11 Dimensional Chess And The Public Option

As the person who coined the phrase "11 dimensional chess," I take exception to Booman's post that, due to his misunderstanding of its origin and meaning, criticizes the phrase. Moreover, Booman misunderstands the process by which the public option remains alive. Booman writes:

I, too, have been irritated with the growing currency of the derisive term 11-Dimensional Chess. The term is used to dismiss the possibility that there is a rhyme and reason behind Obama's strategies (particularly on health care). . . . I know that most people using the term mean something slightly different.

(Emphasis supplied.) More . . .

Indeed, those of us who use the phrase mean something entirely different - to wit, the rhyme or reason of Obama's actions are the evident ones, not the secret coded ones attributed to them by true believers. In the health care reform context, we use the phrase to refer to the unthinking acceptance that Obama's political strategy is what will get us a public option. This is best captured by that irritating picture we always used to see of Obama with the caption "Don't Worry, He's Got it." The reality is that Obama has not "got it" at all on the public option. IF the public option happens, it will be because the Progressive Caucus and progressive activists realized that in fact, not only does Obama not got it on the public option, the only way to get the public option was to realize that Obama was not going to get it and did not care about getting it.

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.

A part of that puzzle was making sure the Obama Administration remained disciplined in its statements and actions about the public option. Hence, insuring the Obama Administration's neutrality on the issue was essential. That is why there has rightly been strong pushback any time the Obama Administration strayed away from this neutrality. That is why strong pressure has been brought to bear by the Progressive Caucus and progressive activists and labor unions to keep the public option alive.

Booman writes:

It looks like the House is going to go ahead and pass the public option, despite all the times it has been pronounced dead by Republicans, the media, and even several Democrats. The Senate may or may not pass something, but it probably will not have the public option. Where it goes from there is anyone's guess, but the groundwork has been laid to blame the Republicans if the budget reconciliation process is needed to pass the bill. Cover has been created to pass the bill through the Senate on a strictly party-line vote.

That seems a fair assessment of the situation. But President Obama has been a bystander in the creation of this situation. At this point, that is a good thing. But the persons claiming "He's got it" were obviously wrong and the phrase "11 dimensional chess" entirely appropriate for their analysis, such as it was.

In other words, if health care reform does contain a "public option," it will be because Obama is made to do it by progressives, not because of his superb playing of 11 dimensional chess.

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    This is an important post (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:34:52 PM EST

    Part of the brilliance of BooMan's post... (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:03:57 PM EST
    is that the very prose itself exemplifies the strategy of "formlessness" attributed to Obama...

    Ah, but what if it was always Obama's plan (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:49:06 PM EST
    to make us think he didn't have it, so the Prog Caucus would finally fex its muscles, and make him "get it", even though he always "got it".

    Can't fool me, young man, it's turtles all the way down.

    Is this meta enough for you?  I look forward to the new book, "Godel, Escher, Bach, Obama".

    Occam's Razor v 11 Dimensional Chess (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:52:21 PM EST
    Life's essential question.

    Major props to you BTD for (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:51:31 PM EST
    coining "11 Dimensional Chess" which is a master-stroke of irony.

    Today, I saw (via Glenzilla) that Balloon Juice is compiling a Lexicon of Blog-invented Terminology.

    I assume it's a work in progress, but at this point here are a few things that aren't yet included:

    • 11 Dimensional Chess
    • CDS (Clinton derangement Syndrome)
    • WKJM (Whoever Kidnapped Josh Marshall)
    • The Big Orange Cheeto (The Daily Kos)

    Hope those, and other equally meritorious terms, eventually find their way in.  

    I'd like to buy dinner for the person (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by shoephone on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:12:54 PM EST
    who coined the acronym, "WORM". I don't believe I ever saw it anywhere but on this blog.

    vasleft coined WORM (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by trillian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:19:33 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by cenobite on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:24:32 PM EST
    It was Lambert and Vastleft at Corrente.

    They comment here so they can correct this if it's wrong.


    Balloon Juice's Lexicon doesn't include WORM (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:03:22 PM EST
    Imo, that one is also an absolute must - especially considering that WORM is essential to perpetuating the meme of Obama's aptitude at 11 Dimensional Chess.  

    The Corrente Glossary (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:59:56 PM EST
    See Here. Lots of good stuff, though I say it. I guess I should go check what Cole's doing...

    Lambert, thanks, I just read the (none / 0) (#91)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 04:40:56 AM EST
    full Corrente glossary and see that you've covered things that aren't included by Balloon Juice and vice versa.

    When I read the Balloon Juice glossary I came across "PUMA", defined as:

    PUMA- Party Unity My Ass. A movement of embittered Hillary Clinton supporters who opposed Barack Obama during the 2008 general election. [emphasis mine]

    I didn't see "PUMA" in the Corrente glossary but look forward to seeing you take a stab at it, so to speak.

    FWIW: I've read Corrente daily for ages and commend you for all your fine work - these days, especially on health care.


    Nor is OFB (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:55:35 PM EST
    I am, perhaps, not the person to suggest this, but there is a comment thread here with corrections and additions:



    I'm not seeing a way into the BJ (none / 0) (#92)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 04:44:17 AM EST
    comments section. Where should I be looking?

    There are PayPal buttons at Corrente ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:05:11 PM EST
    See our glossary  here.

    "Hope Bong" needs in. (none / 0) (#93)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 04:51:55 AM EST
    BTW, this comment is not in direct response to Corrente's PayPal buttons.

    Looking forward to that dinner! (none / 0) (#95)
    by vastleft on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 06:58:17 PM EST

    Various terms (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:06:42 PM EST
    Hopefully, DFH is there. Bob Somerby invented Whoever Kidnapped Josh Marshall. If Corrente didn't invent the acronym, we certainly propagated it very early on.

    Bob Somerby, aka The Incomparable One. (none / 0) (#88)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:54:15 PM EST
    Did Anglachel come up with that? Didn't she also coin "The Precious".

    Some months ago, I read a post where she explained the meaning, and point of reference for, "The Precious" - but I no longer recall what it was. Anybody?


    That's one thing about Obama... (none / 0) (#33)
    by magster on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:29:10 PM EST
    ...where because he acts like a putz, he puts into motion good things that might not have come about had he been stronger, then he points to his past of community organizing and takes credit for his "brilliance".

    Maybe we'd have a public option by now if Obama was a better leader; but if a strong public option comes to pass anyways, we'll have a strong public option plus an emboldened CPC, a Republican party that has overtly embraced racism and obstruction because of its August of hate, and discredited Blue Dogs who have been shown to be about corporatism rather than fiscal discipline.

    11th dimensional chess = strenght through weakness = dumb luck.


    So he is just not (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Madeline on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:55:32 PM EST
    transparent...he just knows, do his brilliance, what is best for us and won't tell the public anything substantial.

    Then when we see his brilliance, we just hooray and fall faint at his "Obama knows best".

    Maybe.  For me, it's demeaning.  


    I'd say Obama is transparently opaque. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 02:19:28 PM EST
    Meaning, it is clear than he intends to obfuscate at every turn.

    When something happens once (3.50 / 2) (#47)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:29:07 PM EST
    its dumb luck, when it starts to become a pattern it might just be a plan.  

    Hold up (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:42:25 PM EST
    Your are a believer in the 11 Dimensional Chess argument?

    By the way, on POLICY what happened even once? The stimulus bill? Trade agreements were renegotiated? Bush's tax cuts were repealed? Climate change legislation was passed?

    When the hell did it happen?  


    I'm not (none / 0) (#56)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:14:09 PM EST
    what I do believe is the process described by the above poster where Obama tries to make each side believe it has achieved something is a concious governing style, it hasn't worked all the time- Healthcare should have been given a framewrok and then left up to congress- basically splitting the difference between the approach Obama took and the approach Clinton used.  

    When has it EVER worked? (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:03:55 PM EST
    That's what BTD is asking.

    To the list of things not working, I'd add FISA and financial reform.

    NOTE Of course, you have to ask "Work for whom?" FISA worked very well for the telcos, and financial [cough] reform has worked very well for the banksters.


    The only pattern (5.00 / 5) (#59)
    by Fabian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 06:06:35 PM EST
    we've seen thus far is not taking a bold stand.  Clinton triangulated for policy's sake, but Obama seems to triangulate for the sake of triangulation.  

    You said this the other day (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 06:19:55 PM EST
    His past record seems to suggest softly pushing two sides but doing so in a way that lets them believe that they reached said solution themselves- when it works it seems brilliant when it doesn't it looks like he's lost control.

    So I'll ask you again, as I did then. What, specifically, are you referring to?


    Sure and he just wanted to make it (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:20:18 PM EST
    a little more challenging this week for the Progressive Caucus by having White House Budget Director Peter Orszag Orszag praise Baucus's $856 billion proposal and signaling the administration doesn't consider a government-run insurance program essential to the legislation. link

    Rahm's statement this week that the Senate has been fairly clear that they cannot pass a healthcare bill including a public option link and Organizing for America's campaign to put pressure on U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow to abandon her position on the public option were all designed for the benefit of the Progressive Caucus. link


    Booman has focused (5.00 / 11) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:54:33 PM EST
    so much on past scary CIA drama that he believes in and sees 11 Dimensional chess in everything that he loves as much as everything he fears :)  Just my opinion.  And I'm not saying that a good bluff or fake doesn't have its political use, but the double political agent or the triple political agent only exists in Booman's mind.  This is between K street and us and who the pols fear the most, it isn't anything more complicated than that.

    Honestly (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:56:29 PM EST
    If he is not a Dan Brown fan, I would be surprised.

    Some people (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:59:36 PM EST
    don't own televisions; I don't read Dan Brown.

    I don't either (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:03:08 PM EST
    My daughter does.  She hasn't sprung for the new one yet but says she will soon.  I think she only likes Dan Brown right now because it upsets the Christian West Pointer :)  I fell asleep in the middle of the last National Treasure flick, like I did in the middle of the last Harry Potter...and I don't mean to it just happens.

    Ah, Christian West Pointer. Why didn't (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:05:43 PM EST
    you say so.

    Christian West Pointer (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:09:39 PM EST
    with a degree in nuclear physics who says that global warming is a hoax.  Splain that?  This is what happens I suppose when Cream City is not one of your instructors. Now you know why my patience is a daily practice.

    The sound you just heard (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:10:23 PM EST
    was of me zippering my mouth shut.

    And you (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:15:04 PM EST
    You already know exactly where you are headed :)  I'm right behind since I'm a demon lovng Buddhist who raises loose limbed divorcing daughters that he just can't leave alone :)

    Star of my hs physics class came to (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:12:00 PM EST
    recent reunion.  His current field of study is climate change, which he says is "all physics."  Not a fan of Michael Crichton.  I'm glad this man is working on this issue.

    Because you can't shoot it (none / 0) (#50)
    by Fabian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:38:42 PM EST
    or bomb it - that's why!

    Not sure why someone who believes in an ineffable deity has a problem grasping a simple, yet enormous concept like global warming.


    My thought (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:58:28 PM EST
    Why don't they understand?  If you put 2 people in a room with no windows, no ventilation, a water cooler, and some food, it may take a couple of days before the resources run out and it will get a little warmer because of body heat and the carbon dioxide emitted from the 2 people.

    Now if you take that same room, with the same amount of food and water, and put 100 people in it, the resources (including oxygen) will be used up at a faster rate,a nd more carbon dioxide will be created, making it much warmer, much faster.

    How hard is that to understand??


    Infinite (none / 0) (#55)
    by waldenpond on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:07:26 PM EST
    Aaaahhhhh, but the heavens are infinite and carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.  Inhofe... God's still up there.

    Is it that he refutes global warming (none / 0) (#54)
    by cawaltz on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:05:50 PM EST
    or that he refutes the idea that human behavior is the primary cause of it?

    If it is the second, then he might have a leg to stand on since water vapor, the primary greenhouse gas, is not tied to human behavior directly(Which does not mean we should not address CO2 increases which also impact warming and can be directly tied to human behavior).


    Wanna guess why Claudia (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:04:37 PM EST
    moved out and took her TV with her?

    Who's Claudia? (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:06:00 PM EST
    Doesn't anyone read your link? (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:07:37 PM EST
    Claudia is the "I don't own a TV" guy's ex girlfriend.  Try to keep up!

    heh (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:08:19 PM EST
    heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:08:19 PM EST
    I haven't read the article in ages, but it's one of my favorites.

    Rachel Maddow does that (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:01:40 PM EST
    Well, she doesn't watch TV, I don't watch her (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:05:35 PM EST
    It all works out.

    Booman still has his CDS troubles I see. (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by AX10 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:12:15 PM EST
    Recall that backdoor deal Obama made with Big Pharma in the spring.  Strange how
    Booman/Kos/Huffington/DemocRATicunderground have no problem with Obama working with corporations, yet when Bill Clinton did it, this was a clear sign that Bill was a "sell-out".

    I would remind the above, that we could also argue that Bill had a very poor deck of cards to play with.

    Now there are just too many dimensions to this chess game to keep track of.

    Luv what you did w DemocRATicunderground... (none / 0) (#89)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 08:02:34 PM EST
    Did you come up with that?

    That Obama, (5.00 / 6) (#34)
    by mentaldebris on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:29:14 PM EST
    he's a wily character.  He said, "Make me do it." but never said he and the administration would be putting up obstacles the whole way.

    If the 11th dimensional believers are to be believed Obama put up these obstacles to make us work harder (although how undercutting PO supporters in the Senate and blowing off House Progressives figures into all of this is beyond my understanding) .

    If the PO doesn't pass the believers can always say we didn't do enough to make him do it, totally ignoring the obstacles he and his cabinet planted along the way. If it passes it's because he lit a fire under us by undercutting us.

    Funny, how with the believers in 11th dimensional chess Obama will always come through unscathed. If the PO passes it's because he's a political genius, if it fails it's because we didn't try hard enough. Hmmm.

    So, add this into the mix (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:49:16 PM EST
    WASHINGTON - House Democrats are considering an insurance tax to help pay for their health care overhaul plan, even though such a funding scheme is bitterly opposed by labor unions that are among the party's most loyal constituencies.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday a tax on high-cost health insurance plans is "under consideration" as Democrats search for consensus within their ranks before taking a bill to the House floor later this fall.

    "We just have to see how much money we need for what, and if we're taking the bill down in cost," Pelosi said. "There are other provisions in the Senate bill that bend the (costs) curve that might be more palatable. We'll see."


    So now we're back to this? Is this part of the 11 dimensions or or we at the 12th dimension yet?

    Idiotic (5.00 / 11) (#37)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:03:25 PM EST

    The right answer is to roll back the Bush tax cuts.


    How come Pelosi (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:04:29 PM EST
    does not get to play 11 dimensional chess?

    The Dem Party (5.00 / 6) (#41)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:14:34 PM EST
    Doesn't like girls in power, except when it's convenient.

    Pelosi (none / 0) (#61)
    by Pacific John on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 06:46:20 PM EST
    doesn't like girls in power except her.

    heh (none / 0) (#40)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:10:22 PM EST
    BTW, this might as well be the (none / 0) (#42)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:16:15 PM EST
    "defeat Jason Altmire" tax.

    Don't make me for it . . . (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:18:22 PM EST
    Hey, I didn't expect them to actually (none / 0) (#48)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:29:15 PM EST
    do something this stupid. They probably still won't. . .

    Who thinks this junk up? (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:09:28 PM EST
    Rather than raising the bar on quality health care for all, they'd rather drop the level for those fortunate enough to still have quality benefits. Unreal. I guess that's one way of balancing the system.

    And we pay these people to think this junk up.


    Good (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ramo on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:25:33 PM EST
    Capping the employer tax deduction is a revenue source that keeps pace with the cost of the coverage expansion.  It's a regressive subsidy, and it should go.

    It isn't "good" (none / 0) (#57)
    by cawaltz on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:24:02 PM EST
    if these broad swathes of folks don't have access to an affordable option in its place. It means they will likely get stuck with junk insurance particularly if they have contracts that require their employers to provide health insurance.

    Seriously (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:33:52 PM EST
    the message "we'll sign anything" is not genius, it's stupid.

    The new optimism on the public option is based on what progressives did, on the exposed idiocy of mandated private insurance, and the crappy scores co-ops and other ideas have gotten in comparison to the public option.

    And also when did this happen?

    They have to communicate with the public and win the battle of public opinion. That means they have to have a media strategy.

    It didn't.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by jbindc on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 06:28:32 AM EST
    "Make me do it" is a child's response - not the response of President of the United States.  If that truly is what Obama is thinking, then shame on him for acting like a 5 year old.  Maybe he can stamp his feet and hold his breath too.

    Oops! (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 06:29:05 AM EST
    Meant to reply to Woody - sorry!

    I think "make me do it" (none / 0) (#94)
    by lilburro on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 08:41:36 PM EST
    the FDR approach, is a fine thing.  But I just don't see Obama and the Admin responding to the House saying you cannot pass the bill without the public option.  They aren't using the momentum of that to argue for the public option.  Instead they still seem to think its optional.  Fingers in ears.

    The 11th dimensional chess-ists (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 12:48:57 AM EST
    Are going to argue that Obama not only made progressives do it, he tricked you into thinking progressives made him do it.

    I'm NOT saying they're right.

    I'm saying arguing with an 11th dimensional chess-ist is like trying to heckle the carny fortune teller who in turn keeps saying "I predicted you would say that."

    There's really no point, and the people who actually believe it are going to believe it no matter what you say anyway.

    Faith based reasoning. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Fabian on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:35:19 AM EST
    I wondered what would happen to all the faith based supporters that I saw on the blogs last year.  Some have fallen away, but some are still there, their faith unwavering.

    Wishful thinking? (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by a giant slor on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 04:43:53 PM EST
    It's not wishful thinking to think that Obama might have a grand strategy. We know he's a brilliant political strategist based on his past political campaigns. He's also a big poker fan, which indicates an interest or aptitude for strategy. What if Bob Woodward's book comes out a few years from now and it turns out Obama had been playing 11-dimensional chess all along?

    The reality, however, could be somewhere between BooMan's and Big Tent Democrat's views. It doesn't have to be one or the other. Obama may have a strategy to pass the public option, and he may also be benefiting from luck.

    Getting it (3.50 / 2) (#62)
    by Woody25 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:24:49 PM EST
    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.

    What a load of cr@p. (5.00 / 10) (#68)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:30:28 PM EST
    I want a leader, not a community organizer who, when something fails, can always blame it on the people because they didn't want it badly enough.

    The message from the people on this issue could not be clearer; Obama would have to be brain dead not to know what people want.  And Congress?  I kind of think the letters, the faxes, the e-mails, the phone calls, the visits, should have given them a pretty clear idea of what the people want them to do.

    We cannot march into Congress and pass the legislation.  We cannot sign bills.  We tell the legislators and the president what we want, and then it is their job to make it happen.

    Leadership; maybe Obama should try it sometime.


    Oh, dear (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by sj on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:28:04 PM EST
    Wow (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Left of the Left on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:27:53 PM EST
    they really want us to earn it, the way they keep undermining us and all, huh.

    If Obama wants us to fight for "it," (5.00 / 5) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 12:01:03 AM EST
    maybe he will let the us write the Senate Finance bill rather than the insurance industry.

    Oy. (5.00 / 5) (#76)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 12:05:21 AM EST
    (Slaps self on forehead.) It's our fault.

    How could I have gotten it so wrong?


    You could drown... (5.00 / 5) (#79)
    by Romberry on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 01:40:19 AM EST
    ...swimming in that much Kool Aid.

    There is some validity to what you (none / 0) (#67)
    by hairspray on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:16:06 PM EST
    say about the public option.  However, the PO came very late in the process, after the "formlessness" was evident in the crafting of the HCR early on.  What was that behavior supposed to elicit from the public at that time.?

    Isn't it a violation of blogger ethics (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:54:18 PM EST
    for Booman not to link to the origins of "11th dimensional chess"?  

    Does Booman suffer from CDS?

    Does Booman really believe what he/she writes?

    Booman's reference to Maimondes was startling.  Guess he/she means a blog, but still . . .

    Booman suffers from CDS (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:59:31 PM EST

    Certainly not the Jewish Talmudic scholar (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:56:04 PM EST
    Bystander? (none / 0) (#24)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:39:53 PM EST
    I'm not sure how you reached your conclusion that Obama has been a mere observer in the process that has led to this situation: the Republicans are widely seen as obstructionists, so the Democrats will likely be seen as justified in using reconciliation to pass the PO, if they end up doing so.

    Moreover, Booman's point is that Obama's "formlessness" on the particulars of HC reform has been key to reaching this situation, laying the "groundwork," etc. In other words, declaring Obama a bystander, or even of playing a "bystander" on TV, is partly an acknowledgement of Booman's point that Obama himself has played a deliberate role in dismantling the idea that bipartisanship is necessary for HCR.

    What am I missing?

    Your comment is contradictory (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:54:43 PM EST
    First you argue against Obama being a mere bystander. Then you argue that "Booman's point is that Obama's "formlessness" on the particulars of HC reform has been key to reaching this situation."

    In essence, your argument, like Booman's is that Obama's being a mere bystander his "formlessness") was the "key" to the public option still being on the table.

    I find the arugment absurd - the key was the refusal of the Progressive Caucus and progressive activists to actually count on Obama fighting for the public option. To realize that he had chosen a bystander role.


    If Obama's formlessness was the key, then he (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:17:13 PM EST
    truly is a Zen Master.

    Subhuti was Buddha's disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

    One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.

    "We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness," the gods whispered to him.

    "But I have not spoken of emptiness," said Subhuti.

    "You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness," responded the gods. "This is the true emptiness." And blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:19:11 PM EST
    I was thinking more Seinfeld - "A show about nothing."

    Link (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:20:33 PM EST
    More like this: (none / 0) (#58)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:27:27 PM EST
    Be formless, shapeless, like water..
    If you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup.
    If you put water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
    If you put water in a teapot it becomes the teapot..
    Water can flow, or it can crash..

    Be water my friend.

    - Bruce Lee

    Booman's point, (none / 0) (#69)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:49:30 PM EST
    I think, is that Obama's choice to play "bystander" or mediator has made bipartisanship visibly irrelevant to passing a HCR bill, and so has made reconciliation a politically more viable choice for centrist Dems, which all means the chances of passing a PO are greater.

    Just because Obama bumbles his way... (5.00 / 5) (#78)
    by Romberry on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 01:38:59 AM EST
    ...into something doesn't mean that he's anything other than lucky. Besides, what has he bumbled into?

    The stimulus bill sucked. The giveaways to Wall Street sucked. His FISA vote last year in the Senate? Sucked. State secrets? Afghanistan? Bagram? Rendition? The Patriot Act? Suck, suck, suck, suck and suck.

    If bumbling into good fortune (of which I have yet to see any) is his tactic, I'm going to start referring to him as President Quincy Magoo.

    The "public option" that is being talked about these last few days is a public option in name only. They're talking extremely restricted enrollment open to only a few. It's anything but robust.


    Yes, but he's the most powerful (none / 0) (#90)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 01:16:00 AM EST
    bumbler in the world. Plus he's president of bumblers and non-bumblers alike. So I think it's worth thinking about how his particular form of bumbling affects and is affected by the other bumblers he must work with.

    I guess that makes me just one more...wait a minute, it'll come to me...


    In response to your question: (none / 0) (#27)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:00:14 PM EST
    What am I missing?

    That was a rhetorical question, right? Because, in my experience, people who believe in Obama's mastery of 11 Dimensional Chess are also of the belief that they never miss ANYTHING.


    My question wasn't rhetorical (none / 0) (#71)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:02:31 PM EST
    but yours appears to be (right?) since nowhere in my post did I say I believe Obama is a master of 11 dimensional chess.

    By the way, what is "11 dimensional chess" if not a rhetorical device intended to discredit with sarcasm anyone whose political strategy, tactics, or aims you disagree with? (not a rhetorical question)

    Or is it actually a game one can master? (a rhetorical question)


    Right; wrong; right. (none / 0) (#84)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 02:32:30 PM EST
    Wrong because you say so? (none / 0) (#85)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 03:37:54 PM EST
    Right :-) (none / 0) (#87)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:41:35 PM EST