Can A Health Bill Get Passed?

Greg Sargent writes:

Rep Frank Kratovil of Maryland, a previous No vote who was now said to be undecided, will vote No on the Senate health reform proposal, his spokesman confirms. [. . .] The only way Kratovil [. . .] could support the Senate bill is if itís fixed first via reconciliation, before the House votes on it. But no one expects this to happen.

(Emphasis supplied.) I wonder if anyone expects anything to happen at all on the health bills. Rahmbo's finger pointing campaign the last week is beginning to make sense. The White House may think the initiative is actually dead.

Speaking for me only

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    Speaking only for me (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:47:38 PM EST
    Enough is enough. The Senate bill is both a policy and a political disaster. Either the Senate is willing to pass a reconciliation bill or it isn't. Time for the Dems to either step up to the plate and be willing to take the consequences for their actions good or bad or move on.  

    Dr. Dean agrees with you (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:50:26 PM EST

    "The plan, as it comes from the Senate, hangs out every Democrat who's running for office to dry -- including the president, in 2012, because it makes him defend a plan that isn't in effect essentially yet," Dean said during an appearance on the liberal Bill Press Radio Show.

    Dean, who has clashed publicly with the White House over the healthcare proposals favored by the administration, said that by passing the bills under consideration, Democrats would essentially be conceding defeat to Republicans.

    "It's easy to campaign on repealing something if no one knows what the something is," Dean said. "And fundamentally people don't understand what the president's healthcare plan is."

    "And if it passes next week and get's signed into law the week after, we're not going to be able to explain it to people over the din of Fox News and the Republicans," the former Democratic party chairman added.

    But hey, what does he know?


    I think Dean is wrong on this. (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:09:00 PM EST
    If the Democrats worried about Fox News and the Republican machine before they pass a bill, they would not pass anything and they could not reform anything.  You have to do what is right and not worry about the opposition party.

    He cares too much about the right and they simply were not much of a factor in this at all.  The reason this bill is such a political failure has nothing to do with Republicans or the right wing at all.  It is a failure because Obama is asking his base to walk the plank on a very contraversial piece of legislation, and they get nothing for it.  

    "Please support my effort to pass health care reform...I need you to vote to restrict insurance for abortion, tax unions, bail out the insurance industry letting them loot the public treasure with no reform, do not reform Pharma, no employer mandates, and so on.  Oh, and in return, no public option, no Medicare buy in, and no other insurance reform....thanks."


    Do you believe the Senate bill is (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by esmense on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:29:51 PM EST
    "what is right?"

    Frankly, the President would do better to declare that effective reform isn't possible in this political climate, campaign against the Republicans' lies and obstructionism, and request, in light of the current employment crisis, a "temporary" or "emergency" expansion of Medicare and increased Medicare funding.

    Anyone who thinks that if we "don't act now" this issue is going away and there won't be ever increasing demand for much better reform down the road is nuts.


    That would be hard to do since (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:36:18 PM EST
    the president is in favor of cutting the Medicare budget and that other entitlement program.

    OTOH you might be talking about Medicaid and not Medicare???



    Medicare Advantage (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:34:00 PM EST
    should be cut though- its an expensive boondoggle that adds massive costs with little return- there's a reason the GOP had to ram it through on a straight party-line vote.

    Cuts to Medicare Advantage only (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:02:21 PM EST
    represent approximately $120 billion of the $400 billion to be cut from the Medicare budget. link

    Also, Florida seniors, thanks to Bill Nelson, get to keep their overpriced plans.


    I'm sorry, I was talking about Medicaid (none / 0) (#46)
    by esmense on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:00:40 PM EST
    not Medicare

    I did not mean Dean is wrong and (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:58:07 PM EST
    we should pass this bill.  I do not think we should.  I am saying Dean thinks they got the politics wrong by the gift they gave Repubs.

    Repubs did not matter.  They got the politics wrong by asking to base to walk the plank and get nothing in return.  Everything is about balance.  Taking big risk can be good politics if it also involves a big reward.  Asking your team to take a big risk with no reward is bad politics.


    I think you are unfamiliar (none / 0) (#41)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:46:15 PM EST
    with what Dr. Dean's position has been on this all along.

    I know Dean wanted the public option. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:03:17 PM EST
    He also wanted the medicare buy in.  A big reason why Dean liked it is that is hurts the repubs ability to campaign against it (goes into effect immediately).  People get benefits immediately along with cuts and taxes.  Obama's bill raises taxes and cuts benefits with delays on additional benefits.

    Dean is right that it is an issue, but 1) it is only an issue if it passes and 2) even if repubs benefit from a bill that delays expansion but taxes immediately, who cares as long as it is a strong bill.


    As much as it pains me to say this, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:04:57 PM EST
    Deam himself couldn't accurately explain "the" public option; wherever he went, he described it as being "just like Medicare," which of course, it wasn't, so he contributed to the many layers of confusion over just what it actually was.

    In spite of several summits and more than a few speeches and every Tom, Dick and Jane in the Congress talking about the legislation, it always seemed to me that there was an effort being made not to fully explain it, to only describe those parts of the legislation that would make people happy (no more rescissions!  no more pre-existing conditions!") and avoid the parts that would have made it clear how big a giveaway it was to the insurance industry.

    Obama is still spouting the "if you like your plan you can keep it" nonsense, and avoiding the truth that in this employer-based model of which he is so fond, companies make decisions all the time to change plans, which often necessitates changing the doctors that Obama also insists one can keep if one likes.  Is this ignorance on his part about how companies operate where benefits are concerned, or an effort to appease the unrest out here?

    Sometimes I wonder why, if the end result might be conceding defeat to Republicans, it never made sense to them to call their bluff and go with the best reform effort possible, but then again, it makes perfect sense if your real concern is keeping the industry happy - which has already happened with the bankster bailout, is now underway in the health industry, and also on the issue of financial services reform; it appears, when taken all together, that we have a feature, not a bug.

    It won't just be health care that will be on the minds of voters; the list of issues is growing.


    Regarding two points you make (none / 0) (#63)
    by BTAL on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 04:36:13 PM EST
    The first being Obama's deception on "keeping your insurance and doctor" is absolutely correct.  The language in the bill has a very week grandfathering clause which will result in people being moved off their existing coverage.  This "detail" was not lost on the average person who has coverage.  Big credibility hit for the WH.

    The second being the concept of going big for "real" reform and calling the Republican's bluff.  The WH started down that path then when facing the wall of "socialized" medicine they pivoted.  Recall when the meme changed from health care reform to health care INSURANCE reform?


    the rest (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:01:56 PM EST
    Dean said that the only solution to correct the bill was to offer a buy-in to Medicare for consumers, which had once been proposed in the Senate, but was ditched by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as unable to win enough votes to pass.

    "The president needs a win here," Dean said.

    Don't (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:27:11 PM EST
    you think this depends on how many in the house are willing to walk the plank for Obama? I'm thinking not many and it seems that stuff is starting to leak out now that it's not going to pass.

    And since that won't happen? (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:03:07 PM EST
    still taking (none / 0) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:12:46 PM EST

    I'll take that bet (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:18:55 PM EST
    done (none / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:20:23 PM EST
    I will bet you 100 american dollars they pass the bill.  

    contributions to the candidate or cause of the winners choice.


    The Senate bill with no changes? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:22:35 PM EST
    I'll take that bet as well.

    Stupak will be fed.


    no (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:23:59 PM EST
    they will pass it with some fixes.  possibly not all.
    stupak I doubt

    No (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:25:16 PM EST
    Unfortunately, I believe the crap bill in its present form will pass.

    I'll take the bet that they don't get Medicare buy-in for all-as Dean was saying and what you replied to.

    We could take bets on how many seats the Dems lose in November because of a crap bill being passed.


    of course (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:26:26 PM EST
    and of course the buy in will likely not be part of it.

    but it could.


    If the Senate - or should I say, (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:40:35 PM EST
    Max Baucus and Barack Obama - had wanted the bill to look like the House Bill, we wouldn't be having this debate, because the Senate bill would look pretty much like the House Bill, and the president would have had something to sign long before Groundhog Day; since they don't want it to look like the House Bill, what makes anyone think they are going to "fix" it now?  Or later?  And Easter is right aroung the corner.

    If the votes are there, it will pass; if they aren't, it won't; anyone who trusts the Senate to nix the parts they like and add the parts they don't in some later fix needs to think about all the other things they were going to fix once they passed some do-or-die bill.

    I don't think the Stupak (none / 0) (#49)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:32:07 PM EST
    Amendment would have gotten Senate support though.

    it didn't (none / 0) (#52)
    by CST on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:41:59 PM EST
    they voted on something very similar and it didn't pass the senate.  That's why it's not in the senate bill.

    it's pretty much (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by CST on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:42:40 PM EST
    the only thing the senate did better than the house.

    Nelson Amendment in Senate re: Abortion (none / 0) (#64)
    by norris morris on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 08:31:03 PM EST
    Nelson's bill in Senate would have women take abortion insurance separately from their regular health insurance. He wants women to pay for this by separate check,& be billed separately.

    Many or most insurers will find this not profitable. Separate papewrwork? Etc. What a crock.

    This attack on women's rights makes me want to throw up.  The Hyde amendment has been around a while and needs to get congressional approval every year, as it forbids federal funds used for abortions.

    At least there is a possibility that at some point Hyde could be challenged, as it has to be reinstated every year. But our current disgusting congress had to make the Hyde amendment even more draconian.

    Stupak appears more as a Representative of the Council of Catholic Bishops rather than of his Democratic constituents and the rest of the country,& has made abortion all but impossible except for the well off and connected.  Chipping away at women's rights after decades of struggles for womenn's rights to equal protection and freedom of choice.

    Both parties have decided to tell women what they can do about their medical and moral choices and glibly deprive women of their inalienable rights.

     And not a whimper from all the House women Reps
    and Senators. Silence. A few whimpers. So both men and women politicians are hypocritical about their phony stances on women's rights.

    Now I hear Representative Maxine Waters of California is willing to "get this through" inspite of this hit on women.

    The thing parading as healthcare reform is as sickening as the performances by Congress along with Obama's pretenses that Lo! by 2014 this piece of crap will "reform healthcare".

    This has been a corrupt and bungled spectacle.


    John Walker at FDL (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:15:43 PM EST
    asks why, if the president believes the American people deserve an up-or-down vote on health care, the Senate cannot pass the House bill?

    Of course, the House has already passed a health care reform bill, HR 3962, which everyone seems to have forgotten about, and technically doesn't need to do another thing to see it become law. . . as long as the Senate passed that bill unchanged. If Obama really felt that health care reform deserved an up-or-down vote, he could ask Vice President Joe Biden, Harry Reid, and 48 Senate Democrats to use the "nuclear option" to change a few Senate rules regarding debate or budget reconciliation. After that, they could put the House health care bill on the floor, pass it unchanged with the constitutionally required simple majority, and Obama could sign it into law.

    While I doubt this will happen, it is, technically, a wholly doable route to enacting health care reform. If Obama really believes health care reform deserves an up-or-down vote, he should be instructing Reid and Biden to use the tools at their disposal to actually give health care reform a final simple majority vote in the Senate.

    Seems like a fair question.

    You're Dreaming (3.50 / 2) (#65)
    by norris morris on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 08:37:51 PM EST
    There is no intention on Obama's part to see either a PO , nor does he have the guts or parlimentary experience necessary to play chess with this group. Obama has not been able to lead anything.

    By this time however Obama may realize that he is not going to be the African American Ronald Reagan.

    It has taken him over a year as we struggle daily to survive, to figure out that his notions about bi-partisanship are a failure.



    not really a good thing either (none / 0) (#59)
    by CST on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:17:35 PM EST
    Stupak is in the house bill, not the senate bill.

    Oh, I have plenty of problems with the (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:33:26 PM EST
    House bill, too, but I think Walker's question is a fair one: if it's a matter of an up-or-down vote, why is it the House that has to pass the Senate bill and not the other way around?

    "If (none / 0) (#62)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 04:30:40 PM EST
    it's a matter of an up-or-down vote"

    It depends what the meaning of "it" is.

    It comes down to the fact that anything that improves the situation for American health care customers must, by definition, cut into industry profits.

    And that's Obama's dilemma. It seems the industry is willing to cooperate.....as long as it doesn't cost them a dime. And it also seems that that's exactly what Obama promised them.


    Raul (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:42:26 PM EST
    Grijvala (i'm sure I've spelled that wrong) has sadi that he won't vote for the bill.

    Negotiating in public (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:43:08 PM EST
    IMO the Dems have done too (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:57:57 PM EST
    much "Negotiating in public." Maybe, it is time for them to go behind closed doors and decide what they are really willing to do.

    They always think they are negotiating (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    until the Republicans tell them what the negotiation really is.

    They're negotiating in public because (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:10:26 PM EST
    there is a stalemate in the backroom.  Everyone is now trying to muster public pressure as a way of moving votes - because the private negotiations are stalled.

    They Don't Know What (none / 0) (#66)
    by norris morris on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 09:04:33 PM EST
    they're willing to do. That's the point as they disagree on many issues, on policy, and political ass covering to really unite without the strong leadership totally necessary to succeed.

    But this game was changed behind our backs from the onset when Team Obama made their deals with the Insurance and Drug monopolies. Promises? No public option. No importation of drugs. No patents releasing generics into the drug marketplace. 80 billion over ten years to be given by drug giants.  This is a seetheart deal when drug profits last year were over 77 billion.

    No government bargaining for lower drug prices for Medicare. We were totally screwed or don't you get it?

    The promise: Not to advertise against Obama's bill... and who knows what else in donations for reelection, etc.   Certainly some more goodies.

    The construction of  over unexplained 2700 pages is a failure unto itself, but how about not saying a word as Obama sat on his hands instead of explaining it and fighting for it as he sought political cover?

    And the near oblivion and disconnect about  failed and miniscule mortgage relief, employment stimulus, and absence of creative and emergency measures  to do more for those suffering from
    unemployment and foreclosure? And the Banks laughing at Obama and us as they stole more of our money and handed themselves huge rewards for failing.  Where's the Commission to oversee these bastards and set and control the limits?

    Lectures aren't gonna do it, nor will laws unless there is a really effective Commission to enforce restrictions.

    There has been an obvious failure of vision and imagination, and a tone deaf reaction to our current emergencies.

    So there are people on this blog that really think the stinker Obama has patched that would take effect in 2014 as we continue to pay more and more for our drugs and insurance [lead time for the monopolies] is going to help us?


    That is not an impossible request (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:44:08 PM EST
    unless they want to use it as an EXCUSE to stop trying.

    I think that's where we are at (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    Of course! (none / 0) (#4)
    by lambert on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:46:01 PM EST
    Some bill, any bill.

    All that political capital (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 12:56:31 PM EST
    literally thrown into a bonfire of the vanities.

    Healthcare Reform (none / 0) (#51)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:35:32 PM EST
    might just not be worth attempting- it always, always has massive poltical costs and only once has had an actual success and that was 45 years ago.

    45 years ago the idea was simple, (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:17:50 PM EST
    straight-forward and clearly understandable for the public.

    Neither this round nor the last round could be said to be any of those things.

    We don't even have ONE bill yet - we still have two different complex, long and convoluted concotions that most people simply can't wrap their brains around.

    The reality is that it was political malpractice, players negotiating in bad faith, and a whole lot of arrogance that scuttled the last try and that's what will create the political fallout on this one too.  It isn't the issue itself that is the problem, it is the people who we have the misfortune to have addressing the issue that are screwing this up.


    I suggest (none / 0) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:02:44 PM EST
    a deep breath.  long and slow.

    it will pass.

    You sound like I swallowed (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:04:26 PM EST
    a handful of my dad's change :)

    Im still taking (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:08:27 PM EST

    Bets on what? (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:20:14 PM EST
    Here's my bet. If it passes, some type of Stupak Fix will be included.

    How about you?


    that the bill will pass. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:21:26 PM EST
    as far as stupak, from what I have been reading that can not be addressed in reconciliation.

    is that wrong?


    The Stupak Amendment (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:23:36 PM EST
    can not be passed by reconciliation.

    But the Stupak PROBLEM can be addressed as I have written.

    I do not think the Senate bill can be passed without placating Stupak.


    maybe you are correct (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:25:01 PM EST
    my point is they will do what has to be done to pass this turkey.

    They could have done that months ago, (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:50:43 PM EST
    but they didn't; the same objections are being made now as were made before - and after - the House voted and before - and after - the Senate voted.

    What's changed?

    Nothing.  The president putting out his own proposal didn't move anything.  The summit didn't move anything.  More concessions from the president to include even more Republican goodness didn't move anything.  Another speech didn't move anything.

    Keep clapping, keep looking for that pony; I guess all is not lost as long as some people are still hoping for the change.

    Remember though, it's sometimes a good idea to be careful what you wish for.


    so (none / 0) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:59:47 PM EST
    thats a no for seeing the old meme comments?

    My comment was in response to (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:12:59 PM EST
    yours at #28:

    maybe you are correct (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 02:25:01 PM EDT
    my point is they will do what has to be done to pass this turkey.

    not to yours at #45, which appears directly above mine.

    As to whether the debate has morphed from "it will never pass" to "something will pass," I think that is true for some, but I would not go so far as to claim that it was a wholesale shift.

    And you know, people are allowed to adjust their thinking as time goes by, whether because of new events, new information or even the increasing odor of desperation that is wafting around a bit over the WH and the Congress.  


    I think so too (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:26:09 PM EST
    But the bet you offered is a different one.

    Im confused now (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:27:10 PM EST
    what are we betting on?

    to be clear (none / 0) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:28:32 PM EST
    I have been saying, for weeks, that a bill will pass.  that seems to be hard to accept for some here so I have offered to take bets.

    the bill will pass.


    I don't think (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:31:38 PM EST
    Many people are arguing with you that a bill will pass.  I think the disagreement comes in with the attitude that passing a bill, any bill is a good thing.

    I say with the Sente bill in its current form - no.


    no (none / 0) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:36:10 PM EST
    they arent now.  now that its obvious.  but that is the NEW meme.

    the old one was no bill would pass.  would you like to see some comments?


    Stupak a Turkey? (none / 0) (#67)
    by norris morris on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 09:07:48 PM EST
    It's plainly an unconstitutional power grab against women's rights. It's despicable and unsupportable, that's what.

    This is more than a "turkey".


    I don't really (none / 0) (#15)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    see how the Rahmbo stuff helps the WH at all here.  If anything I see the opposite narrative "Obama is silly and weak, oh wait - BILL PASSES! Obama is amazing.  Weakness narratives are wrong."

    It is not intended to help the WH (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:19:25 PM EST
    It is intended to help Rahmbo.

    I am not sure why you think Rahmbo is interested in helping the WH at the expense of his own image.


    Ok (none / 0) (#24)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:22:06 PM EST
    nevermind, I see what you meant now in your post.

    How bout taking bets for how long Rahmbo has his job?


    The Rahm stuff helps the WH (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by BDB on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:45:16 PM EST
    by giving the President an out for sticking it to progressives.  See Yves Smith's analysis:

    Remember who the audience is: is anyone really following this story that closely besides Beltway types and political junkies (oh, and perhaps most important, journalists who write about politics?) Even though my buddy did catch a snippet on ABC radio, I'm not certain anyone outside the political hothouse is paying much attention.

    What decisions that Obama made are attacked in this narrative? Ones that were left leaning. The real subtext here is that the progressives are all wrong, that Obama's efforts to deliver on campaign promises were all doomed to failure, so he should be given a free pass. The Rahm PR push is a Trojan horse that allows Team Obama to push messages that serve Obama's need to distance himself from his "change you can believe in" campaign positioning, which is looking more and more like a baldfaced bait and switch. (Note this isn't quite as tidy as one might like; there is not just the Obama the supposed idealist, which I have trouble swallowing, versus Rahm the realist. There is another subtext to the story, which is neither flattering nor helpful, that of Obama being in a bit of an echo chamber. That could be the messengers adding their own frustrations/observations).

    This way, Obama gets to have his cake and eat it too, provided he is willing to live with the short term embarrassment/annoyance of Rahm appearing to criticize him through proxies.

    Is it right?  I have no idea, but it's one simple explanation of what's going on.  And it fits, IMO, with Obama's history which is nothing is EVER his fault.  So it also makes it possible to keep distracting angry progressives with "Look, over there Rahm!"  I mean Sarah Palin wasn't going to work forever.


    in truth (none / 0) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 01:47:00 PM EST
    this is the way presidents have worked pretty much forever.

    Conjecturing Rham (none / 0) (#68)
    by norris morris on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 09:11:10 PM EST
    It's the Palace revolts.  You know, intrigue, egos, ham handedness, broken promises, infighting, egos......

    This is a little over a year old and it's disgusting.

    The Romans are at it again.


    Is the passive voice inappropriate in this case? (none / 0) (#56)
    by huzzlewhat on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 03:07:33 PM EST
    My first instinct was to question to the headline -- bills don't pass themselves, of course, so the real question out to be whether the Dems can pass a Health Bill. But then I start wondering about intentions and action (as opposed to passivity and such), and I started to think that removing any actor from the question might actually be appropriate after all.  Still not sure. :-)