Fruitless Concessions To The GOP

Ezra Klein recites the concessions to the GOP in the Senate health bill:

I don't think it's well understood how many of the GOP's central health-care policy ideas have already been included as compromises in the health-care bill. [. . .] [T]he GOP's [. . .] health-care plan [. . .] has four planks. All of them -- yes, you read that right -- are in the Senate health-care bill. [. . .] To the surprise and dismay of many liberals, the Senate health-care bill included a compromise with the conservative vision for insurance regulation. [. . .] [W]hen Republicans are feeling bolder [. . .] they generally take aim at one of the worst distortions in the health-care market: The tax break for employer-sponsored insurance. [. . .] Democrats usually reject, and attack, both approaches. Not this year, though. Senate Democrats [proposed] the excise tax, which does virtually the same thing.

And [. . .] we shouldn't forget the compromises that have been the most painful for Democrats, and the most substantive. This is a private-market plan. Not only is single-payer off the table, but at this point, so too is the public option. The thing that liberals want most in the world has been compromised away.

Indeed. And for what? No GOP votes. I wrote about this yesterday - if the Senate bill proponents want that bill passed, concessions to the House must be made, especially on the excise tax. That is the reality of politics. To refuse to support that is to be a "Kill the Bill"-er.

Speaking for me only

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    They want more (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 11:28:36 AM EST
    And I am becoming pretty convinced the President is willing to give it to them.

    His own views are certainly more aligned with theirs than with those of the Progressives (who the White House refuse to deal with).

    It probably wasn't Ezra's intention (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by dk on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 11:42:26 AM EST
    but it seems he laid out the case of why all Democrats should want to kill the bill.

    All Progressives, not all dems (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by pluege on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:27:12 PM EST
    but it seems he laid out the case of why all Progressives should want to kill the bill.

    Most democrats would get exactly the corporatist bill (that they pretend to call HCR) that they, and their corporate masters want: rob and plunder with mandates, give back crap insurance.


    Not true. (none / 0) (#28)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 05:24:48 PM EST
    Most self-identifying Democratic voters that I know in both liberal and conservative districts would find it difficult to support the Senate bill if they understood the details of it.

    I was referring to dem politicians (none / 0) (#30)
    by pluege on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 05:46:42 PM EST
    not citizens identifying themselves as democrats.

    So it goes... (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 11:59:16 AM EST
    The country is permanently Republican, no matter which wing of the Corporate Party is in power.

    repug nation r us (none / 0) (#15)
    by pluege on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:22:03 PM EST
    I think the Republican political (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by observed on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 12:02:06 PM EST
    calculation is simple.
    First, if there is no bill, they win. Obama and the Democrats are the losers with no HCR bill.
    Second, no matter what is in the bill, the Republicans will say they oppose it because Obama and the Democrats are out of touch with the American mainstream.
    Three, what happens if Obama and the Democrats make more concessions to the Republicans?
    Duh, they won't give it a single vote, but now they can plausibly argue that the Republicans should be given power, because the Democrats STILL aren't willing to go far enough.

    Why are you so sure this WH isn't willing (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 12:58:35 PM EST
    to go "far enough." He's gone more than half way there already. The Republicans now have a chance to get EVERYTHING they want, plus, kudos from the media (and the Prez) for enabling a "bi-partisan" bill.

    Paging Mr. Chamberlain! Mr. Chamberlain?! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by SeeEmDee on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:10:25 PM EST
    As in  Munich 1938. As In appeasement. As in spinelessness. As in betrayal.

    Jeez, when are rank-and-file Dems going to realize that Obama was bought and paid for, as well as most of the Dem 'leadership'? 'Meet the new boss; he's the same as the old boss'. The corps own them all, with very few exceptions, like Kucinich. But, oh no, we can't support Kucinich because he's not 'electable'.

    A Republican plan won't require 60 (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:32:53 PM EST
    votes in the Senate. Just 10 Democrats and a one vote majority will do.

    You mean 10 more Dems in addition to the (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:14:09 PM EST
    ones that already do support the Republican-leaning versions? Otherwise I don't understand your math.

    No, I mean 10 Democrats. Period. (none / 0) (#10)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:45:50 PM EST
    Plus 41 Republicans, of course.

    By my count there are easily 10-12 Democrats who could definitely be counted on to support a Republican plan. And maybe as many as 18.

    Doing so, for them, would be a political win-win. They'd get Republican cover with their more conservative constituents, yet, could claim to be supporting the Democratic President, and, of course, would be lauded for being "bi-partisan."


    But couldn't the rest of the Dems filibuster? (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:29:15 PM EST
    The Repubs and ConservaDems still need to get to 60 to break the filibuster, right?  Or are you thinking this all happens via reconciliation?

    I'm being a little fanciful, of course, but (none / 0) (#24)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 04:24:34 PM EST
    do you think they would? (Filibuster) It would mean a revolt against their own President. And the media drubbing they would take would be terrible. Plus, there might be retribution from the White House.

    No, If Obama and the Republicans can come up with something that Republicans would agree to vote for, I think Democrats would find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

    It may be that the Republicans will continue in their obstinate ways. In that case nothing will get done -- because with this "summit" the WH has made it plain that it won't support anything that involves compromise with Progressives.


    Sadly, you are probably right (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 04:39:12 PM EST
    I don't think the Repubs would vote for it even if they wrote the entire thing themselves, but if they would you are probably right that the Dem leadership would go along with it.

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by sas on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:00:59 PM EST
    is failing us in such a big way with his hands off/ you do the work and I'll sign it leadership style, and let's get bipartisanship where none exists by conceding major points to the other side.

    I am sickened by this LACK OF LEADERSHIP.

    HCR: Republicans 4, Progressives 0 (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by pluege on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:20:53 PM EST
    that tells you about all you need to know as progressive about obama and the democratic majority in Congress.

    Is Obama working to get a Repub majority Congress? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 05:05:31 PM EST
    It almost seems that way.  He's setting himself up to run against Congress. Amazingly, he almost seems to be working toward an attack on those nasty stubborn House liberals and progressives (the Senate is quite conservative enough for him).

    With a Repub majority, Obama could play the wounded hero, let down by the faithless Democratic Left.  He can then campaign for reelection on the theme that with a majority of Repubs he could finally achiever bipartisan legislation!

    Oh, my...could it be?

    Optics (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Manuel on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 05:26:12 PM EST
    What Obama is trying to do is to change the narrative.  He needs to get voters and the media to see the Senate Bill as already a compromise with Republicans (which it is) and not on a path to socialized medicine (which it isn't).  The left, understandably, isn't enthusiastic about helping to get this message out.

    Another problem for Obama is that there is no one on the Republican side with whom he can negotiate.  Mitt Romney would be a possibility.  After all the MA plan he authored is to the left of the Senate plan.  Unfortunately, no Republican stands to gain politically from negotiating with Obama in good faith.  That is the price Obama pays for letting the opponents of HCR control the message for the past 12 months.

    Oh there's fruit alright (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 12:33:03 PM EST
    The kind from the poisonous tree.  And what will follow after eating it, well, stay close to your throne.

    Dump this false heath care reform (none / 0) (#12)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:11:37 PM EST
    and write a newer, simple reform bill: Medicare for everyone on a fee basis. Bypassing the insurance company investor & CEO overhead would mean a huge amount of money would be available to increase payments to providers, making Medicare more acceptable and widespread in the health care industry. The accounting infrastructure is already in place, so there won't be a need for a new trillion dollar federal system to be built, just expand what we already have. I think the fee for purchasing Medicare would be much lower than what companies and individuals pay for rip-off insurance coverage, which would make it very appealing to public institutions and unions. Let the insurance companies just wither away as the new system replaces the old profit insurance model. It won't be fully socialized medicine because it won't replace Medicaid and insurance companies could still operate, but with far less profit.

    Both our elected Democrats and Republicans are in the pockets of the insurance industry, so we'll pretty much have to write this ourselves and stage sit-ins to get Obama and the Dems to vote for it.

    Any ideas for organizations and politicians who should be involved in this true health care reform?

    This is off topic (none / 0) (#13)
    by cawaltz on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:20:44 PM EST
    Is there are reason I'm being censored in the Palin thread. Someone asked for a link I'd like to be able to provide it.

    If you aren't going to reply BTD (none / 0) (#16)
    by cawaltz on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:25:10 PM EST
    then feel free to tell your Bash Palin cohorts to head on over to Think Progress where Palin was referred to as Bimbostein.

    I've always known you to be a fair person and I'm owed that much for my belief.


    In the Think PRogress comments I presume? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    NO way in a post I hope. If so, please provide a link.

    Not in the post (none / 0) (#21)
    by cawaltz on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:53:15 PM EST
    Read the commentary through of the thread and tell me you can't see why some people would see this the way they do as far as the misogyny.


    I'm done on the topic and the only reason I'm commenting here is because I was asked to provide a link.

    The thread is definitely worth a browse though for anyone who thinks it is unreasonable to defend Palin even if you disagree with her politics.


    I'm not censoring you (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:28:03 PM EST
    I have no idea what it is up.

    the comments thread has over 200 comments. Maybe J. shut off comments.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#22)
    by cawaltz on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:57:21 PM EST
    That could be it.

    I thought it was weird that I couldn't reply. That's why I came here looking for answers. I have never known you as a person who pulls punches or expects others to do so. It's good to know my respect for you is warranted. :)


    I thought the comments self-closed at around 200 (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ellie on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 04:09:47 PM EST
    ... give or take for simultaneous preview/postings in progress when they reach the magic number.

    It is pathetic to be effectively taking up (none / 0) (#27)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 05:22:06 PM EST
    the Senate's "cause" at this point in the game.

    Their work product is junk.  

    Anyone who really cares about healthcare reform wouldn't settle for the Senate bill when there is still hope that the influence of the house could improve it.

    I am tired of these people in the Senate and their supporters insisting that it is their way or the highway.  They are the real bill killers and always have been because they have had ZERO capacity for compromise this whole time.