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This was the plan all along


Glenn Greenwald finally gets it:

That’s obviously true. In fact, it’s so obviously true that no matter how dumb one might think Democrats are, they’re certainly not so dumb that they failed to realize that the GOP was highly unlikely to help Obama pass health care reform no matter what the bill contained. From the start, it’s been obvious to everyone — the Obama White House and Senate Democrats included — that the GOP would not help Obama pass health care reform. Why would the GOP want to help Obama achieve one of his most important and politically profitable goals? Of course they were going to try to sabotage the entire project and would oppose health care reform no matter what form it took. Everyone knew that from the start for exactly the reason that it was so obvious to Benen.

The attempt to attract GOP support was the pretext which Democrats used to compromise continuously and water down the bill. But — given the impossibility of achieving that goal — isn’t it fairly obvious that a desire for GOP support wasn’t really the reason the Democrats were constantly watering down their own bill? Given the White House’s central role in negotiating a secret deal with the pharmaceutical industry, its betrayal of Obama’s clear promise to conduct negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN no less), Rahm’s protection of Blue Dogs and accompanying attacks on progressives, and the complete lack of any pressure exerted on allegedly obstructionists “centrists,” it seems rather clear that the bill has been watered down, and the “public option” jettisoned, because that’s the bill they want — this was the plan all along. (emphasis added)

Well no shit, Sherlock! That’s why I keep saying – “Failure is a feature, not a bug.” I’m glad to see that people smarter than me are starting to figure it out too.

One more time:

“Because that’s the bill they want — this was the plan all along”

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79 Responses

  1. Duh. Well, at least one Obamacan has woken up. But the Marc Ambinder piece is stunning:


    What a shallow fool! Americans don’t care about bipartisanship, they care about results. What a total moron! He’s worried about his brand image? He’s the president, not Pepsi, for crissakes.

    • That’s where you’re wrong. He’s pepsi, not the president.

    • Worried about his brand? I can see the new ad campaign now:

      President Obama ™! New! Improved! Always principle-free for easy compromise! No obstructionist convictions, no messy backbone! Accept no substitutes – only genuine President Obama(tm) offers improved flexibility and affordable access to corporate lobbyists. Talks like a Democrat! Acts like a Republican! Looks like a swimsuit model! He’s three Presidents in (teh) one! “Plays ball “both on the court and in the Oval Office. Only now, with President Obama(tm) can you have Change(tm) without disruptive progress, and Hope(tm) without expectations! He’s hip! He’s cool! He’s completely unqualified! He’s The One(tm), the only, the Lightbearer(tm), President Obama(tm)! Coming soon to a corporate oligarchy near you!

  2. Negotiation 101: Ask for more than you want, and eventually settle on what you would have accepted. This White House is the master of smoke and mirrors.

  3. They are two to three steps behind at this point. I’m not sure they can play catch up in order to wrestle control on the issue before we get a bad bill.

    It all comes down to this, what are they willing to do if the Democrats pass this…….Are they willing to be a Republican r@tfucker to jettison the problem if that is the option they are left with or are they still going with the sternly worded letter option?

    • Us getting a bad bill is and always was the plan.

      They are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams.

      • It may be the plan but there is/was a narrow window of opportunity for the citizenry to wrestle control from big business. Unfortunately, with people like the above walking around in an Obama/Democratic induced haze (and buying into the partisan crap) it doesn’t help.

        I can disagree with Republicans on issues but still agree with them that the bill being floated is crap. The first step is to defeat the bill.

  4. No Public Option = One Term President

    • I’m sure that’s fine with him. He had no idea just how lucrative that one term would be.

    • The public option he is selling at this point ought to make him a one term President. Either the public option should be open to everyone or else it is a no go. The idea that millions should be held hostage by private companies so that Obama can claim a “win” by insuring a measly 10 million is unacceptable.

  5. I support some kind of reform, but not this reform. It has been rolled out in a sloppy and arrogant way. The success or failure of this legislation lies with the dems. They need to grow up and stop whinning. They are running the show, afterall.

    • Did you read what Greenwald wrote?

      “Because that’s the bill they want — this was the plan all along”

    • I agree. I am so nervous of the way this will go down. There WILL be a public option, but with Obama and Rahm running the show, it will be just plain awful. :(. And everyone’s fears about government being involved will come true.

  6. Well, dkos is celebrating all this as a win for them and their powerful voice. Strange.

    This bill should be taken out back, shot, and buried, but these morons still believe they are influencing the policy.

    • Shit influences fly development too.

    • Dkos is delusional. The plan as it stands will be eviscerated when the GOP gets back in power and it won’t even be hard to do so since only a narrow number of people will even qualify for it.

      • Is Mucus Mo’Cheetos delusional, or is he an Elephascist mole? He is a “former” Elephascist, you know, as is Zsa Zsa Huffenpuff and I don’t know how many other bigfoot Oborg bloggers.

        Things that make you go “hmmm”…. :mrgreen:

        • Arianna and Markos came over to the Dem party to destroy it.

        • I can forgive him for being a Republican. What I find unforgivable was the treatment he allowed during the primaries.

          If he is a “Republican” tool than I feel sorry for him. They have no problem with jettisoning something once they are through using it. If he isn’t then he’s in for a wake up call in 2010 and 2012 when the consequences will come to roost on passing bad bill after bad bill.

          • People worried about Hillary being corporatist, but I think the real fear among the elites was that no matter how much money they threw into her campaign coffers they still didn’t think they could control her once she got into the White House. The elites got their chance to push Obama over Hillary when all that immigration question stuff started in the primary debates and they ran away with it. They bought themselves a candidate whose strings they could pull. That was the real election. The general election was just formality.

      • It’ll be eviscerated (assuming it actually *has* any viscera) in conference committee after the Senate amends the hell out of it. The conference committee will cheerfully remove whatever faint limitations on insurance company misconduct might have accidentally been left in either the House or Senate versions, insert whatever Easter eggs the insurance and pharma lobbies decide to insert and it will be sent to both houses for a straight up-or-down vote. The vote will be straight party line, the bill will pass, and there will be ponies for all – or at least ponies for all the lobbyists. You know what the rest of us will get.

        Gad, I’m disgusted.

    • Those who are celebrating are more worried about Obama’s image than actual policy.

  7. This is NO SURPRISE.

    The dems have left Medicare part D in place — which was a give away to the pharmaceutical industry — I expect that elders are still being harassed by Border Thugs when they return to the US from Canada about their trip to the Canadian Drug Stores.

    Candidate 0bambam had NO health care plan of his OWN — he stole Clintons and Pretty boy’s plans. He preached Health Care etc. but it was obvious (when his teleprompter was down) that he never had a clue — he was only promising for the vote.

    His wife was paid a hefty salary by the Health Care Industry (which was more than doubled when HE because a US Senator). I’m not clear what exactly she did for such a huge salary — except formulate and sell a plan to dump potential patents in clinics far away from her hospital.

    Someone here wrote that 0bambam is taking care of the citizens of America JUST like he “took care” of the citizens of his district. They had no heat in their Rezko owned buildings in the winter while 0zero was getting campaign donations from Rezko. There is no evidence at all that 0zero was in the least bit concerned or showed evidence of any empathy for the people of his State Senate district.

    WE TOLD YOU 0BOTS — repeatedly that your messiah would not deliver on any of his promises to YOU idiots. WE TOLD YOU, WE TOLD YOU and WE TOLD YOU.

    And you dimwitted Neanderthals called us names — threatened us and made general asses out of yourselves.

    The caucus back in Feb 2008 was educational — dimwit 0bots were making claims that 0bambam did in fact have a super duper plan to making everything perfect — that he would indeed pass a Health Care Bill. The 0bots NEVER had any specifics — all they could do was talk about Hillary Clinton just like the GOP of the 90s.


    • Elizabeth Edwards was on Larry King
      tonight pushing Obami’s HC reform, but what struck me was that King introduced her as a board member of
      Think Progress . Isn’t Think Progress Soros’s
      Soros’ think tank? Was she on this board during the dem primaries last year, or was she given
      this cushy position after the primaries? I smell a rat here.

  8. I read on another blog that the true purpose of the Obama presidency is for the Imperial Plutocracy Party [the one real party that owns both the Dems and the GOP] to teach the citizens that resistance is futile.

    I see no reason to disagree with that assessment. 😡

  9. From a post by Jane Hamsher at FDL:

    “John Boehner recently wrote a scathing letter to Billy Tauzin saying that he had “betrayed” the drugmakers by failing to align himself with the Republicans. The GOP needs the money of PhRMA and other disgruntled businesses to fund its 2010 war chest. Just as it was during the bank bailout, the goal of the White House was clear: more important than saving the financial system was keeping the financial institutions happy and stop them from financing Republicans.”

    Sadly, Jane and many of her readers still think that Rahm is primarily to blame. Get a clue, Jane. Rahm is just the errand boy.

    • It’s like they haven’t read all this stuff about Obama worrying about his brand image and wanting to remind voters of his “bipartisan” bones, or whatever. They are enabling the worst kind of governance.

      • Yeah and during the election they went on and on about the Clintons and “triangulation” blah blah blah (some of them still bring it up and somehow find a way blame Obama screwing the pooch on this on the Clintons).

        • I keep hearing people say “But Clinton would have been even worse”. Who knows? – I don’t really know if she’d have been able to pull this off or not. I do know for sure that it was completely committed to it, and she would have given it all she had.

          It’s funny, anyway, that no matter how bad he gets, they always have their Hillary-hate to keep them warm.

      • As Jane points out, it’s all about the money–always has been. Obama doesn’t care diddly about his “brand” image as long as the Dem coffers are full and the Repub coffers are empty. The goal of our so-called representatives–from the POTUS on down–is to get re-elected. If they have enough dollars in the kitty for re-election they don’t give a flying fig what the public wants. It is, and always has been, about the incumbent protection racket. The Dems and the Repubs know that most Americans are stupid enough to vote for what they perceive as the lesser of two evils. With enough advertising dollars, a candidate can easily persuade the voting public that s/he is “better than the other guy”. As long as the members of Congress have their health insurance and exclusive health clubs, they don’t care if we’re dying in the streets.

        • I actually don’t believe that. i think Obama is a shallow, arrogant jerk who does care a lot about his brand image. I think he actually believes people care about bipartisanship more than their own pocketbook.

          • No disagreements from me on Obama being a shallow, arrogant jerk. But I think what he’s really concerned with, and always has been, is being liked. His behavior is classic for children who come from dysfunctional families: don’t get into any arguments, don’t create any conflict. He seems literally terrified of criticism, based on what little background info we have on him.

          • This is what Axelrod wrote to Obama before Obama “decided” (ahem) to run for president:

            Axelrod also warned that Obama’s confessions of youthful drug use, described in his memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” would be used against him. “This is more than an unpleasant inconvenience,” he wrote. “It goes to your willingness and ability to put up with something you have never experienced on a sustained basis: criticism. At the risk of triggering the very reaction that concerns me, I don’t know if you are Muhammad Ali or Floyd Patterson when it comes to taking a punch. You care far too much what is written and said about you. You don’t relish combat when it becomes personal and nasty. When the largely irrelevant Alan Keyes attacked you, you flinched,” he said of Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate opponent.

            Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/31/AR2009073101582_2.html?sid=ST2009073103099

  10. In the military we have a saying…..Lead, Follow or Get Out Of The Way.

    The President doesn’t want to lead, doesn’t know how to follow and can’t seem to get out of the way.

    • Learn to obey before you command.

      Solon the lawgiver
      Athens (638 BC – 559 BC)

      • “Unless you’re the lead dog the view never changes”

        • If you’ve been dogsledding you appreciate that the position that literally faces the most feces is the drivers.

      • It’s strange because the whole satirical Shepard Fairey “Obey Giant” campaign was co-opted by the pro-Obama “movement” and most people didn’t even notice the irony.

  11. Yep, they made this crap on purpose. It has always been the plan. The rest is a farcical play with special effects thrown in. And some of these obot players in the farce are unwitting and I’m sure a few know exactly what is going on.

    Sadly as all of this is a show, if the crap passes, Obama wins. And probably gets reelected because of it. Mostly because it’s a big win of something, anything, that most thought was not possible, and because no one will no how horrible it is for years to come.

    It’s crap, made by a crap president from a now crap party, promoted and supported by crap members of the media and blogosphere. Crap, crap, crap.

    • Yes, big piles of it. The Dems were supposed to clean up after the mess that the Bush years had left, not turn it into an even bigger one. Well, like Hillary said, it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush.

      • And apparently it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush and an Obama. USA, save yourselves, put in Hillary in ’12. The alternative is too scary to contemplate. Can you imagine this guy for 7 1/2 more years.

    • I don’t know about that. I don’t think too many people think Medicare Part D was a big accomplishment. Most people think it’s an exemplar of atrocious law.

  12. Could someone get me out of spam? Thanks in advance.

  13. Now they have to be thinking about how to prevent dissenting progressives in Congress from refusing to sign whatever phony non-reform bill the Blue Dogs write. It occurs to me that a major sympathy play for Saint Obama could be in the works. (That’s even assuming enough Dems would have the guts to refuse in the first place. If history is a guide, they’ll jump at any excuse to cave.)

    That Dean remark alleging the GOP wants to “KTP” (no, I’m not gonna even spell it out) is just the sympathy politics they need. Just like all the hype about people bringing guns to town halls. Sounds like astroturfing master, AxelRove, trying to make people believe there’s some giant KKK backlash against Obama. It’s just as easy to fake insane opposition as it is to fake insane adulation.

    Reminds me of the ‘disaster capitalism’ Naomi Klein describes – the more chaos, the more they can get away with. So they promote chaos.


    • Sadly, Klein was a besotted Bot during the primaries…haven’t heard so much as a squeak from her since BO took the WH.

  14. How could failure not be the primary objective??! I don’t see how Obama could be this stupid. He’ s arguing against people’s concerns over rationed care by saying, “well maybe grandma should just take the pain pill instead of having the surgery! Maybe your child just has allergies and doesn’t need their tonsils out! ”

    Then when addressing people’s concerns about the competency of government, he starts talking about medicare fraud and the failures of the post office! When he should be out negotiating with the American people, he’s off negotiating with the pharmaceuticals. When people start accusing politicians of acting like Nazis and trampling over their questions, he just drops labels like un-American and tries to clamp down on dissent.

    For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

    • Obama isn’t stupid, yttik. This sorry-a$$ed excuse for health reform is exactly what he wanted all along. My guess, based on the campaign contribution numbers from Health that myiq posted yesterday (showing Obama receiving twice as much as Hillary, who was the next biggest recipient), is that, during fundraising events, Obama promised he’d take care of the industry once he got into office. The same way he made promises to Bill Richardson, John Edwards–anyone who would publicly endorse him.

      This is all about huge contributions to Obama and the Blue Dogs. They’ll do whatever they can to keep the oligarchy and the gravy train in place. They couldn’t care less that 22,000 Americans die every year for lack of health care. It’s all about them.

  15. (((sigh))) Can we have Hillary back now?

  16. Just had to share this divine comment that I saw on an FDL post about the whole health reform sell-out:

    MrCleaveland August 19th, 2009 at 4:29 pm 9

    OF COURSE the White House is playing you! Anybody — make that EVERYBODY — can see that! And you sit there and let it happen.

    Look, I sincerely admire your passion, your intelligence, your commitment, and your willingness to work. But you’re gigantic suckers. Obama doesn’t give a damn about you.

    You’ve got Battered Progressive Syndrome. You gave all you had to Barry and now he’s coming at you with whiskey on his breath and whiskey on his his sleeveless undershirt and a belt wrapped around his fist.

    You cry and plead, and when he’s done, you cry some more.

    And then tomorrow you come back to him.


    Isn’t that perfectly delicious, “battered progressive syndrome”?

  17. When Obama was nominated my first thought was, There goes health care reform.

    This was all as plain as day since long before the election.

    I don’t know about you all – you seem really sharp to me; I’m smart but not that smart. How come so many very smart people couldn’t see this?

    • Even very smart people are capable of doing a head number on themselves when they want to believe something badly enough. Just look at the writers and commenters over at DKos–they *still* believe Obama won’t let them down, even though he’s already let them down at least a dozen times already.

    • I think it was plain as day to most Pumas that UHC was dead on May 31 2008.

      • YUP, and the ‘ME TOO’, thing disappeared in the GE. NOW he is busy visiting the religious folks to ask for their blessing in dropping the Public Option??? Go figure… 😦

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