Progressives Getting Played

Yesterday, I hit d-day for his, to me, strange post, seeming to favor triggers over the Federalist Public Option (he wrote a comment in my thread saying that's not what he meant.) Today he seems to have learned something about the political game:

The wild card in all of this is Olympia Snowe’s yes vote on the Baucus bill today [. . .] The White House is clearly dying for something they can call bipartisan support, and will likely want to use Snowe in that capacity, as well as who she could bring along – Bill Nelson already intimated today that Susan Collins would come along with Snowe (although her role is probably more as cover for moderate Democrats). Snowe pointedly rejected the public option in her comments.

Bill Nelson? Not the same Bill Nelson d-day was defending yesterday when he was praising triggers? Look, I do not think it takes a genius to see that what Bill Nelson was saying yesterday was a result of his KNOWING what Olympia Snowe was going to do today. Frankly, d-day (and other progressives) got played yesterday. In their fight against the Federalist Public Option they ended up, unwittingly, strengthening the Mushy Middle's drive for the Snowe trigger. Understanding political bargaining was lacking in this instance.

Speaking for me only

< President Snowe's Endgame: BaucusCare + Trigger | Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread >
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    Well, even if Chicago won't be the (4.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:19:52 PM EST
    site of the 2016 Olympics, at least the GOP, with the help of the Blue Dogs, has cranked up playing the progressive Dems to near-Olympic levels; I guess Snowe gets the gold in this round.

    I can see the t-shirts now:

    My Senator went to Washington to reform the health care system, and all I got was an individual mandate!

    It's just amazing what the power of the majority and strong, focused, coordinated leadership can do, isnt't it?  Oh, wait...

    What a deal we have for you (none / 0) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:31:02 PM EST
    Junk insurance at cadillac prices

    Cash you don't have (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:34:17 PM EST
    for a clunker of a health insurance policy...

    Health CARE?  Not so much.


    Act now! (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:48:40 PM EST
    If you're one of the first 50 callers, we'll throw in this free set of Ginsu (TM) knives*!

    *To poke your eyes out when you realize what a bill of goods we've all been sold.

    **Sorry, no refunds or returns.


    Ah, yes (none / 0) (#21)
    by Zorba on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 04:03:23 PM EST
    Such a deal!  Why the heck were Obama and Company so focused on getting Olympia on board at any cost in the first place?  One snowflake does not a snowstorm make, and one Snowe-flake does not bi-partisanship make.  Junk insurance is junk insurance- you're so right, MO Blue.  And I'm so tired of this gift to the insurance companies, which will not have a snowball's chance in hell to really make a difference in affordable health care for all.  We've all been snowed.

    Understanding political bargaining (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 02:58:04 PM EST
    was lacking in this progressive instance...and every other progressive instance since Obama took the oath of office :)  And I don't get most of it when it comes to what this single vote can do or that single vote can do.  The different components of this sort of political bargaining escape me right now.  But I'm working on it.

    Me too (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:03:25 PM EST
    Mostly what I have learned is that the only people I would want bargaining on my behalf are BTD and Olympia Snowe.

    You just made me SNARF outloud (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:07:04 PM EST
    Don't know what that is (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:08:49 PM EST
    but I hope it doesn't hurt!

    A laugh snort through your nose (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:17:18 PM EST
    The only thing it hurts is your femininity.

    I'd go with Snowe (none / 0) (#5)
    by jes on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:12:20 PM EST
    BTD would show his cards on every play. He is no pol.

    You think? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:17:42 PM EST
    In this setting (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:17:58 PM EST
    the game is more like Indian than Hold Em.

    I see what you have and you see what I have and then we try and bluff each other out not knowing what we have.


    I must look up this game (none / 0) (#19)
    by jes on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:50:53 PM EST
    makes no sense to me as described...

    many of obama's most ardent (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by sancho on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:41:25 PM EST
    supporters have disdained political bargaining from the get-go. that's his appeal to them. being above that sort of partisan nonsense. such obama voters are really choosing a brand rather than fighting for genuine improvements in citizens' lives. and now we'll see which "progressives"  buy the "new and improved brand" being put on the weak healthcare bill. and what they get for it.

    I don't think (none / 0) (#9)
    by pontificator on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:18:39 PM EST
    blogger criticism of the opt-out compromise is what led to Bill Nelson's embrace of the "trigger."  An "opt-out" will pass the House; a trigger won't.  Those are the fundamentals at play.

    The real game, is getting a handful of ConservaDem Senators (Conrad, Nelson, etc) to accept opt-out as a compromise.  Snowe is irrelevant.  I believe she will ultimately vote the same way as the Senate Conservadems.

    I think you miss my point (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:20:27 PM EST
    Part of "The real game [ . . . ] is getting a handful of ConservaDem Senators (Conrad, Nelson, etc) to accept opt-out as a compromise."

    Part of that process is letting them know Trigger is the name of Roy Rogers' horse, not an acceptable alternative.


    Heh (none / 0) (#12)
    by pontificator on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:21:51 PM EST
    I agree.  However, bloggers can influence the progressive caucus in the House, but I don;t think they hold mych sway with Conservadems.  With all due respect to d-day, I don't think Kent Conrad reads him.

    They hold sway of varying degrees (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:24:22 PM EST
    They meaning progressives, not "blogs."

    No Dem except Gene Taylor, Jim Marshall, Ben Nelson and others like that can completely ignore the Dem base.

    Bill Nelson certainly can not and that is why he is doing backflips to try and make the trigger acceptable "progressive."

    That is why I gave d-day a hard time.


    ^^^ Pony Alert!!^^^ (none / 0) (#25)
    by nycstray on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 06:00:53 PM EST
    If only buhdydharma were here, . . . (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 06:04:44 PM EST
    Senate to vote first. (none / 0) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:46:21 PM EST
    Anyone hoping that the House would put pressure on the Senate to produce a better health insurance bill can just about kiss that idea goodbye.

    Senate Democrats are aiming to bring a combined bill to the floor by October 26, according to a leadership aide.

    First Read reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expecting her chamber to vote on its version of healthcare reform by Thanksgiving. link

    Progressives Getting Played (none / 0) (#20)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 03:57:04 PM EST
    That headline has been appropriate for the last two years at least. I just haven't decided if it's naivity or stupidity.

    Whatever the reason, we're never going to be a force in the political arena until we stand down the bullies.

    How did (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 05:46:14 PM EST
    I somehow know that we were going to get a crappy health bill? The only hope now is for the house to kill off this monster called baucus/obamacare. This bill is nothing short of political suicide for every politician out there. So for all the people claiming how "brilliant" Obama is in the political arena....well, I want some of what they are smoking or drinking. This bill will manage to do what Karl Rove and George Bush never could.

    AP link just after the vote sd. CBO (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 05:49:32 PM EST
    hadn't had time to figure the cost of BaucusCare on middle class people w/health insurance.  Seems pretty important.  Then the AP link disappeared.  Strange.

    Well (none / 0) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 05:56:23 PM EST
    I don't know what the final tally was but the estimates that were put out before were requiring people to pay something like 15% of their gross income to insurance IIRC.

    During the hearing today I heard Sen. Crapo (none / 0) (#27)
    by sallywally on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 08:41:20 PM EST
    a conservative Republican, ask about this and I could not believe the CBO had no answer to this incredibly fundamental question. No member of the Finance Cte should have voted for this bill without that information.

    Where were Schumer and Rockefeller on this question??? Whatever they were talking about in this committee, it sure as h#ll was not the nation's citizens, and that was THE central question in the entire issue.

    This really steams me!

    Oh yeah, and I won't believe anything the CBO says from now on. It might be strictly accurate, but it won't necessarily have anything to do with what actually matters.


    CBO, per AP, sd. his agency hadn't (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:55:16 PM EST
    completed this part of the analysis yet.  I agree w/you though.  It is really gonna hit the fan if our Senators and Congresspersons pass BaucusCare, Obama signs it, and none of the above know what the cost will be to the people in the trenches.

    I Got a Fund Raising Call from the DNC . . . (none / 0) (#29)
    by Doc Rock on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 10:34:03 PM EST
    . . . yesterday to "help pass critical healthcare legislation." It was as close to apopolexy as I've ever come and I've come close before! The Democrats, IMO, have sold out on critical issue after critical issue in this exercise and are looking to window dress and/or white wash the screwing of America and mooning of the party's left wing.

    I worked for and contributed to Birch Bayh, Vance Hartke, George McGovern, Bill and Hillary and many more at the brown end of the stick over the years, but am ready to read Kaddish over the bulk of this current crew. My money's going ACLU and the local Maryland Greens!

    again (none / 0) (#30)
    by dday on Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 03:13:34 PM EST
    you didn't get my point.  I wasn't favoring triggers in any way.  I was merely commenting that this notion that a federalist public option would automatically pass either chamber neglects the fact that Democrats in red states who support a public option but who think their legislatures would opt out are extremely unlikely to vote for it - they'd be selling out their own constituency.  That includes every lawmaker in the state of Florida, and maybe a dozen other states.  So the onus is on you to get to 50 and 218; personally I think you have a better chance with a real public option, which already has the votes, than with an opt-out.

    The way to properly structure an opt-out, which nobody is talking about, is to tie it to federal funding, i.e. you opt out, you get no money.  Then you'd create the incentive to stay in the system.