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The Obama Delusion and Health Care Reform

Obama Transition

The Obama Delusion: The belief that although President Obama is a liberal and has liberal values and goals, he cleverly pretends not to be a liberal in order to to fool Republicans into supporting his agenda.

{{Sigh…}} Where to begin? While perusing Memeorandum this morning, I noticed Booman’s post from yesterday about “11-dimensional chess.” Frankly, the less said about Booman’s post, the better. It’s just embarrassingly silly and illogical. Besides, Big Tent Democrat, who coined the term “11-dimensional chess,” has already handily disposed of Booman’s arguments, such as they are.

Booman’s post was prompted by one at the Cheeto in which the author, Maimonides, makes the claim that Obama, along with his trusty enforcer Rahm Emanuel, are actually using not 11-dimensional chess, but “Sun Tzu’s the strategy of “formlessness,” outlined in this quote:

“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”

Here is what Maimonides thinks Obama and his capo are up to:

For several months now I’ve been pushing the idea that President Obama is engaged in the Sun Tsu strategy of “formlessness.” This strategy is not the much-derided “11-D Chess” that so many choose to dismiss. This is the very simple and time-tested strategy of not taking a position that is easily defined by your opponents, of not giving them anything to attack. By doing so, one forces one’s opponents to take positions, giving you the advantage of adaptability and information, which they now lack.

Maimonides also claims to have some vital inside information, but, sadly, he/she cannot reveal the sources of that information.

You may not see reports of what Rahm Emanuel says to your Congressperson. You may not hear rumors of it. But it is going on all the time; what did you think he spent his time doing, checking in on Dkos diaries? Rahm is putting pressure where he is told to, floating trial balloons as directed, keeping all options on the table, and most of all keeping Obama’s strategy of formlessness alive. Until he’s directed otherwise.

Which brings us to now. Rumor in DC* is that Rahm has gotten exactly what he wanted: a “Big mess,” as Rahm reportedly described it. Formlessness has payed off. There are virtually no Congressional players left whose opinions we do not know, and every option has been talked to death. And now the Administration, rather than having its policies debated to death, has the ability to sweep in and choose among the options presented.

*Here I open myself to claims that I’m using unsourced “insider knowledge”, which is true, I am. You can take it or leave it, but I would hope that you would be open to the possibility that those of us working in the trenches may hear things that you do not.

Okay? See, Maimonides has inside sources, because he/she “works in the trenches.” But we just have to take that and the “rumors” Maimonides has heard on faith–just like we have to take on faith that Obama wants health care for all at a reasonable price.

Here’s the thing. In a sense I agree with Maimonides that Rahm and Barack have gotten exactly what they wanted–a “big mess.” And for all I know, Obama and Emanuel may both have read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and may be using it as a guide for their political strategy. But whether the “mess” is the result of a deliberate strategy or just one big clusterf*ck is irrelevant to the President’s actual goals for health care “reform.”

I completely disagree with Maimonides on why Obama and Emanuel wanted health care “reform” to turn into a “big mess.” What’s important her is not the strategy, but the goals. Maimonides thinks that Obama wants Congress to pass a bill with a public option. I think their goal is to have Congress pass a bill without a public option; and that their fallback position is to accept a bill that includes a completely meaningless public option–forced on them by Congress. That way, whatever the fate of the public option, Congress and not the President and his Chief of Staff will be blamed. Maimonides assumes Obama is a liberal who shares Maimonides values. I figured out long ago that Obama is no liberal.

BTD, who coined the term “11-dimensional chess,” also believes that Obama would prefer the bill not to have a public option:

The realization that Obama was not going to fight for the public option came early to most of us. The same realization made us realize that he would ACCEPT a public option if it was the only way he could achieve health care reform. The battle then was to make inclusion of the public option the only viable way to get health care reform.

But BTD is also ignoring the fact “the public option” that we are likely to get is so watered down, and such a tiny part of the overall plan that has been proposed, that even if the bill includes a so-called public option, it won’t make much of a dent in the massive profits the insurance and pharmaceutical industries are looking forward to.

Here’s a great comment from BTD’s thread (h/t Katiebird) that perfectly illustrates psychological manifestations of The Obama Delusion.

I believe Obama got it on the Public Option. The reason he hasn’t been “fighting for it” is quite simple- he knows it’s not enough for him to fight for it- He needs us to fight for it.
He aptly cited the anecdote of FDR asking do you want this program- the n saying good now make me do it.
Hillary would have taken the approach that her fighting could get it done- President Obama’s approach has been that together we can make it happen- Our obligation did not end when we cast our vote- It is up to us every day to make this country into what it can be.

The President is challenging us all to live up to our potential in forcing the issue.

Where do the “progs,” as Joseph Cannon calls them, get the idea that Barack Obama truly wants a strong public option to provide competition for private insurance plans? Is there any real evidence for such a belief? Let’s see. His website claims he wants one.

“Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can’t find affordable coverage with a real choice.”

So this public option will just be for people who don’t have insurance and/or can’t afford insurance. What will that look like in the overall plan. Well, here is one map of what the plan (at least based on what little is really known about it) calls for (see a larger version here).


I’m not very good at reading flow charts, so if I’ve got this wrong, please correct me. It looks to me like only 8.7 million Americans will get to have a subsidized public plan and another 3.8 million will get to pay out-of-pocket for a public plan. I’m not so good at math either, but it seems to me that with only 12.5 million people using the public plan, 122 million people getting private insurance through their employers, and 25 million people being forced to buy individual private insurance, the piddling little “public option” isn’t going to provide a whole lot of competition for the private insurance companies.

That’s where the plan stands as far as we know. Now is there any evidence that Obama really wants a more “robust” public option and that he’s hoping people like Senators Schumer and Rockefeller will make that happen?

I just don’t see it. As BTD said, Obama has indicated that he’ll go along with a public option if that is the only way to get the bill he wants passed. As far as I can tell, the notion of a public option is no long anything threatening to Obama’s corporate donors–maybe they’d prefer a bill without it, but they can probably live with just 12 million people not having to buy their products. The government subsidies they’ll most likely be getting will make up for those losses and then some.

I even went back and reread Obama’s exposition on health care reform in his book The Audacity of Hope to see if his original plan was more “progressive” than the one now moving through Congress. His ideas are spelled out on pages 184-185, in case you want to read them too. I was actually surprised to see how closely the various plans currently being discussed resemble the description in Obama’s book, which, BTW, doesn’t include any “public option,” but just recommends that people be grouped into large “pools” by state or some other criterion and that private insurance companies “compete” to get their business. It seems clear to me that Obama never wanted to expand government supported health coverage and only included a “public option” in order to suck in the public and the deluded progs.

I’ve reached the point where I don’t even care *why* the Obama Delusion persists, or whether Obama is really playing “11-dimensional chess” or following Sun Tzu’s strategy of “formlessness.” It’s really his goals that matter, not his strategy or whether he even has one. The biggest mistake the progs are making is in persisting in thinking that Obama has goals that are similar to theirs. He’s just not a liberal, he never was a liberal, and he never will be a liberal.

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165 Responses

  1. Ha!Ha! memories of Nixon’s secret strategy to end the war…
    Meanwhile, in the world events are shaping up demonstrating Obama’s incompetence :

    • yup, that’s exactly it … Nixon’s secret strategy to end the war! (declare victory and go home)

      • Over 50% of US combat deaths in Vietnam occurred after the secret strategy was in place. To bad it took 6 years to pull out.

      • Nixon’s original “secret plan” from the 1968 campaign was to use nuclear and/or chemical and biological weapons against North Vietnam, as both the White House tapes and declassified documents have shown. There was initial evaluation of these options early in his administration, see: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB81/ . In particular, take a look at “Document 2” on this page, a declassified cover letter from Alexander Haig to Henry Kissinger, and attached memo from Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird to Kissinger, evaluating military options in Vietnam (dated March 3, 1969). Note “option 5” in the cover letter, “A plan for actual or feigned technical escalation against North (nuclear) (Appendix E)” on page 2 and the discussion of this option in Laird’s memo. Nixon continued to bring up the possibility of doing this as late as 1972, according to published accounts, but was repeatedly dissuaded.

  2. BTD has a follow-up post on “The Mere Bystander Theory of the Presidency.”

    Too bad BTD “stood by” while Obama got the Democratic nomination.

    • And Booman has a response to BTD, whom he refers to as Armando. Booman ignores an important part of BTD’s argument which is that Obama doesn’t want a public option.

      • Booman lives in a reality of his own making. There used to be places to keep those people, now, unfortunately, there are only meds which don’t stop them from spewing all over places like the internet.

        • Sadly, people actually donate money for people like Booman to buy new laptops and keep on spewing their bulls**t.

          • well, they get what they pay for … complete delusion! I guess that’s why they want to keep reading it, so they can convince themselves that they really didn’t mess up. Aids with the disequilibrium. (I do believe in ghosts, I do, I do, I do, I do …)

        • Kool-aid is a helluva drug.

  3. bostonboomer,
    nice post!

    What Obama is practicing is really quite simple. It is the path of least resistance.

  4. 11th dimensional chess”,or Sun Tzu’s strategy of “formlessness.” i dont understanf why anyone whould want to be formlessnes

    .” i think its more like the Acorn – Sun -Tzu’s strategy of passing the buc. or maby hes using. the i dont know what the HE** im doing strategy ..

  5. I wouldn’t call it chess, or formlessness. I would just call it being an empty suit, which it what a lot of us here figured out that he was a long time ago.

    As nice as it would be to be able to point a finger at those who have yet to wake up and see him for what he is and say, “I told you so,” I would rather see–someway, somehow–a decent health care bill come out of this.

    If health care flops this time, it could ruin the chances of a new bill on it being adopted for decades. That would be awful for the Democratic Party and the American people. The former I don’t care about as much, except that I still consider myself a Democrat because I agree with the party on the issues, despite the behavior of some of it’s leaders.

    I don’t have a big interest in seeing Obama get re-elected, but to me the thought of President Palin in 2012 is more frightening than seeing him in office in 2016.

    • the raging prosecutrix in the house!

      Obama plays 11-dimensional chess and it’s only about self-promotion/re-election.

      Obama doesn’t triangulate. He’s a Republican.

      Clinton triangulated for progressive ends.

      • “Clinton triangulated for progressive ends.”

        Exactly. The Clintons understand that there are some things you come to an acceptable compromise on with your enemies, and there are some things that you draw the line on and say, “Wait this is too important to sacrifice,” and you fight for those issues.

        • Bill never had a filibuster-proof majority in Congress.

          • Oh why do you have to keep interjecting facts like this. 🙂

            Bottom line: with the super majority, Obama could have anything he wants. And here’s the tricky part Obots can’t seem to see, he is getting exactly what he wants.

          • Right, I just meant that he and Hillary weren’t afraid to challenge their enemies when they felt they needed to in order to get center-left to progressive policies implemented. They didn’t always succeed, but at least they tried. It seems to me that sometimes Obama isn’t eevn trying, and he *does* have that majority.

          • theprosecutrix, I think the real hard part to see through here is that the assumption that Obama is a liberal and would like some of those things to pass is wrong to begin with. He isn’t. The mess that is the health care reform is exactly what he wants. He isn’t failing to fight for something, he is accomplishing his real goals.

        • What I want to know is when is it triangulation v wise negotiating?

          All I can see with Obama is putting the worst deal on the table right off the bat in the name of postpartisan politics until we’ve got nothing left by the right wing canards. He must’ve slept through his game theory class or perhaps it wasn’t introduced at Harvard Law at that time.

          • Ha, I had game theory in high school. Take that Obama.

            To me what has been happening is not bad negotiating, it’s the WH doing exactly what they want to get the goals they want. They work for GS and United Health and others. That’s who put them in and that’s who they owe.

          • Why didn’t fauxgressives read what bostonboomer read in Audacity of Hope?(I gave it to my dad one Xmas but never read it). That he’s a conservative compromiser? They were too obsessed with race/their white guilt to pay attention. Race only came into play during the tea parties and Republicans are only a distraction. Obama will sign a bill, play his 11-dimensional chess to survive politically. What do we get? A black President. Was it worth it?

          • Why do fauxgressives complain about Clinton triangulating when Obama hasn’t done anything about DOMA/DADT/welfare reform/NAFTA? Or keeps triangulating on these issues 16 years later when he was selected not to?

          • Good news about DOMA or net neutrality means no PO. How many times has he gone back and forth on DOMA and DADT?

        • Indeed. The Clintons are considered so “compromised,” but you don’t get anywhere without that. Those who dislike the Cliton’s so much are often those well off enough to not be impacted by policy decisions and so they can remain” pure” without a personal price. But you don’t get a wolf to drop a child without giving it at least a chicken. You don’t get any , even partial victories or progress without some accommodation to the powers that be.

          Promising these idjits the “pure” Obama was a very smart move. He’s pure alright. Pure Chicago pay to play and more . Idjits

    • Obama has amply demonstrated that he really has no concern or loyalty to the Democratic Party (he could barely choke out the word during the campaigns), and he has no guiding Democratic principles (in the FDR-sense of the word). Hell, most Democratic Congresspeople also display neither. So it’s inconsequential to him whether the Dem Party suffers bc of his ‘formlessness’.

      In fact, the whole health care insurance debate is a win-win for him. The worst that will happen is nothing; then his big financial backers will breathe a sigh of relief that they can continue to reap in big profits and pay themselves big bonuses. Sure they don’t get the new captured near-monopoly market they asked Santa for, but far better than accepting any restraints (even piddly ones in current proposed legislation). And, since Obama won the election off of the massive financial contributions of Wall St and insurance cos in the first place, he gets a guaranteed round of similar payback/support in 2012. So he’s not worried about his reelection.

      • Bingo. If it’s a weak PO or no PO, he won’t be re-elected. It has to be a strong or robust public option or Dean, Hamsher et al will start his own PUMA party.

        • do you think Dean really will? I have a hard time seeing that. I think a lot of Dems will make excuses for Obama’s healthdeform.

          • Dean’s a private citizen with no input but lots of young fauxgressives will be pissed if they have to pay for junk insurance. I’m old and will buy insurance no matter what.

          • Not for a second. I remember my disappointment with him on a conference call when I was a field organizer for the DNC 50-state strategy. Before the “impeachment is off the table” announcement by Pelosi he was already telling us that it was a waste of time for Dems to pursue impeachment, that the Dems had to focus on 2006, then 2008. It’s ALWAYS about the next election cycle and getting more seats. To do what, I have no idea.

          • bluelyon, I agree, I can’t see Dean or any of these other Democratic duds primarying Obama or challenging him in any meaningful way.

          • if Hillary hadn’t been co-opted into the Obama admin and had stayed in the Senate, I couldn’t see even her having primaryed Obama… so what is there to expect from Howie Dean?

          • I used to imagine Dean would save us. Looking back, I realize I was suffering from The Dean Delusion. Howard was never a liberal either.


  6. formlessness is for the creative classers who have the luxury to engage in formlessness and don’t care about others that don’t. It is not for people who care about engaging all the invisible people, the disenfranchised people, “the grassroots” in discussions of public policy.

  7. Does “formlessness” mean “no spine?”

  8. Is any one else bothered by this besides me?


    During 1998 and 1999, Kirk was also a registered lobbyist for Sullivan & Worcester, representing pharmaceutical companies Hoechst and Aventis.

    and then there is this:

    Since 1997, he has served on the board of the insurance and investment firm, the Hartford Financial Services Group.

  9. Two new terms from a thread at TalkLeft:

    “Accidental President”



  10. Nice. Where do I sign up?

  11. The progs are still believing in Obama as some kind of other-worldly ringmaster, endowed with suprenatural powers and endlessly mysterious. He’s not.

    He’s just a guy who got a lot of people to believe a lot of talk. And Hillary was attacked because she was simply a crass, power-seeking retro pol. Makes the primaries look almost comical, but the American capacity for fantasy explains the 2008 election. It also explains the crashing disappointments of 2009, as Obama runs away from his talk.

    I do wonder how Hillary is really faring these days – silent, accomodating partner or seething, dejected underling? Anyone else think 2012 is a remote possibility for her?

    • Obama would have to do an LBJ for that to happen … perhaps over Afghanistan.

      The AP just announced he won’t have Guantanamo closed by January as promised, perhaps enough of that will cause him to do an LBJ too … just like he wants Patterson to do

      • won’t have Guantanamo closed by January…whattashocker…next Axelrahm will gently break it to the progs that unicorns are just horses with horns strapped onto their heads.

      • I don’t see him leaving voluntarily. If he gave a damn then yes, but I’ve never seen any sign he does. For him to not run again, I think he’d have to be up against the wall like Nixon.

        • Hmm, now that I’ve said that, actually I think if things looked rally bad and it looked like he likely wouldn’t win, I can see him not running to avoid losing as a face saving move. Well, I can hope anyway. 🙂

          • hope for change 😉

            but Obama is in permanent campaign mode, he is already running for 2012

          • Yes he is. Exactly like dubya.

            And the internals of the WH organization are just the same as dubya’s, the politicos are all organized close by and all the policy wonks are situated far away.

            We’ve gone from one empty politician to another. From Rove to Axelrod. Same, same, same.

          • I would hope that too. At least that would mean that Hillary could possibly run again if she wanted to, or some other worthy Democrat (are there any left?).

          • or some other worthy Democrat (are there any left?).

            there’s Chelsea… but she wouldn’t be old enough in 2012. We’ll have to wait for her to carry out the big bad Clinton dynasty of peace and prosperity! mwahahaha.

            (if Obama can speak about Kanye West dissing Taylor Swift with more clarity than he can speak about his health care policy, and still be dubbed “the intellectual’s president,” then a Wonk can have a fluffy cloud dream about Chelsea 2016… )

          • I think there’s some Dems coming up in state governments. There’s a few good looking State Attorney Generals, etc.

          • any women among those state attorney generals?

            Cenk (The Young Turks) suggested McCaskill as first female president awhile back…

            the same McCaskill who couldn’t stop sucking up to Obama and talking about his “new politics” during the election and once he’s president she talks about the necessity of “handcuffing” the public option…. what is the D beside her name for? Disgrace?

  12. Basically 0zero has no idea what he’s doing — he has no goals (other than WINNING).

    His leadership style is all about HIM. He has no clue how most people live. Mrs. 0-0 probably told the truth when she was on the VIEW and said 0zero wasn’t an empathetic person. I think she called him “pathetic”.

    Basically HE has to rely on others for clues about how the legislative process really works. At this point he is delusional and believes the myth — that all he needs to do is read a speech and he can fix anything with word.

    Eventually he’ll get in front of his teleprompter and demand that everyone be healed — and he will be delusional enough to believe that he has the power to heal.

    Mostly we the people need to be left alone to engage in “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” — 0zero needs to settle down and LEARN his job — and then do the job — for the first time in his life — he needs to WORK.

    Right now he is far too busy trying to please his owners (the corporations who bought him).

    So in the void of NO leadership — the kool-aide drinkers will project their image of the ideal leader on the blank wall.

  13. What nobody seems to notice is that playing 11th dimensional, or any other kind of chess by yourself, is akin to making bubbity-bubbity noises by running your fingers across your lips while humming. Who’s his opponent? What’s their strategy?

    • If you go by the way the media messages it, his opponent in this mysterious 11th dimensional chess sounds like it’s supposed to be “Hillary’s disastrous healthcare effort in 1993.”

    • “Who’s his opponent?”

      We the people.

      “What’s their strategy?”

      Money, money, money, money


      He is a narcissist — he’s married to narcissist. He is also very lazy.

      I’ll bet that he can not speak Hawaiian pidgin English. And he can’t speak the language of legislation — understanding what it takes to get legislation passed.

    • 11-dimensional chess vs. scary lady parts/Clinton/Palin even though Huckabee and Romney are the frontrunners and Clinton said there is almost no way she’ll run again. No wonder fauxgressives love 11-dimensional chess.

      • Both Huckabee and Romney scare me … very weirdish religious views those too

        • I don’t think Romney is religious. He’s just a very up-tight, creepy businessman.

        • They’re both very scary with their religions and women’s and GLBT rights. Fauxgressives are more afraid of scary lady parts. Fauxgressives are more afraid of Clinton than Huckabee, Romney or Gingrich.

          • Maybe it’s cuz I was raised fundie and have fundie and LDS family members but religious people in general don’t scare me.

            Religious nut-jobs otoh, but all nut-jobs need to be watched and kept away from power.

          • I meant religions regarding women’s a GLBT rights.

        • Romney is very religious.

          • Really? I never got that impression here in Massachusetts. Maybe he hid it from us.

          • I think they were playing it up for last year’s campaign, hoping to appeal to religious voters.

            They didn’t realize the GOP fundies think Mormons are a satanic cult.

      • Romney is a phoney baloney and Huckabee is just creepy.

        Obama 2012: one nation under the bus…

        Romney 2012: one nation on top of a moving car? (remember the story about the dog and the roadtrip…)

  14. Obama does play 11th dimensional chess. Prospering in the Chicago/Illinois consortium and going from unknown State Senator to POTUS in a little over a decade is amazing. All along his path to “success” it has always been about “HIM’; no political philosophy or goal other than the “win”. He uses people then discards them when they become an inconvience.

    Obama goal for “health reform” has been and is to be the President to sign a law that contains the words “Health” and reform”. the actual contents are meaningless to him. He isn’t working for the Corporations, they are the means to the end and if the relationship is mutually beneficial, so what? He does give a sh*t about the people who will be affected by this legislation.

    The meetings and deals that Obama had and made with the Health Industrial Complex CEOs were brilliant. I think he looked at where the major money and opposition came from the defeat “Hillary-care” and co-opted that opposition early. He has Pharma, Hospital Association, AMA and the Insurance Industry behind “Health Insurance Reform”. This political strategy is completely immoral but brilliant. (BTW, as a State Senator, Obama basically did the same political plan with “Health Reform” legislation in IL., 2003.)

  15. http://thinkprogress.org/2009/09/25/swineflu-boehner-constituent/

    A 22-year-old woman from Oxford, Ohio, died from swine flu on Wednesday. Kimberly Young graduated from Miami University in December and continued to live in Oxford, Ohio, within Minority Leader John Boehner’s congressional distrct. Reports now indicate that after initially getting sick, Young put off treatment because she was uninsured:

  16. Here in the Midwest we’re pretty straightforward about people like maimonides–we just say they’re on a mindf*ck.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I plan to call my congresscritter and my senators and tell them that I’ve drawn my line in the sand: either they kill this turkey and start afresh or I will actively work for anyone who campaigns against them (all three of my reps are Dems, by the way).

  17. Obama’s reform = faith healing

  18. Formlessness: “The art of avoiding criticism for what you do by simply avoiding doing anything.”

  19. Reading comments on BTD’s latest thread, I’m surprised Jerelyn is allowing so much criticism of Obama these days.

  20. Obama is a neo-liberal put in place as a stealth progressive to confound the real progressive agenda. No RW ideologue could do more than his doing to sidetrack real change because the “Left” would oppose him. Obama’s operatives beg for more time and patience for him to enact his “real” agenda. It’s really an effort to prevent people from pushing him at all until it’s too late.

    The idea that he is somehow using a political ju jitsu and forcing people to force HIM is one of his biggest cons. The audacity of comparing him and him comparing hmself to FDR is almost sacrilege. He also claims to be against the war, FISA, torture and for LGBT rights and yet every action he takes moves things in the opposite direction.

    A neo-liberal is just a neo-conservative globalist who doesn’t obsess about “social” issues.

  21. Please take this health care survey for my AP Government class. Here is the link. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=C0cJjk_2fBoRkfZUp1UrGRSQ_3d_3d

    Thank You

  22. Here’s another delusional one at the NY Times:


    Maybe Obama was wise to hang back. While anger can simmer forever, overheated outrage is exhausting and ultimately counterproductive.

    Anyone familiar with Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare” surely remembers this lesson: slow and steady wins the race. I was beginning to think of Obama as the hare, but maybe he’s the tortoise.

    • LOL! BTD wrote a post about that one too. That guy mainlines koolaid. I followed him on twitter for awhile, but I couldn’t take it.

      • So many people have invested so much in the Obama presidency that if it wasn’t for the way they’ve acted, I’d feel sorry for them. Instead I just watch the instant karma unfold.

  23. This is slightly off topic, but I want to comment on how grateful I am for sites like this and hillaryis44 for not selling out their integrity or honesty.

    • We’re grateful there are people out there that make us feel part of a bigger community. Glad you’re here and please speak up more often!!!

    • Some people would disagree – they think if we don’t follow them down every rathole of Obamahate that we sold out.

      Our opposition to Obama has always been principled, not personal.

  24. Bravo, BB! Excellent post. I predict as with MA lots of people will convince themselves the plan “works”, until it doesn’t, at which point Obama will be long gone. So I don’t think it hurts his re-election bid. I predict the Obama apologists will believe he’s playing chess or whatever(maybe checkers?) up until the moment he signs a bill. IF, it includes the leper insurance Congress has taken to calling a “public option”, they will herald Obama as the new FDR. IF it doesn’t, they will say it’s part of some sort of jujitsu style long-term strategy until he’s out of office. They will NEVER agree that Obama didn’t want a Medicare-like option. NEVER.

    As I said last time, the rates of insured will go up and it will have nothing to do with the new unneccessary beaurocracy dubbed “the Exchange”. In MA, 437k were enrolled after the law. Of those most were covered by the Medicaid expansion, 170k through the Connector. Of those only 20k, or less than 5%, purchased health care w/out a subsidy. This is unsustainable financing of health care, and a huge give away to the insurers. Unfortunately, medicare for all advocaters will have to remain vigilant, because once it is clear the plan has failed, the pols will NOT say ok we clearly need to fund health care through the government via taxes, oh no…They will start talking “global payments”, and it will be the insurers with the most influence as to how that works out. I agree with that Reagan economist who supports single payer, technology has made private insurance unworkable. We now have the technology to help people live longer, as we continue in the very long run, that technology will have people living far longer than today, and therefor it is just something that can not be privately financed. It will always be too expensive. it will become ever more expensive. The thing about that is there are hundreds of off shoots to those tech advancements that happen in the private sector and help our economy. In terms of the health care of the citizens, the government must be the financer, and it actually hurts innovation not to take that particular burden out of the private sector.

    • I predict as with MA lots of people will convince themselves the plan “works”, until it doesn’t

      Failbots like Booman and the boiz at Blogstalkers will keep shoveling Obama’s horseshit until he leaves office, figuring there must be a pony in there somewhere.

      Then they will spend the rest of their pathetic lives trying to rationalize how it wasn’t Obama’s fault that he fucked them over.

      “It was the blue dogs! It was the Republicans! They made him do it”

      • That’s true but it’s the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard in politics. They have literally driven themselves nuts.

  25. Just caught a snippet of Michael Moore repeat on Larry King…

    here’s what Moore said about Goldman Sachs and Obama, though it was pretty weak in comparison to how he took Hillary to task in 2008:

    KING: You are very rough on Goldman Sachs, concluding they run the country almost. Both administrations. You backed Obama. He supported bail outs. He took a lot of campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs employees work for him. Do you feel let down?

    MOORE: No, I think he’s part of the system. It’s a broke system. It’s a system where money calls the shots. We have to get money out of our political system. We need publicly financed elections. We need the candidates to be given air time. But that’s it.

    We got to do this like the other western countries do it. They don’t allow this kind of money inside of their politics. You’re right, President Obama, Goldman Sachs employees were his number one private contributors. I say that in the film, even though I support the man, and I’m wishing him the best, and I’m all behind him. But I think the people have the right to know that he, too, took this money. And now we’re waiting to see whether or not he’s going to be on our side or on Wall Street’s side.

    On the issue of healthcare, Moore very gently critiqued Obama, w/o really getting across what an insurancetrap this bill is turning out to be and how we need to oppose it, and again kinda implying the mess is the fault of the people for not supporting Obama enough (what were people supposed to support Obama on when he wouldn’t even define what he was for!) :

    KING: Is he going to get health care reform?

    MOORE: Well, I certainly hope so; 75 percent of the American people are expecting it. That’s what the polls show. The majority of this country voted for him in large part because they want universal health care. The majority actually want single-payer health care. So we’re so far away from that right now.

    President Obama’s, I think, problem or mistake here is that he started out with a compromise position with this public option. He should have started with what he said in 2003, when he was first thinking of running for the U.S. Senate, when he said he supported a single-payer system. Start with that. If you have to compromise, fine, that’s the art of politics. But to start with a compromised position —

    He had his base, nobody out there backing him up. You didn’t see millions of people out there supporting him. But you did see people on the other side being very vocal. They ruled the day with it.


    Still, this is better than what he said in Rolling Stone and some other interviews, but not by much. It’s good that he did not skirt the issue of Obama’s ties to the banking industry entirely, because it felt like he might when he was doing his promotion for it earlier. Though I still get the feeling that his mention of Obama in his film is more of a footnote for the sake of claiming objectivity and really doesn’t leave the viewer wanting to hold Obama accountable, since Moore himself is still maintaining that he’s “all behind Obama.”

    • It’s so sad. I remember when Michael Moore was a true radical. He was even too radical for Mother Jones magazine. I guess it comes from getting rich.

  26. What is wrong with “triangulation”. When I heard that term in relationship to WJC, I thought , brilliant. Anyone who sails must value it, especially when the winds are quirky and tricky. Triangulation works—it gets you there.

    Formlessness and 11 dimensional chess have a mystic air to them—I don’t see Rahm, Axelrove or Babam as the mystical type. They are more like thugs—-Mongolian Raiders, Attila the Hun, Mafioso. Sun Yat Sen was a philosopher warrior. Obama is a street thug in a fancy suit and tie.

  27. “Democrats continue to collect more from big donors than Republicans do, with their trio of national committees almost tripling the amount taken in by the GOP committees in first half of the year, according to the FEC. But Republicans are benefiting from much more energized small-dollar contributors.”

    So does this come under 11th dimensional chess or formlessness?

    • sounds like it comes under the fact that there’s one-party rule right now and GOP is doing better at grassroots fundraising because of the reactionary backlash against the party in power.

      incidentally that newsbit you quoted about donors is from wapo/paul kane, who in an interview said his role is not to be opinion-maker but to simply report the news and yet just before that he had opined that “Hillary never did any hard work in the Senate” and that Hillary’s current profile is diminished, way more diminished than Biden.

      his wapo reporting goes under dinosaur newspaper.

  28. I miss tge days before we were playing 11th dimensional chess when we were keeping our powder dry. Unlike that Hillary with those foolish fighting tactics that never work (just ask those Repubs how far they’ve gotten waging a pitched battle over every single thing), we actually were able to amass enough in dry powder assets to solve the financial crisis. Unfortunately, when we went to collect it we found it had gotten so dry it all blew away.

  29. For no particular reason, I’d like to say that ‘fixing’ the ‘amazingly complicated’ American Health Care System is, provided one is willing to upset thieves and rabid flat-earthers, is EASY.

    Step 1:
    We only have 2.3 doctors per 1,000 in America.

    It would be really cool if, after paying more money for health care than any nation in the world, we had more doctors than France(3.37), German(3.4), Spain(3.2), and Italy(4.2).

    Notice Canada isn’t listed. The reason Canada isn’t listed is that they are ALSO limiting doctor supply. They have only 2.1 doctors per 1000. That is kinda, in the real world, why they have the shortages they have. But I’m willing to sacrifice the super-high incomes of doctors for the good of everyone else. Why? Because mindless greed isn’t a virtue, Mr. Doctor Man.

    We can accomplish this goal by opening 10 new schools for medical students. Why 10? Because no new schools have been opened in the past eighty years, and it’s time to catch up. You didn’t know that? It’s the AMA’s official policy. No New Medical Schools. EVER AGAIN.

    But who will run the new schools? Easy. We rank the hospitals with sufficient size to handle a school by patient outcome in say “Birth”, “Cancer”, “Trauma”, and “Internal Sanitation”. Yes, Internal Sanitation needs to be there. You don’t want to know why. Top ten hospitals can refuse or accept the honor. If they refuse, go down the list.

    You won’t have to go far down that list.

    2.Is the poor wittle hospital losing money?

    I have an answer to that.

    I don’t believe the poor wittle hospital.

    But let’s say they are. Let’s say that charging 400 dollars for eight stiches is driving the poor wittle babies to the poor house. Well, you know, in a Free Market, those who can’t provide services at a competitive price go out of business.

    And Mr Hospital Man and Mr Insurance Man are ALL ABOUT the Free Market… right?

    Revoke all the Certificate of Need laws. You don’t know what a Certificate of Need is? Obama does. Why don’t you google Certificate of Need + Obama.

    Oddly enough, a real free market will begin dropping the prices of routine procedures across the board.

    3.Notice how I haven’t mentioned how all doctors need to be made completely immune to malpractices suits? That’s because I’m not talking about what doctors, or hospitals, or insurance companies want. I’m talking about what would benefit patients.

    If you want to remove malpractice suits though, me and Niccolò Machiavelli agree completely.

    “Morever, reasons for taking property are never lacking, and he who begins to live by stealing always finds a reason for taking what belongs to others; reasons for spilling blood, on the other hand, are rarer and more fleeting.”

    So feel free to switch to punishing doctors for inflicting permanent injury through gross negligence the way everyone else is punished for inflicting permanent injury through gross negligence. Put them in jail. Remove their special privileges. Other people don’t get to buy their way out, why should doctors?

    4.Require the complete refunding of the entire ’employer provided’ health care upon request by the employee on the sole condition that it be used to buy another insurance policy. While it may be nice for the insurance companies to avoid an actual free market, it isn’t nice for everyone else. Yes, yes, it will have no effect.

    Let’s find out how true that is.

  30. A lot of the “progs” who continue to express faith in Obama aren’t really liberals either-they just think they are because (obviously unlike the rest of us) they aren’t racist or homophobic (sexism is okay), and they opposed the war in Iraq and torture (under Bush), and they look down on stupid working class people who clearly aren’t too bright or they would be comfortable educated progressives (but they go to Michael Moore movies to congratulate themselves on their concern for the downtrodden). In sum, many Obama fans are really Republicans minus the religious fundamentalism who think themselves liberals because they never liked W.

    • They spent their childhood soaking up CDS from the television set that was their primary caretaker. The entered adulthood watching Bush commit gross negligence in the Oval Office.

      Many people (including themselves) assumed they were progressives because they opposed Bush.

      They are politically anti-Bush with a strong strain of CDS – Axelrove recognized that and modeled Obama to be a Democratic “Not-Bush or Clinton”

      That’s why the Kool-aid drinkers aren’t outraged at what Obama does – they never really cared about policy anyway.

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