Pelosi To Obama: No Public Option, No Bill

magster points this out, via Brian Beutler:

If you weren't already convinced that the House and the Obama administration are on a collision course, you might be now. The latest statement out of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office is unequivocal: "A bill without a strong public option will not pass the House," Pelosi said.

(Emphasis supplied.) At this point, walk back is getting tougher and tougher for the House. Obama needs to deal with this new reality.

Speaking for me only

< Progressive Bargaining With A Dem President | Delusional About Political Bargaining >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    thanks, Madame speaker. (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:01:56 PM EST
    somebody needs to remind the President that there's more going on than the rent.

    If this works (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:07:29 PM EST
    I'll take back all the negative things I've said about Pelosi.

    On second thought, no I won't (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:08:03 PM EST
    But I'll still praise her.

    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:10:45 PM EST
    Now you get it. Carrots and sticks.

    "Collission course...carrots and sticks" (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:32:16 PM EST
    I think not. With very few exceptions, the current crop of Congressional Democratic are not honest brokers of "a bill with a strong public option" and neither is the Obama White House.

    Brother Greenwald recently came to that conclusion in a scathing column which has, quite curiously, failed to create much of a stir.


    Sadly, FHA, I think you're right! (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by DeborahNC on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:33:14 AM EST
    I read the article that you referenced by Greenwald, and the premises he made seemed accurate to me. He summarizes a point made by Jonathan Chait, who has belatedly recognized the flawed positions of many Democratic legislators.

    Chait's rationale is that allowing "centrist" dominance within the party means that the same corporate interests (rather than the interests of constituents) and the same political agenda end up being served regardless of which party is in control, meaning that -- as he put it -- even "a filibuster-proof Democratic majority isn't worth having" because nothing meaningful changes. You don't say.

    The reason we cannot institute meaningful changes in policy, e.g. health care reform, is that too many Democratic incumbents serve the interests of corporations rather than the proiorities and values of their constituents. Therefore, as Glenn noted, I think that progressive activists whithin the party should try and challenge corporately-owned incumbents by recruiting candidates who more accurately reflect our values.

    In my opinion, incumbents should be made to justify their actions to voters, and if they are unwilling to explain their votes, it should be made clear that they will face primary challenges. But, let's be clear, for that to happen Obama and the party leadership must not offer their blind support to Blue Dogs and threaten members of the Progressive Caucus.

    Glenn contends that President Obama has been active in ensuring that corporate interests are served and that the power of factions like the Blue Dogs continue to grow.

    When the White House genuinely wants a bill to pass -- rather than paying irrelevant lip service to it -- they know how to apply pressure on the defiant members of Congress:

    The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

    "We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen.

    Rahm Emanuel, Tom Delay, and the Bush/Cheney White House have left no doubt that where there's a will to influence the actions of Senators and House members in one's own party, there's a way.  But the Obama White House has done nothing in the way of attempting to change the behavior of the supposedly obstructionist Blue Dogs and centrists whom Obama-defenders are eager to blame for the health care standstill.  In fact, they've done the opposite:  Emanuel has repeatedly leapt to their defense and attacked progressives who sought to influence or otherwise put pressure on them to change behavior.   White House threats that "you'll never hear from us again" are issued to defiant progressives only.  Not only are such threats never issued to "centrists" and Blue Dogs who are supposedly impeding the President's health care agenda, but the White House does everything it can to protect those ostensible obstructionists and further entrench them in power.  Isn't all of this fairly strong evidence that the White House knew, accepted and likely even desired from the start that -- despite the President's public assurances to progressives -- the "public option," understandably despised by the insurance industry, would be dropped from bill?

    Perhaps, Pelosi is genuine, and she has the votes to ensure a strong public option in the House. I hope so. But, honestly, I do not foresee her defying the President's wishes if he doesn't feel similarly.

    I have noticed a wave of disappointment building among Progressive Democrats. I hope that Obama and our legislators will come through with meaningful health legilation, but I'm not too optimistic. I hope that I'm wrong.


    she has a heck of a lot of power in that position (none / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:10:45 PM EST
    "Speaker of the House."

    she must read this site. These are Chicago rules, or the Chicago way. I am now satisfied that someone in leadership, in one of the three branches of government, is looking out for the people.

    Pelosi, Hoyer... pretty soon the whole dang House Democratic Leadership will be on board!


    Hoyer will be the face of the cave-in, (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:12:38 PM EST
    which I still think is more likely than not.

    don't (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:07:48 PM EST
    harsh my mellow, Andgarden ;-(

    The Dems in the House (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:10:17 PM EST
    are looking at re-election next year. It makes sense they are the ones who are actively concerned about their constituents right now.

    I've come to believe (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:13:36 PM EST
    that looking strong is the single most important factor in winning an election.

    Bingo (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Faust on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:22:18 PM EST
    That's why we wet liberals have so much trouble. We aren't big enough a**holes

    I can almost see the Sherrod Brown TV ad (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:29:37 PM EST
    Brown walks out of a hospital with a 14-year-old boy, big smiles all, and the Senator pats him on the back, almost too hard. A voiceover says "They said the battle was lost. There would be no healthcare reform that year. . ."

    I don't think that is the problem. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by robert72 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:07:11 PM EST
    We have plenty of a**holes. The problem is truth, and courage, and believing in something bigger than your pocketbook or your next election.
    Who in the Congress or the Senate speaks truth to power? Who is looking out for the people, not the next election?
    I don't understand it. A Senator that does speak the truth could go far. Be respected. Really change things for the better.
    Teddy Kennedy tried, for a while. But at the beginning and the end of his life, he made bad decisions that will forever ruin his legacy.
    Who has the guts to tell the truth about health care?
    Here, for example, is the truth about Canadian health care:


    What a pity the government doesn't make something like this as a platform.....


    Love that video! (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:06:35 AM EST
    Real Canadians Talking Real Health Care. I can vouch for the accuracy of the information - having lived, at various times, in a number of provinces throughout Canada.

    Here's one thing I was struck by about the the people who appeared in the video: their utterly authentic, unassuming demenaor. They discussed a self-evidently superior health care system without so much as a hint of superiority in their attitude. Perhaps "socialized" medicine contributes to a zeitgeist of overall personal civility.


    Yep. (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:28:39 PM EST
    People simply do not respect wimps no matter what their beliefs are.

    Come on! hope and change, hopechangey, or (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:31:07 PM EST
    something like that...

    Actually, I think the House progressive bloc and the leadership will stand tough. the Senate? not so much.


    The new (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:33:56 PM EST
    name is Milquetoast Goodspeech.

    They're trying to force the Senate (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:32:41 PM EST
    to walk the plank (at least, that's what the Senate thinks).

    About time someone other (5.00 / 8) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:49:46 PM EST
    than the Progressives walked the plank.

    You are forgetting the memory of Ted Kennedy (none / 0) (#44)
    by mogal on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:14:54 PM EST
    Obama and crew (none / 0) (#98)
    by sallywally on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 09:54:26 AM EST
    have already forgotten. Kennedy was just a tool to Obama, and will be a tool to say "real" healthcare reform will fulfill Teddy's legacy.

    That is definitely IMO how they (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:51:39 PM EST
    won seats in 2006.

    This puts Reid and crew (none / 0) (#32)
    by SGITR on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:59:53 PM EST
    in a tough position. How can the uppity Senate let the House dictate policy? If Reid can't get a winning strategy going in the Senate and leaves it to the House to hit the reset button he is going to look awful bad. Granted Reid isn't playing with the same rules, but still.

    Not all Dem Senators are (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:08:56 PM EST
    willing to vote for a bill without a public option. Feingold has stated that he would not and there might be others.

    If Reid does not want to look bad, he just must want to try something new. Like - like - I know, actually leading for a change. He might have a hard time locating that powder he has been storing since he became Majority Leader but this would be a good time to locate it and actually put it to use. Time to kick a$$ and take names.

    As an aside, I find it hard to believe that he will look worse than he has all these years by being a weak ninny whose only strategy was to capitulate.


    Sure there are plenty (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by SGITR on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:28:46 PM EST
    of Senators that will vote for a public option. Just not enough at the moment.

    As for Reid looking worse than he does now, health care is a pretty big thing. So in my eyes he will look worse. And if I'm thinking that so are others.


    Confused? (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:35:50 PM EST
    Are you thinking he would look worse if he lets the Republicans write the bill or worse if he puts pressure on his members to vote for legislation that contains a public option?

    IMO the occupation of Iraq was and is a pretty big thing. Seems IIRC he always came out with strong statements in opposition right before he gave up the fight.  


    Worse (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by SGITR on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:51:13 PM EST
    if he can't get the right legislation to pass period.

    That would be the case whether he wrote the wrong legislation or wrote the right legislation and did not get the votes needed. Obviously as far as I'm concerned the latter would not be as bad as crafting the wrong bill. As I said I know he is working with some pretty challenging rules in the Senate.

    And yes I agree Iraq was a big thing. But he was dealing with Bush in the WH for starters and Bush was not going to leave and Reid wasn't going to defund the troops for good reasons. It was a stalemate. Plus Iraq is pretty much history now. The public and the press have moved on.

    This time there are few excuses. A Democrat President. Majorities in both Houses. A signature campaign promise. Falling polls.


    leadership by... (none / 0) (#42)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:12:39 PM EST
    well heck, I won't say surrender, because he fought on occasion. But...

    Geez, Harry hasn't thrilled me as leader. He's supposed to be tough. Is he still 'husbanding his forces?'

    I've had questions about him for some time. But I'm an outsider.


    "Husbanding" is one word for it (none / 0) (#43)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:14:46 PM EST
    if "forces" can be construed as the people who voted for him.

    I didn't want to use the trite (none / 0) (#46)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:18:06 PM EST
    'keeping his powder dry.'

    Husbanding forces is actually a good military tactic.


    Yes (none / 0) (#47)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:19:00 PM EST
    F^cking his constituents, not so much.

    Thanks Jeff (none / 0) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:19:38 PM EST
    YOu mentioned powder without using the (none / 0) (#50)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:23:12 PM EST
    whole thing... I applaud you, MO Blue!

    Look at donations from insurance lobbyists posted (none / 0) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:00:59 PM EST
    in the open thread... Harry don't look to good now!

    Released by the Federal Election Commission, Top 20 Recipients of Health Lobby Contributions:

    Rank    Candidate    Office    Amount
    1    Reid, Harry (D-NV)    Senate    $402,800
    2    Crist, Charles J Jr (R-FL)        $350,784
    3    Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR)    Senate    $330,850
    4    Schumer, Charles E (D-NY)    Senate    $294,450
    5    Specter, Arlen (D-PA)    Senate    $275,610
    6    Wyden, Ron (D-OR)    Senate    $256,350
    7    Meek, Kendrick B (D-FL)    House    $209,750
    8    Pallone, Frank Jr (D-NJ)    House    $193,150
    9    Grassley, Chuck (R-IA)    Senate    $186,600
    10    Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD)    House    $183,910
    11    Murray, Patty (D-WA)    Senate    $182,700
    12    Burr, Richard (R-NC)    Senate    $166,150
    13    Dodd, Chris (D-CT)    Senate    $163,470
    14    Pelosi, Nancy (D-CA)    House    $151,400
    15    Hatch, Orrin G (R-UT)    Senate    $147,402
    16    Price, Tom (R-GA)    House    $137,850
    17    Blunt, Roy (R-MO)    House    $137,100
    18    Pomeroy, Earl (D-ND)    House    $127,585
    19    Portman, Rob (R-OH)        $126,700
    20    Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI)    Senate    $126,240

    METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more. All donations took place during the 2009-2010 election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission.

    So, 13 of the top 20 recipients of health lobby money were Democrats; the biggest recipient was Harry Reid; and in total the Dems received more than TWICE as much as Republicans. Jesus H. Christ, how much more obvious could the writing on the wall be.


    Yet, Schumer, #4 On This List (none / 0) (#97)
    by daring grace on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 07:49:32 AM EST
    But isn't he one of the ones who will fight for a public option?

    And for our further edification... (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:19:42 AM EST
    Probably this has been previously linked hereabouts, but it may bear repeating at this juncture: Obama alone took more health lobby money than all his Repubican, Democratic and independent rivals combined.

    The Top 26 Presidential Candidate Recipients of health lobby contributions for 2008:

    Rank    Candidate    Amount
    1    Obama, Barack (D)    $19,439,769
    2    McCain, John (R)    $7,393,547
    3    Romney, Mitt (R)    $2,274,350
    4    Giuliani, Rudolph W (R)    $2,075,197
    5    Richardson, Bill (D)    $778,170
    6    Edwards, John (D)    $587,941
    7    Thompson, Fred (R)    $537,174
    8    Huckabee, Mike (R)    $491,202
    9    Thompson, Tommy (R)    $67,811
    10    Nader, Ralph (I)    $62,251
    11    Vilsack, Thomas J (D)    $32,800
    12    Tancredo, Tom (R)    $31,600
    13    Hunter, Duncan (R)    $27,430
    14    Barr, Bob (L)    $22,550
    15    Keyes, Alan L (R)    $12,100
    16    Gravel, Mike (L)    $11,721
    17    Baldwin, Chuck (3)    $6,050
    18    McKinney, Cynthia (3)    $4,840
    19    Curry, Jerry Ralph (R)    $4,600
    20    Root, Wayne A (L)    $2,500
    21    Cox, John H (R)    $2,300
    22    Smith, Christine (L)    $1,250
    23    Ruwart, Mary J (L)    $1,200
    24    Grasso, Peter Samuel Jr (I)    $1,000
    25    Clark, Wesley (D)    $950
    26    Allen, Donald Kenneth (I)    $200

    METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more. All donations took place during the 2007-2008 election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

    FWIW, I'm not seeing Hillary on this list. Heh.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#91)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:44:02 AM EST
    but if we look under "Senators" rather than "Presidential Candidates" for the same year, we see Obama and McCain with the same numbers next to their names, but Hillary is now in 3rd place with $6,604,835 in contributions.  Perhaps her presidential candidacy was just a figment of our imaginations?

    Odd isn't it? (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 02:48:04 AM EST
    At the Open Secrets/Center for Responsive Politics link, the $6.6+ million dollar amount from "Health" contributions shows up for Hillary (in 2008) under the categories of "All Recipients", "Senators", and "Senate Candidates". But the category of "Presidential Candidates" shows nada for her during that year. Wonder if that was just a computing error, or what.

    Yeah I read about those (none / 0) (#51)
    by SGITR on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:24:39 PM EST
    in the news earlier today. But that is inside baseball stuff most of the public won't get the details on. But letting the House control is inside baseball too. So it's not the public that is the worry for Reid. It is the village he has to worry about. It is his own strength or weakness that is the issue here. That stuff matters in DC. And it matters to wonks like us who would start calling for different leadership.

    I have (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:32:16 PM EST
    to wonder if this statement isn't what caused the desperation to start leaking out of the WH and the decision to beg Olympia Snowe to go along.

    Frankly, if the house holds this line then I dont think there will be a bill passed because the senate obviously doesnt have the votes to pass it.

    I see a path to reconciliation. (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:33:43 PM EST
    It might involve one very unhappy Olympia Snowe at the end of the day.

    Frankly (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:36:43 PM EST
    after reading the article about what she wants in HRC, I really dont care whether she's happy or not. The only people who seem to be catering to her happiness is the WH.

    Do to her what Republicans did to (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:38:39 PM EST
    Ted Kennedy on Medicare part D.

    Well (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:43:47 PM EST
    while that may have been smart politics for the GOP it resulted in bad policy.

    Obviously (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:47:20 PM EST
    But the principle is the same. Get to conference with a strong bill passed in the House, and stand your ground.

    Snowe may not even be (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by SGITR on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:16:40 PM EST
    involved with the WH as is being reported.

    From Politico:

    'Nothing new' in Snowe-land

    A Maine correspondent (it's really all about Maine today) emails to point out a reality check written today by Tarren Bragdon, a well-connected former Maine legislator now at a conservative think tank there who is knocking down some of the Democratic optimism about adding Snowe's name to a health care bill:


    I know that Washington DC folks spend a great deal of time in an alternative world, but seriously - Senator Snowe engaged in behind the scenes talks with the President? Forget for a moment that Senator Snowe has been working on health care issues since President Obama was in grammar school, the real issue here is that Senator Snowe doesn't need to do anything behind the scenes with the Whitehouse, or anyone else for that matter.

        I met with her personally during the August recess back here in Maine when she talked to dozens of Maine folks in a series of health care talks throughout the state. Here is what I learned: She is worried about costs and the impact on the deficit, the public option plan is "off the table", she wants more private insurance companies in Maine (we have 3), and she doesn't support higher taxes - especially during a recession.

        Those concerns and opinions were not from "unnamed sources," they were straight from Senator Snowe. And just to be certain, I spoke to her Chief of Staff and her Health Care Legislative Aid this morning. There is nothing new - other than the fact that Senator Snowe continues to be committed to working for health care reform with her colleagues in the "gang of six" and that "nothing has changed that would justify the CNN story."

        I think the fundamental problem here is that the folks at the White House - who are very likely spinning this story in an attempt to pressure Senator Snowe - are totally misreading the way she operates. While the "moderate" label is often used by the far right to protest Senator Snowe's actions - the left is about to learn a very important lesson from the Moderate from Maine.

    Snowe's a conservative (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by NealB on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:09:58 PM EST
    In the end, she'll vote for the bill with the public option or face hell from her constituency in Maine. What's she going to do? Vote against reform because it's got a public option for 10 million Americans at the start? Mainers want her to vote for this reform bill; so she will.

    Or even conference, actually (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:34:23 PM EST
    preemptive strikes (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by pluege on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:45:18 PM EST
    good for Pelsoi. First good thing I've seen her do...unless of course she's working a backroom cave deal with Obama, in which case I would take it all back and continue thinking poorly of her.

    Or could Obama (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:51:32 PM EST
    be working a back-room cave deal with Pelosi?

    First good thing I've seen her do...unless of course she's working a backroom cave deal with Obama

    set up for Sister Souljah moment (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by diogenes on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:54:08 PM EST
    This is choreography to set up the sister souljah moment when he stares down the left-wing members of his party and tries to win back his waning independent support.

    Bad legislation (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:11:31 PM EST
    will result in my spending my time and my money trying to unseat the incumbents responsible. I worked to get the Dems a majority and I can work to replace them through only supporting primaries.

    Not to mention the backlash (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:45:46 PM EST
    from the long-suffering people

    "backlash" (none / 0) (#100)
    by diogenes on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 06:28:03 PM EST
    If the long-suffering people were producing a backlash then the conservative dems wouldn't be nervous about single payor or some such thing right now.
    If reform fails because the libs refuse to support it if there is no public option the the backlash is on the do-nothing congress, and the blue dogs will run as far away from Pelosi and Reid as they can in the 2010 elections.  Heck, Reid even is having trouble in his own 2010 race.

    The ups and downs of this debate (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by magster on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:58:54 PM EST
    are exhausting.  In many ways, the outcome of this seems more important than the election itself.  A failure here could undo everything achieved last November while cynicising and alienating the young voters that flocked to Obama last fall.

    Exactly (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:06:58 PM EST
    In many ways, the outcome of this seems more important than the election itself.

    This here is the big showdown, the main event, the gunfight at high noon, the crucial battle, the acid test, the whole enchilada, where the rubber hits the road and metaphors run together like bulls through the streets of Pamplona.


    Yes. (none / 0) (#75)
    by robert72 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:53:10 PM EST
    If the president doesn't show some courage and strength for the people - nothing was achieved last November. Not that I thought Obama would be much - after all, he never had shown any signs of greatness except for getting elected over his head and giving great inspiring speeches via the teleprompter - but there was a lot of HOPE.
    The sadness of all that hope draining out can be seen all over the country.

    If he isn't (none / 0) (#96)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 04:46:15 AM EST
    actually wearing the big sombrero, at least he could act as if he is.
    He is a fairly good actor.

    I think (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:03:28 PM EST
    the young voters are already alienated since they arent responding to his calls.

    It's not too late to win them back (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by magster on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:05:45 PM EST
    the progressives in the house need to save Obama from himself.

    Why (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by lentinel on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:29:43 PM EST
    would they want to save Obama?

    I suspect House Dems are thinking (5.00 / 6) (#73)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:48:42 PM EST
    more along the lines of saving themselves from Obama.  Who has an election next year, and who doesn't have an election for another three years?

    Who'da thunk it? (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by lentinel on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:04:57 PM EST
    Pressure from the left coming from... Pelosi. Wow!

    But I must calm down.

    She was unequivocal about never voting for another funding bill for the war in Iraq. But she did anyway.

    Pelosi always has caved.
    Obama always has caved.

    Something is afoot - but I don't know what it is.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:10:31 PM EST
    have you considered the fact that maybe Pelois is simply stating the truth? Fact of the matter is that she can count heads and if the progressive caucus is holding firm then it won't matter if she caves. She simly won't have the votes to pass it.

    Difficult to believe (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by lentinel on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:28:19 PM EST
    that there actually is a progressive caucus.

    BINGO! (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:36:25 AM EST
    Pelosi doesn't have the votes without a public option because the progressives have pledged to vote against it.  That's just the fact.

    But she isn't exactly saying that she will have the votes with a strong public option.  She's not sure how many Blue Dogs she will lose.  

    She's between a rock and hard place.  Politically, it makes sense for her to push for a strong public option.  She can be the ''good cop" for the left, while Obama's the good cop for the moderates and republicans.  barf.


    It is inconceivable (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:41:39 AM EST
    that enough moderate Democrats will vote against a public option to defeat the bill in the House, given the size of the Democratic majority.  Even if you took the worst-case scenario and assumed that every single Democrat who has ever expressed doubts about the public option will vote against it, the bill still passes.  No, the Senate is the problem.

    Agree (none / 0) (#84)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:47:38 AM EST
    The Senate is the big problem, but there are blue dogs in the House too.  Depending on how strong the public option is, many of them may bolt.  

    My best guess is that something will pass, but it won't be anything close to what we want.  There will not be what we would consider a ''strong" public option.  Too many are afraid of the voters, afraid that they won't win next year if they vote for the strong public option.  I hope that I am wrong, and they do what is right, but I don't have a lot of faith in them.  They're politicians.  


    All I am doing (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:53:07 AM EST
    is counting heads.  There aren't enough objectors to change the outcome.

    The notion that anyone at all could actually be thrown out of office for voting for a public option sort of makes me giggle, but politicians are wimps, that much I will grant you.


    I am not disputing (none / 0) (#95)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 04:44:40 AM EST
    what you said - but who exactly comprise this "progressive block"?

    Do you, Mr. Jones? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:08:27 PM EST
    It's more like pressure from the left on Pelosi (none / 0) (#88)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:07:47 AM EST
    As someone else said, she knows how to count votes.  Whatever happens, this new-found Progressive Caucus muscle is most welcome.  May this be just the beginning.

    Color me skeptical (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:21:21 PM EST
    I'll believe it when I see it.

    Hope I'm plenty surprised.

    Battle strategy (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:27:06 PM EST
    This is where Obama post partisan schtick really comes back to bite everyone. Instead of building party unity with the Democratic takeover of DC, his message of "good Republican ideas" has allowed the Democrat's to fracture even more than normal.

    You rarely hear this much dissent within the Republican Party. They close ranks in a dispute and instead of fighting themselves, they fight the Democrat's. (And they usually win).

    Hopefully (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:38:26 AM EST
    she is as serious about this as she was about her "impeachment is off the table" statement...

    cheering (none / 0) (#1)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:00:02 PM EST

    Senator Sherrod Brown (none / 0) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:16:16 PM EST
    tries to give a strong statement but seems to confuse even himself before he is through.

    "I know that the White House is debating it internally," Brown said in an interview with TPMDC. "But Congress is writing the bill, the President's not."

    "The White House should not take progressives for granted," an animated Brown told me. "It's not just the conservatives he needs to be in the fold. It's the progressives who've been in the vineyards fighting for reform for years."
    "[I]'m not going to say I will not support it if it doesn't have [a public option]," Brown said. "It's not the only thing that matters in this bill. Guaranteed issue is a very important.... insurance reform is very important."

    "The most important thing is the public option," Brown said. "I don't know for sure if I would support it with out a public option but it would be hard to get there.... We're not going through this to write some namby pamby bill so we can check a box and say we did health care reform." Brian Beutler

    Yeah, a little muddled (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:18:22 PM EST
    FWIW, he's going to be on the ballot with Obama in a few years. He has a lot on the line in making this a successful first term.

    Interesting information (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:45:10 PM EST
    If that is the case, I wish he would work on removing the "muddled" from his messaging. Would like to have one person on the ticket who gave clear statements that weren't the equivalent of a WORM.  

    IMO a successful first term could best be accomplished by Obama moving towards an appearance of strength and passing good legislation. Of course, we all know I definitely have a dog in this fight.


    I assume (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:31:28 PM EST
    andgarden means that Brown is up for re-election in 2012 together with Obama, not that Brown will be Vice-President.

    Boy did I jump to the wrong (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:40:15 PM EST
    conclusion on that one. Thanks for setting me straight.

    And here I thought I was given some inside information.


    This is why I think it will pass (none / 0) (#57)
    by s5 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:34:36 PM EST
    Obama endorses the public option as his preferred method to meet his goals, but he doesn't draw a line in the sand. His stated reason is that he prefers Congress to work out the details. Putting aside mind reading and conjecture, we go with what we know: that he wants a bill of some kind, that he prefers a public option, but he will not draw a line in the sand.

    Pelosi draws a line in the sand. No public option, no bill. Thus, if Obama wants a bill, then the public option is Obama's position, whether by design or circumstance. Logically that is the only conclusion. Pelosi says no bill without a public option, and above all, Obama wants a bill of some kind. So Obama cannot have what he wants (a bill on his desk to sign) without a public option. The fact that a public option is his policy preference means that he will not veto a bill with a public option.

    The Senate doesn't know what it wants.

    So, we have three vectors. Obama requires a bill. Pelosi requires a public option, or Obama gets no bill. The Senate doesn't know what it wants, and has the means to overrule obstruction if necessary through the reconciliation option. Guess who wins that tug of war? House Progressives.

    Ergo, we get a public option.

    And yes, I agree with the earlier poster who said that this fight feels bigger and more important than the election battle in November. But we wouldn't be here if McCain had won. We'd be watching his $5000 tax credit with fresh new payroll taxes on health benefits pass both houses of Congress with easy margins.

    Yes (none / 0) (#69)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:03:44 PM EST
    That's why I speculated upthread about Obama and Pelosi collaborating on an Obama "cave" to Pelosi.

    House Progressives are driving this train (none / 0) (#71)
    by s5 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:32:42 PM EST
    I believe that House Progressives are in charge here. Even if Pelosi and Obama were orchestrating a cave, which I don't believe they are, progressives seem genuinely committed to sinking any bill without a public option. If Pelosi tries to strong arm progressives into accepting a bill without a public option, then she'll fail and her leadership is effectively null and void. The only conclusion I can come to is that this is a genuine line in the sand.

    I suppose there are other possibilities, like House Progressives are in on the gag too, but that seems even less likely.


    Let me put it another way (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by s5 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:35:09 PM EST
    Reread the wording for a sec: "A bill without a strong public option will not pass the House".

    She's speaking to the realities of the House. It's not "I will not pass a bill without a strong public option". It's "the bill will not pass the House".


    I see what you're saying (none / 0) (#76)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:05:01 PM EST
    and tend to agree. I hope you are right.

    Not a chance (none / 0) (#85)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:49:09 AM EST
    That Obama will allow himself to be seen as caving to anyone.  

    Will Speaker Pelosi be able to corral (none / 0) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:45:16 PM EST
    the House with a "trigger"?  Or, will all the "Roy Rogers" still ride off into the sunset?  And, by the way, it still seems like the "public option" is  hidden in the saddlebags.

    There's plenty of room (none / 0) (#94)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 04:42:09 AM EST
    in them saddlebags.
    As Obama said, the public option is just a sliver.

    Hope she stays seated next Wednesday (none / 0) (#61)
    by NealB on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:49:11 PM EST
    unless and until Obama finally insists on a robust, immediately available public option. If she's flying out of her chair, leading the ovation every other sentence, like she did during Obama's State of Obamaland speech last February, it'll look like she doesn't mean it.

    If Obama never gets around to mentioning the public option, or if he remains as equivocal about it as he's been, the less enthusiasm Pelosi shows the better.

    She was plenty enthusiastic (none / 0) (#63)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:55:47 PM EST
    about the President and his wonderful leadership on C-SPAN today as she talked about this.

    She'll cave on a trigger if that is what Obama wants.


    Surfaces (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:09:26 PM EST
    Honestly, Pelosi is not that simple-minded.  She's a pol.  She can praise you to the skies and slip the knife in your back.  Her praise of Obama's "leadership" means exactly nothing as far as her position on the public option, or anything else is concerned.  If she's crossing him, in fact, she'd be likely to sing his praises even more loudly.

    Zactly (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:54:24 PM EST
    Pelosi knows how to count votes, and she doesn't like to lose.  If she says no bill without a PO can pass the House, I'm inclined to believe her.

    Well...we shall see. (none / 0) (#101)
    by oldpro on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 06:55:18 PM EST
    As for counting votes, I hope the whip has something to do if Nancy is doing the counting.  Oh right, party unity....by Jim Clyburn.  Ugh.

    I'd Like to See Her Stick to Her Guns!!! (none / 0) (#99)
    by Doc Rock on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:36:08 PM EST