Did you watch President Obama’s news conference on the tax cut deal today? The part that really got me was where he showed how truly pissed off he is that The Left isn’t praising him on the healthcare reform bill. It slid out during the Q&A; you could really see that he expected chocolates and rose petals on healthcare reform, and is truly surprised that the Professional Left isn’t singing his Hosannahs. He actually seems to be holding a grudge about it.
I’m talking about this part:
So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate during healthcare. This is the public option debate all over again.
So I pass a signature piece of legislation – but because there was a provision in there they didn’t get – that would have affected just a few million and we got insurance for 340 million – that was a sign of weakness and compromise. If that is the standard by which we are measuring success we will never get anything done.
I watched it on TV and here’s how it sounded to me:
So I go to all this trouble to bring The Left everything they ever asked for, and because they didn’t get this one teeny tiny weensy little thing they’re all, like, “loser!” and “asshole!” And so that’s the thanks I get! For sticking my neck out! What a bunch of whiners!
That’s how I heard it and let me say, it pissed me off. Because the “public option” wasn’t this teeny tiny weensy little tchotcke that would have looked nice on the mantle, it was the WHOLE ENCHILADA that would keep the healthcare bill from being a sop to bloated, for-profit corporations. The public option was supposed to be the policy that helped the healthcare bill become real reform, by lowering costs and bringing viable competition to the health insurance market.
And it was also supposed to be the “compromise” position, with the Holy Grail being single payer. So when you start out at the negotiating table with your compromise position as being the bauble you happily ditch, well, that tells us you don’t really understand our position.
And here we are again, with a backroom deal over tax cuts to bazillionaires. Let me interject: I don’t recall Obama going to this effort to negotiate the public option and sell it to Democrats in Congress, in fact, I seem to recall him standing on the sidelines during the entire healthcare debate twiddling his thumbs while Congress did the heavy lifting. Dude, you never even tried.
So now your little fee-fees are hurt because we Lefties haven’t sufficiently sung your praises about healthcare reform all these months later? ? Aww. So sad! Sounds to me like you never really understood our position to begin with, what we wanted or why we wanted it.
Honestly, I’m not sure how many times Obama can diss his base and then wonder why we aren’t sufficiently impressed. It’s like he doesn’t understand why the Democrats keep losing elections. Here, I’ll make it simple for you: give us a win, for Chrissakes, and we will show up on election day, knock on doors, make phone calls, and do all the crap we did to give you the White House in the first place! Give us something to be proud of, to stand for. We will throw all of the chocolates and rose petals at your feet we can. But don’t, in the name of all that is holy, hand Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck giant tax cuts and wonder why The Left isn’t calling you the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I’m pretty sure I know how this whole thing will play out. The Republicans will slam President Obama as fiscally irresponsible, since these tax cats aren’t paid for and add $900 billion to the deficit. Sure, we know no one gives a crap about deficits, but I guarantee you that in the next budget debate or election we’ll suddenly be a nation of fiscal hawks all concerned about the deficit and Obama will get blamed for spending like a drunken sailor, just like he did in the run-up to the midterms. And when this round of tax cuts are set to sunset, the righties will portray Obama and the Democrats as wanting to pass a tax increase. Seen this movie before.
Then again, Congress could put on their big-boy pants and tell the President to shove it on his backroom deal. But I don’t hold out much hope for that.
I’m tired of being told to suck it up.