The Political Value Of The PPUS

Matt Yglesias writes:

I assume the entire progressive blogosphere will agree with me that trying to pursue a more “bipartisan tone” in Washington is a substantively foolish idea for the White House to pursue. But the fact of the matter is that I think the smart thing for any President to say is that he wants to pursue a bipartisan tone, so it’s hard to know what to make of that remark.

(Emphasis supplied.) Is that really true? I think FDR, Reagan and Bill Clinton during the government shutdown (and the 1993 tax fight) would say it is not true. Does anyone outside of the Beltway care about "wanting to pursue a bipartisan tone?" The evidence seems to the contrary to me. High Broderism is important to the Beltway, but results are what matter to the voters. As Yglesias writes in the same post:

[I]f economic conditions today we good or rapidly improving, then the President would be popular and his anti-recession measures would be seen as vindicated. But conditions aren’t good, they’re not rapidly improving, and the President isn’t popular.

To wit, as Atrios says, Obama's big political problem is that his team got the policy on the economy, jobs and the housing crisis wrong. That's why Dems lost and why Obama is not politically strong today.

So the real question is did the PPUS help Obama achieve good policy? I think the answer is decidedly No, and thus it was bad politics.

Speaking for me only

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    digby take on whether or not it was (none / 0) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:48:51 AM EST
    a smart thing to say. (This was previously posted in the in the open thread but it is worth repeating IMO)

    So despite the fact that he spent the first two years of his presidency doing back flips to get even one Republican to vote for his program, even as they demonized him as a socialist and a coward, he is assuming responsibility for the failure and earnestly promising to do better. And just like before, when the Republicans rebuff his every gesture, the American people will see someone who is unable to fulfill his promises and will blame this failure for all their problems.

    If Obama wanted to be like Gandhi or Jesus he should have started a movement or a religion instead of becoming a politician. Politics is about persuasion and power, not transcending human nature. He's going to lose in two years if he doesn't start using the power of his office to fix this economy instead of moping around about "tone." If he doesn't fight, the only politicians the voters will see fighting for them are the Tea Partiers. link

    I said (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:09:17 PM EST
    eons ago that Obama really missed his calling when he didn't become an evangelical minister. Being a minister is really suited to his strengths.

    I don't think that he's passionate (none / 0) (#28)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 04:33:31 PM EST
    enough to build a big following without something like a party machine behind him.

    He might have done an okay business in the self help seminar arena, but even in that he'd lack the passion that he would need to get people to pay him.

    I know that that sounds completely weird given his ability to fill football stadiums during the campaign, but I really do not think that he would have had the kind of attention he did in the 2008 cycle had it not been for GWB's huge short-comings and the Democratic machine led by Teddy Kennedy positioning him for the run.

    He was like New Coke and is likely to face a similar fate as that product - when people tasted it after all of the hype - they didn't like it.


    I can't tell whether the continued (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:59:10 AM EST
    clinging to PPUS reflects incompetence, or is based on an attempt to fool the voters.
    I think it's a combination of the two.
    IMO, Obama's White House operation is the most inept in the last 30 years.
    Good thing Obama has a clue now, though!

    Smoke and mirrors (none / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:03:24 PM EST
    Needed something to justify passing the type of legislation that was passed.

    Do you think they got the legislation (none / 0) (#7)
    by observed on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:10:33 PM EST
    they wanted?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:12:44 PM EST
    I think it reflects the fact (none / 0) (#9)
    by CST on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:21:16 PM EST
    that a whole bunch of republicans just got elected to national office.

    When we did that in 2006, even "the decider" Bush took a more conciliatory stance toward Dems.

    Of course the big difference is, when he had complete republican control of the house and senate, he used it.  And Democrats still have control of the senate, but act like they lost everything.


    How precisely was Bush "conciliatory?" (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:23:09 PM EST
    after 2006?

    well (none / 0) (#11)
    by CST on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:42:37 PM EST
    he did a number of things in 2007 that I couldn't see him doing in 2004.  He fired Rummy, he passed the minimum wage hike and the 2007 energy bill which was vastly to the left of the previous energy bills, for example.

    And his SOTU from 2007 certainly had a different tone.

    I'm not saying he fell in love with Democrats, but he stopped ignoring them completely.


    IIRC the Dems traded (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:54:33 PM EST
    the minimum wage hike for voting for a supplemental spending bill for the Iraq War.

    yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:57:46 PM EST
    but in the earlier years you had Iraq spending and no minimum wage hike.

    I'm not saying he gave away the house, but he did start working with them - mostly out of necessity.  But I guess that's my point, Republicans control the house soon, Obama will have to work with them to some degree.


    confising metaphor (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:58:45 PM EST
    "gave away the house" - house is a metaphor

    "control the house" - house of representatives


    Obama's been there, done that (none / 0) (#3)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:59:53 AM EST
    and wasn't even that good at reminding people that that was going on.

    Booman of all people links to a study about political polarization and is sad we don't have enough leftists in our party.  No kidding.

    In the end (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:08:06 PM EST
    what does it matter that PPUS was a failure when Obama wants to continue the policy? He obviously doesn't think that it's a failure and buys into the beltway mentality. Successful presidents have tended to ignore the beltway and go directly to the voters and talk about their policies but I realize that Obama doesn't do that well at all either.

    Can't blame the Beltway (none / 0) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:22:16 PM EST
    He had that mentality long before he ever even heard of the Beltway.  See, for instance, his famous tenure as Harvard Law Review editor-- in which he bypassed the more liberal students almost entirely in favor of the conservative ones.

    A lot of (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 03:17:10 PM EST
    people sure got bamboozled didn't they?

    Did they? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 04:40:09 PM EST
    Every time his conservative leanings came up over at orange, people would freak out and insist that it wasn't true.  There were definitely Obama operatives leading that charge, but I was always surprised to see how many people who clearly were not operatives who were downright insistent about engaging in what looked to me to be some very serious self deception.  They were like totally desperate to believe that he was the liberal messiah brought to them to save the universe and anything suggesting that that might not be quite true was dismissed in all number of illogical and nonsensical ways.

    Me - I accepted that he wasn't a liberal - didn't like it - but being one myself it was pretty clear that he wasn't - I just hoped he'd be reasonable - turns out that was too much to hope for, imo.


    You know what? (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 04:49:07 PM EST
    In my way of thinking the so called "creative class" has a racism streak just like the conservatives. My best guess was that they couldn't see him for who he was just like the right can't. If you made him white he would sound just like Lieberman but they couldn't get past the skin color any more than some in the GOP could.

    In the case of the creative class, it's soft racism and in conservatism it's hard racism but in the end the result is the same.


    He's more like Lieberman (none / 0) (#36)
    by observed on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:21:32 PM EST
    than any other politician here,but saying so was a bannable offense at Big Orange. He even has Holy Joe's  smarmyness and trouble hiding when he is pissed. .

    lieberman and obama (none / 0) (#43)
    by noholib on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 06:34:34 PM EST
    If I remember correctly,  Senator Lieberman was actually assigned as the mentor to the then-new Senator Obama when he, Senator Obama, first entered the Senate.   But I may be mistaken ...

    Actually his mentor was (none / 0) (#45)
    by observed on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 06:51:20 PM EST
    Senator Palpatine

    Well, I think that a lot of people (none / 0) (#37)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:27:19 PM EST
    vote based on identity politics on the left and the right.  Is it "racist" to be excited about the possibility of the first Black President?  I am not exactly sure I would quite characterize it as such given the fact that I have had first hand experiences with KKK people and others who think that because I am white and blonde I will be sympathetic to their causes.

    What I think a lot of people who were excited about that aspect of his Presidency were unable to comprehend was that skin color is as much irrelevant in indicating the "goodness" in a person as it is in indicating the potential for "badness".

    There were tons of Hillary supporters who insisted that voting for her because she was a woman was a legitimate argument for handing her the keys to the White House.  As a woman, I thought that that was utter bull and Sarah Palin came around eventually to prove my point that voting for people because they are female doesn't mean that you're voting for anything you care about.

    In any case, I think that identity politics is a waste of time.  People should be measured by their views and values, not based on the attributes they are born with.

    But I also think that there was more to the obsession with Obama than his color.  I think that his campaign and the Democrats did a very good job of putting a candidate in front of the American public upon whom people could project whatever they wanted to believe about him.  Conservatives that I know who voted for him saw a conservative Democrat - liberals saw a liberal - centrists saw a centrist, etc.  But as with most elections very few people actually listened to him.  The reality is that he didn't say much anyway.  People were desperate for a "good guy" and he played one on TV.  That's what happened.

    I never really wanted a good guy myself.  I was looking for someone to kick butt and take names, but I was in the minority as it turns out.  All that talk of likability seemed ridiculous to me - as a communications professional I understood that there is no scenario under which one could reasonably expect any politician to enjoy endless popularity and support - and an even greater chance that a politician who believed their own hype, refused to fight, and had opponents as skilled at trashing people as the Republicans are - I understood that that politician would be toast fairly quickly no matter how high they managed to take their likability ratings at a given point.

    One thing I did not predict, though...  I did not anticipate that he would make such critical errors in his policy strategy.  I mean, bailing out banks and doing nothing significant to stabilize Main Street - not understanding that people without jobs get really pissed off - thinking that people who are losing their homes, jobs, lives, families and stability are going to be rational?  WOW?

    He's not only a poseur, he's also a political idiot.  Amazing really.


    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:53:21 PM EST
    I felt the same way. I felt that Hillary, having dealt with these Jackals for 8 years, would have known what she was dealing with and there would have been none of this PPUS crap.

    I keep making the point to people over at the orange that you have to utterly and completely defeat the GOP until they go running with their tails behind their legs. It's one of the reasons I like Bill was because he kicked their butt time and again and they hated him for it. They STILL hate him to this day, well, most of them anyway.

    I am not surprised at all about the poor policy decisions. I remember being told 2 years ago that he would have the same advisors as Bill and therefore everything would a-okay. I can't believe that anyone bought into that considering the fact that W. had the same advisors as his father and the one thing that his father could do was foreign policy. Yet, W had the same advisors and what was the outcome? His father apparently had sense enough to not to listen to Cheney so he didn't march to Bagdad.

    The voting "present" really bothered me and that showed complete cowardice on the part of Obama. That's when I knew he wouldn't have the guts to do what is right for the country.


    Obama's policies and (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:53:59 PM EST
    performance as president is pretty much what I expected. One of those occasions when you hope that your judgment is wrong. The one thing that Obama and the Dems managed to do that still amazes me is how they handled the economy and job creation. Atrios sums it up quite well.

    I don't know how politicians lacked the self-preservation skills to recognize that if they failed to deliver on the economy they would fail, but that's what happened.

    Race (none / 0) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:40:39 AM EST
    As far as I'm concerned, his race is the sole unadulterated good about his having gotten to the White House-- and I think it's a monumentally huge good.

    Also, an awful lot of non-elite "creative class" types were also wowed by the idea of having an African-American president.  I was deeply, deeply moved by chatting with some of the generally fairly conservative, insular, uneducated lifelong farmers around my area, white folks who know no other black folks than maybe some of the Jamaicans who come every year to pick our apples, who were flat-out starry-eyed at the idea of merely being able to vote for a black man for president.  The idealism I saw in those work-weary, weather-beaten faces was really something.


    If it wasn't harmful, it would have (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:01:14 PM EST
    been very funny to watch very liberal bloggers turn themselves into pretzels trying to reconcile his actions with their long held positions during the primary and the general election. At times, they did a complete 180 on their positions in order to maintain their support. Sad

    He was (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 03:40:45 PM EST
    President of Harvard Law Review, not Editor

    And, (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by NYShooter on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:02:00 AM EST
     in its 160 year history, the only President to have never written a paper, or submitted one for peer review.

    Simply amazing, a lifetime of no accomplishments except winning elections, or furthering his career.


    But he's the most brilliant (none / 0) (#55)
    by observed on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:10:05 AM EST
    student Tribe ever had. Boy, that means something!

    You're entirely right (none / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:32:20 AM EST
    Haste on my part.  However, "president" of Harvard Law Review is essentially the hands-on editor who makes all the decisions about who gets what into the journal.

    One big difference (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:01:55 PM EST
    President is elected to the position and editor is chosen based on scholarly merit

    sorry for the ignorance (none / 0) (#15)
    by tworivers on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:46:22 PM EST
    but what does PPUS stand for?

    post partisan unity schtick (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:59:05 PM EST
    Here is the TL definition (none / 0) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:59:20 PM EST
    post partisan unity shtick,

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#18)
    by tworivers on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:07:32 PM EST
    It's too early to tell (none / 0) (#19)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:14:34 PM EST
    and honestly, you didn't really expect Obama to become the president and become....angry?  There are rules you know.

    gonna give you (none / 0) (#21)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:28:44 PM EST
    the benefit of the doubt and assume i do not know what "rules" you are talking about:

    and honestly, you didn't really expect Obama to become the president and become....angry?  There are rules you know.

    so: what "rules" are you talking about?


    I'm sure you know what I'm talking about (none / 0) (#23)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:39:01 PM EST
    else your reply wouldn't be so coy.

    IMO, the first black president has political considerations that all the previous presidents have not had to contend with.

    That is not to say he can't be effective.    Merely, a certain amount of PPUS will be required.


    Then (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 03:10:16 PM EST
    you're saying that really we shouldn't have a black president at the present time. Anyone who can't get angry at the GOP and their destructive polices can't be an effective president.

    That is unquestionably not what I'm saying (none / 0) (#26)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 03:29:31 PM EST
    PPUS (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 04:35:32 PM EST
    is a disaster anyway you look at it and if you are saying that he has to be a PPUS because he's black you are also pretty much conceding that the can't be a successful president because he's black and has to play a losing game.

    What I am saying is (none / 0) (#41)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 06:19:43 PM EST
    IMO, his life experiences dictate his approach to politics.  Some of these are obviously gained growing up black.  There are not too many black folk in Hawaii, not too many black folk attending Harvard.  No doubt it required patience to deal w/assumptions people made about him.

    He told you as much when he gave his now famous convention speech.  He is a reconciler of differences; a consensus builder, from his days as a community organizer.  Considering all aspects/sides (w/in reason) is not a bad thing to me.  YMMV.

    I'm not saying bipartisanship is always the way to go.  However, a first time president attempting to govern a nation of disparate views would be foolish to not try to work w/the other side - even if it results in a failure to incorporate large portions of the other side's ideas.  Invariably, this process will take a little longer, but, in the long run is better for us all.  I'm not yet convinced Obama does not have the skills to navigate the partisan environment.  Consider the following:

    In a like manner, Bill Clinton also expended much effort lending support for the carryover agenda in Congress and making incremental adjustments to existing domestic programs. Clinton's potential to advance his independent agenda was more circumscribed. The Omnibus Deficit Reduction Act of 1993, though it gained not a single Republican vote, national service (Americorps), education goals (Goals 2000), and reforming college loan financing policies were among his greatest agenda victories. But as many priority bills were linked to the continuing agenda in Congress. Clinton's predecessor, George H.W. Bush, had vetoed Democrats' efforts to pass gun control, family leave, and "motor voter" bills. Clinton unequivocally supported the Family Leave and Medical Act, Motor Voter Act, and the Brady Bill and Omnibus Crime Act as a means of advancing the party agenda and sharing credit with Democrats in Congress for the passage of longstanding party objectives.

    The Legislative Presidency in Political Time:
    Party Control and Presidential-Congressional Relations


    Can't speak to the law school but (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:47:37 AM EST
    Harvard overall had quite a lot of black students by the time Obama was there. I honestly don't think the PPUS thing comes from being black.  Hawaii may not have a lot of black folks, but it's the most multi-racial place in the U.S.  Obama simply did not have the experience African-Americans typically have growing up in the United States, and I think it's false and simplistic to attribute the conciliatory impulse to his race.

    One could maybe make a pop-psychology case that it came from his confused family circumstances, but personally I think it's just the personality he happened to be born with.


    You can't (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 06:37:11 PM EST
    work with people who won't work with you. It's one thing to "try" to work with them but you have to be willing to walk away if they are unreasonable and Obama doesn't do that. He almost begs them to go along with him and then they don't and then he sets himself up for failure with this bipartisan crap or just completely caves into their demands. I mean really would you want him for your lawyer? He'd let the prosecutor put you in jail for a long time for a misdemeanor. He does not understand negotiating at all. Heck, the car salesmen must love him. He comes in and pays sticker price for everything.

    Considering all sides is a bad thing if you can't make a decision or don't know what is bad advice versus good advice or when not to listen at all. When you are dealing with crazies why should you consider their viewpoint at all? I know he said all those things about being conciliatory and that's why I thought he wouldn't make a good president. You can't "community organize" the US. The POTUS is supposed to be leader not a follower.


    Why should you consider (none / 0) (#48)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:45:04 PM EST
    When you are dealing with crazies why should you consider their viewpoint at all

    Because the crazies represent half the country, and as the president, you can't just represent your "side."  IMO, payback is a b!tch isn't a way to run things.  You don't have to agree w/them, but at the very least make an attempt to appease them.


    Seems that there are different rules (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:13:13 PM EST
    for Democratics.

    Can't remember a time when Bush did anything to appease the Democrats. He had a mandate and he made no bones about representing his side. None of the other Republicans do either. Basically when they win they operate under the premise that elections have consequences and their side won. They have a mandate to implement their agenda and do so unapologetically.

    OTOH, we must attempt to appease them and do so by by implementing more of their agenda then what is contained in the Democratic platform. Meanwhile some Democratic voters feel that it is fine and dandy for the Dems to try and appease them no matter what it takes.

    We definitely need a new opposition party because the mandate for the Democratic Party seems to be avoid opposition of the Republican agenda at all costs.  


    YOU (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:04:47 AM EST
    CANNOT APPEASE THEM. They cannot be appeased ever. It is their way or the highway and you either walk away or do what they want. Obama is acting like an abused wife who keeps going back for more and thinking somehow they've changed.

    But that IS what you are saying. (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 04:41:58 PM EST
    Be very, very careful.

    All you're doing is making the case for the racists.


    you nailed it (none / 0) (#42)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 06:31:58 PM EST
    & i make a point of calling out the "progressive" version of "the soft bigotry of low expectations" here & wherever else i see it

    It is not "soft" - this is the stuff (none / 0) (#46)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 07:29:43 PM EST
    that "glass ceilings" are made of.  

    They may be clear and seem to be soft, but they are very, very hard.

    I'm a "chick" and I know that reality all too well.


    Low Expectations? (none / 0) (#47)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:28:46 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure I didn't make mention of expectations at all.  I actually expect the president to do quite well.  Do you even have any experience w/what I'm talking about?

    heh (none / 0) (#56)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 11:52:17 AM EST
    Do you even have any experience w/what I'm talking about?

    you have NO idea



    Rahm: Not me man. (none / 0) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:31:11 PM EST
    In a new book, Rahm claims he privately argued to Obama that he shouldn't pursue bipartisan support for health reform, because it would take too much time, instead insisting that the lesson of Clinton's failure to pass reform was that it was imperative to put a premium on getting it done quickly. That cuts strongly against the image of Rahm as the chief internal advocate of the White House's strategy of deal-making and accommodation with Republicans.
    Rahm makes the claim in interviews with journalist Richard Wolffe, in his new book, "Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House," which was released today. From page 102:

    Unlike his boss, Emanuel wasn't interested in looking reasonable with Republicans; he wanted to look victorious. He didn't care much for uniting red and blue America; he wanted blue America to beat its red rival... link

    I believe that. (none / 0) (#32)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 04:46:31 PM EST
    Where Rahm compounded the problem was his desire to pass "something" - "anything" - instead of going for the real liberal gauntlet which would have had at the very least a public option - if not an outright buy in to Medicare.

    Rahm made the mistake of valuing a legislative notch in the belt over the substance of the legislation.

    But I have no doubt that he was advocating for the fist fight.

    In the end, we got a mediocre and possibly harmful piece of junk legislation that was crafted out of singular attention to processes rather than substance.


    I read somewhere that Rahm was (none / 0) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:18:20 PM EST
    against tackling health care so early in Obama's administration but Obama went against his advise. Whether that is true or not is anyone's guess.  

    I think that the public option was abandoned due to a back room deal with the medical industry during the summer of 09. The same thing happened with pharma. That is why drug importation, negotiated prices on prescription drugs and preventing pharma from overcharging for dual eligible  Medicaid/Medicare services were stripped from the legislation. Was Rahm was the one initially suggesting these back room deals were the way to go?  Who knows.


    Um, single payer was "off the table" (none / 0) (#38)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:33:20 PM EST
    way earlier.  I think that the fix was in before Obama was elected.

    They were never going to have a serious discussion about fixing the healthcare system in this country.  Because you really can't do that without examining the merits of single payer - Medicare for All.

    The Public Option debate was an exercise in misdirection.  The Public Option was always undefined - deliberately - and caste as the "most liberal" one could be on the issue of healthcare.  That was done by design within our own party from the very start of the healthcare legislative process.