during the primaries... Dick "the banks run this town" Durbin would be nice..
Related: Bill Maher sums up the situation nicely.
Labels: public option