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nikkibong
01-27-2010, 12:28 PM
...it's not about Israel, I suppose.

And now, we have arrived at a point where we can take the ultimate measure of Barack Obama. For much of the health care debate, he has been a relative bystander. This stance may have been the right approach for various stretches of the legislative grind. But now, we must see his mettle. Is he capable of asserting his will? Can he use his vaunted powers of communication to explain the virtues of reform? He must take ownership of the process and strong-arm the House, so that it comes to its senses and passes the Senateís version of the bill; and he must strong-arm the Senate, so that it promises to improve the bill through the budget reconciliation process. If Democrats are worth anything as a party, they will rally around their president. As much as any other issue, health care reform is their raison díetre. This is hardly an irremediable situation for Barack Obama. But, for the first time, we are nervous that he isnít up to the task.

Read the whole thing. (http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/obama-the-balance)

bjkeefe
01-27-2010, 12:31 PM
...it's not about Israel, I suppose.

LOL!

claymisher
01-27-2010, 12:43 PM
After the whole deal with Lieberman ("I'm against the public option but for Medicare expansion -- what, you liberals like Medicare expansion? -- I'm against Medicare expansion too!!!") I can see the case for Obama playing it cool. It's definitely not emotionally satisfying for me to watch but if it works that's the best revenge.

Lyle
01-27-2010, 12:55 PM
TNR is dreaming a bit. The comprehensive bill is dead. Parts of it can still be passed, but the bill needs to be dismembered for this to happen. Obama and the Democrats thought they were Babe Ruth, tried to parabola health care reform into the upper deck, and instead they've fouled out or struck out.

Not focusing on the economy beyond the bank and auto bailouts this past year was negligent. Because the economy won't be getting any better over the next year (Wal-Mart and Blockbuster are laying off thousands this month) to stop the hemorrhaging of independents and fiscally conservative Dems he's going to have to spend a lot of time, if not all of it, on the economy. This is bad news for him and Democrats, because no matter what they do in 2010 the economy will still be in the duldrums and Republicans and centrist Democrats will be able to point out the Dems and liberals Dems lack of success with dealing with the economy all the way up to the November elections.

nikkibong
01-27-2010, 01:01 PM
TNR is dreaming a bit. The comprehensive bill is dead. Parts of it can still be passed, but the bill needs to be dismembered for this to happen. Obama and the Democrats thought they were Babe Ruth, tried to parabola health care reform into the upper deck, and instead they've fouled out or struck out.


you don't watch much baseball, do you?

Lyle
01-27-2010, 01:05 PM
Actually, yes... that's my term for catching a ball in foul play, i.e., fouled out. You can use it too, if you want.

edit: ooooh... not just my term (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/foul_out).

edit: I must go to more games than you do. So up your nose with a rubber hose my friend. :)

PreppyMcPrepperson
02-07-2010, 09:38 AM
Actually, yes... that's my term for catching a ball in foul play, i.e., fouled out. You can use it too, if you want.

edit: ooooh... not just my term (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/foul_out).

edit: I must go to more games than you do. So up your nose with a rubber hose my friend. :)

Man, I miss baseball chatter. November-March=dark times.

Unit
02-07-2010, 09:58 AM
...it's not about Israel, I suppose.

And now, we have arrived at a point where we can take the ultimate measure of Barack Obama. For much of the health care debate, he has been a relative bystander. This stance may have been the right approach for various stretches of the legislative grind. But now, we must see his mettle. Is he capable of asserting his will? Can he use his vaunted powers of communication to explain the virtues of reform? He must take ownership of the process and strong-arm the House, so that it comes to its senses and passes the Senateís version of the bill; and he must strong-arm the Senate, so that it promises to improve the bill through the budget reconciliation process. If Democrats are worth anything as a party, they will rally around their president. As much as any other issue, health care reform is their raison díetre. This is hardly an irremediable situation for Barack Obama. But, for the first time, we are nervous that he isnít up to the task.

Read the whole thing. (http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/obama-the-balance)

It's not really a question of asserting one's will, it's a question of positioning oneself with the wider public. The president sat on the sidelines with the public to maintain his popularity. Going forward he'll do the same if he wants to be re-elected.

bjkeefe
02-07-2010, 10:23 AM
Man, I miss baseball chatter. November-March=dark times.

As the old saying goes:

Q: What are the four most beautiful words of February?
A: Pitchers and catchers report.

Starwatcher162536
02-07-2010, 12:10 PM
Did we all undergo mass amnesia? Why do I keep hearing that if the healthcare bill fails the Democrats will not have passed any meaningful legislation since Obama has been elected?

Did we all forget about the 787 billion dollar stimulus? Can I use the fact that Democrats are not trumpeting the bill anymore, and are scared they will have nothing to show for their time if healthcare fails, as evidence that major flaws have been found in it or that it didn't have a meaningful impact on the economy?


But to squander this opportunity--after such intricate negotiation and so much expenditure of political capital--makes no rational sense. Abandoning health care now wouldnít render Democrats any less vulnerable. They have already taken tough votes in support of the measure; they just wouldnít have any tangible achievement to show for those votes. Defeat would set back the chances for meaningful reform for a generation. What Democratic politician would ever set foot in that graveyard again? And, after health care has stalled the rest of the presidentís agenda for a large swath of his first year, what grand accomplishment would he have to show for his time in office? The billís defeat would rightly send his liberal base into a fit of depression--and it would send a dangerous message to his enemies that he will shy away from a fight on even his top priorities.

claymisher
02-07-2010, 01:16 PM
Did we all undergo mass amnesia? Why do I keep hearing that if the healthcare bill fails the Democrats will not have passed any meaningful legislation since Obama has been elected?

Did we all forget about the 787 billion dollar stimulus? Can I use the fact that Democrats are not trumpeting the bill anymore, and are scared they will have nothing to show for their time if healthcare fails, as evidence that major flaws have been found in it or that it didn't have a meaningful impact on the economy?
I'll pass the mic to Barney Frank (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/08/a-delicious-quote-from-barney-frank.html):
Not for the first time, as an elected official, I envy economists. Economists have available to them, in an analytical approach, the counterfactual. Economists can explain that a given decision was the best one that could be made, because they can show what would have happened in the counterfactual situation. They can contrast what happened to what would have happened. No one has ever gotten reelected where the bumper sticker said, "It would have been worse without me." You probably can get tenure with that. But you can't win office.

TwinSwords
02-07-2010, 02:51 PM
Why do I keep hearing that if the healthcare bill fails the Democrats will not have passed any meaningful legislation since Obama has been elected?

Who's saying that? I guess I've heard that from a small number of Democrats, but by and large that's an argument made by Republicans eager to discredit the president. Also, the truth value of the proposition has nothing to do with political commentary offered up by the chattering classes. If all you kept hearing was the earth is flat, that wouldn't make it so.


Did we all forget about the 787 billion dollar stimulus?
I can't answer that question because I don't know who your "we" includes, but if your "we" includes me or most Democrats, then "no," we did not all forget about the stimulus. Most Democrats continue to talk about it and continue to defend it.


Can I use the fact that Democrats are not trumpeting the bill anymore, and are scared they will have nothing to show for their time if healthcare fails, as evidence that major flaws have been found in it or that it didn't have a meaningful impact on the economy
Most definitely not, because the premise is false. It's not a "fact" that Democrats are not trumpeting the bill anymore, and even if it were a fact, it would not prove (by a longshot) that "major flaws have been found in it." One possible explanation for the fact that there is less discussion these days might be that it happened a year ago. Another reason we hear less discussion of the stimulus from Democrats is because the stimulus has become politically toxic in an environment shaped by rightwing talking points, and despite its importance and benefits, there's little benefit in taking credit for it because the conservative media machine has successfully stigmitized it.

As it happens, I still don't accept the premise that Democrats aren't trumpeting it anymore, but, again, even if that were true, there are clearly other conclusions that could be drawn besides "major flaws have been found."